Low Search Volume Keywords: Should You Use Them In Your Strategy?

Ellie O'Connor April 14, 2023

Low search volume keywords are successful SEO’s best-kept secret. Chances are if you are reading this blog post you have a basic understanding of what low-search volume keywords are. So to answer whether you should use them in your current SEO strategy, the short answer is yes! Targeting low search volume keywords is what we would call a “quick win” and the fastest way to rank first on the SERPs. Not only do you have the benefits of less competition in the SERPs, but you also are putting your website in a better position for attracting qualified traffic. Qualified traffic means better leads or a higher probability of attracting customers who will generate sales if the website is e-commerce. After all, our goal is for organic traffic to ultimately generate sales and enquiries.

Whether you are a digital marketer who has been battling for your rightful place on the first page on SERPs, or you are new to SEO and want to understand the value of low search volume keywords, there is an opportunity for everyone to benefit from using low search keywords in their strategy.

When is a keyword considered low search volume?

A question many of us have is how low is too low. Monthly search volume is classed as the average number of people that are searching for a query or keyword. These searches are made on various search engines and can be tracked using different tools, for example Google’s search volumes through Keyword Planner. Traditionally, websites will target medium to high-traffic keywords, because that is where the majority of traffic is coming from. These searches might be anywhere from 1,000 searches to 1 million searches and beyond. Low search volume keywords are generally classified as being anywhere between 300 monthly searches to 0 searches a month. Targeting 0 search keywords is more of a contribution towards a long-term strategy and predicting what will be trending in the future. 

What you classify as a low search volume keyword is highly dependent on your niche industry for your website or client. Websites that have high competition might class low search volume keywords as having 1,000 searches if they have hundreds of thousands of sessions each month. When comparing a business that fits into a very small niche with less competition, they might strike gold targeting keywords without only 10 searches a month. How you dictate whether a search term should be considered high or low competition is in relation to each individual client.

Low search volume keywords when in action 

To put it into perspective the term “dresses” gets 301,000 average searches each month. That’s a lot of people looking for dresses, and a lot of websites selling dresses fighting for those first-page rankings. The idea behind targeting low search volume keywords is to niche your keyword or phrase down to a relevant search that is less competitive to rank for. However, it is also important to keep in mind the nature of different industries, e-commerce in this example. E-commerce fashion sites are renowned for being broad and having an extensive list of products and therefore opportunities to target keywords.

It’s important to target some more generic keywords if you have the product range to support it, however you should also target more specific low search volume keywords that are highly relevant to your products. This might require creating a new category to be able to target this keyword specifically and choose relevant products to have on the page, for example the key term ‘nightclub dresses’ with 1,000 average monthly searches might be a valuable keyword to target in this instance. Although 1,000 searches is high for some businesses, for others with very high levels of traffic, this would be considered a highly relevant and low search volume keyword. 

An example of how a specific industry website would benefit from low search volume keywords in their strategy would be a health insurance provider who is struggling to rank for the keyword “health insurance”, which receives 22,200 monthly searches. They might target the low search volume key term “personal insurance plans” which receives only 40 searches a month, however, this will be much easier to compete for high rankings and will still bring users to the website who are likely to make an enquiry. 

Think bigger than the search volume

Whilst the ease of climbing to the top of search volumes is a great benefit, targeting low search volumes also offers the additional benefit of providing traffic with higher user intent. Traffic in numbers is what we all dream of, however, it holds no value if the users have little intent or interest in what is on the website. Low search volume keywords essentially are specific searches that may have less content or results for the search.

This is also the case for people looking for a specific product or service. A keyword that only gets 50 searches a month may seem minimal, however if 10 of those users convert because the search is an exact match, it is much more beneficial than ranking for keywords with 1,000 searches but only 5 conversions. Many users today are using long-tail keywords (key terms that consist of three plus words), looking for an answer for a specific query, and these users are known to convert much easier assuming that the content answers the search they are looking for. Tailoring the content on your site to include low search volume keywords means that you will be directly answering the user’s query, and thus being recognised by Google for having quality content, assuming that it follows the EEAT structure Google loves! 

High-volume searches do not equal higher traffic 

If you are still under the impression that only high-volume keywords are going to get you the high levels of traffic you are looking for, then you are mistaken. Perhaps you will rank well for some terms if your website has well-established authority, but for the underdogs who are just starting to build authority, this will be a long road if you are hoping to be number one on the search engines.

Targeting low search volume keywords is not only about focusing on specific key terms, but it also involves spreading out your opportunities of ranking using multiple low search volume keywords across a wide variety of pages, and therefore boosting the likelihood of ranking first for multiple low volume keywords. Similarly to the example above, if you rank for 10 keywords across different pages of your website that all receive an average of 100 searches per month, not only will you receive a good amount of traffic, but also likely a high conversion rate. This is so much more useful for your business than receiving 5,000 sessions to one page and very few people finding exactly what they’re looking for.

Takeaways of low search volume keyword implementation 

Final Summary of why you should use low search volume keywords in your strategy:

  • Low search volume keywords help websites rank easier for niche searches specific to their business
  • Low search volume keywords are known to attract users with more intent, therefore increasing the chances of conversions 
  • Low search volume keyword in the form of queries can increase your chances of appearing on the “people also ask section” on the SERP
  • Targeting low search volume keywords increases the relevance of your content to users 
  • How you categorise a low search volume keyword can differ between different industries so market research is necessary to assess the levels of competition 
  • You can benefit from targeting users searching for a particular price point with low search volume, long tail keywords such as “luxury” and “cheapest” to improve your conversion rate.

Final thoughts 

Low search volume keywords should be implemented into your SEO strategy regardless of what industry you are in, or how much organic traffic you are aiming to generate. This does not mean to say you should not compete for the larger keyword searches, but you should still target low search volume keywords for a faster journey to the first page of SERPs along with a well-rounded overall SEO strategy. If you need more advice as to how you can optimise your content to include low search volume keywords, contact our team of SEO experts for more information.

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