low competition keywords

Dominate With Low Competition Keywords (Hint: Answer Questions)


As an SEO specialist, one of the most important things I focus on is finding low-competition keywords.

These are the key phrases that have less competition in the search engines, and thus offer a greater chance for my clients to rank highly. The benefits of targeting these keywords are numerous; from increased traffic to higher rankings, there can be no doubt that focusing on low-competition keywords is essential for any business looking to succeed online.

Low-competition keywords are a fantastic way to generate traffic to a new, or slow-growing blog.

But only if you do it correctly.

Not all low-competition keywords are easy to rank. We’re getting ahead of ourselves here, let’s define our term before we get into the details.

What Are Low Competition Keywords?

Low competition keywords are search terms that are (typically) easier to rank in search engine results.

If you write in competitive industries, you know how hard it is to come up with topics that haven’t been written about before.

The “publish and pray” approach just does not work.

This is why targeting low-competition keyword phrases should be part of your long-term strategy for growing your traffic, especially as your keyword research becomes more advanced

By doing so, you can get your site to rank for terms alongside the biggest players in your niche.

As mentioned, some keyword and SEO tools (Ahrefs, SEMRush, Ubersuggest) rank competition by things like:

  • Links
  • Domain rating/authority
  • Social signals

But some keywords bypass these factors. Take the keyword “dicks golf shoes” like shoes from the sporting goods store Dick’s.

On the surface, the keyword looks golden. Nearly 3k monthly searches with a “very easy” difficulty from SEMrush.

But we have some clues as to why the competition is higher than it seems.

  • Intent: The intent for this keyword is commercial, meaning those who search it are trying to buy golf shoes. Commercial intent doesn’t inherently mean more difficult, but in this case, you can guess the #1 search result (it’s Dick’s website).
  • Volume: 3k searches is fantastic for a big keyword goal, but if a super easy-looking keyword has thousands of searches, be realistic about your ranking prospects.
  • Intent (redux): Intent is commercial, yes. Which means the content on the page is going to be limited. This means search engines base the top 10 less on content and more on pure ranking signals (like link juice).

The Low-Competition Keywords We Recommend

At Content at Scale, we recommend the following factors of a good keyword:

  • Low-competition: Yes, a low difficulty in your SEO tool of choice is a good first step, but don’t stop here.
  • Informational intent: Here’s a big factor. People do searches to find information more than they do to buy. Sure, the questions and information they ask and seek usually maneuver them toward a purchase. But these keywords are usually much lower competition and allow for more content on your page (e.g. a helpful blog post).
  • Low volume: Low volume is another way to ensure low competition. And as long as they’re targeted properly, these could bring in big traffic from bigger keywords down the road. The key to this is publishing a lot of low-volume targeted content on a certain topic, to gain topical authority.

The Secret to Nearly-Never Ending Keywords (Answer Questions) 

Want to know the secret to quickly ranking and driving traffic (especially for new or low-authority websites)? It’s answering questions!

Sure, you can manually search Google and review the “People Also Asked” section, or use tools like AnswerThePublic.com and find questions people are asking that way. 

But what I’m going to show you today makes this whole process a breeze. 

All you need is SEMrush to export all the keywords. 

  • Tip: Once you have dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of content ideas, import them instantly into Content at Scale, and use our AI writing tool to automatically create the optimized content for you. In just a few minutes you can have up to 100 (or more) blog posts ready to go! 🤯

Ok, now onto finding those questions, which will be the most important SOP you’ll need for your SEO efforts.

Step 1: Find All the Best Keywords

First things first, fire up SEMrush and simply input your primary topic. I call this the “Seed” keyword. Let’s say you have a website around landscaping or lawn care. You would simply input “lawn care”:

semrush low competition keywords

In the middle, you see a section for “Questions”. There are 3,572 questions people are typing into Google. These are keywords! 

Click “View all 3,572 keywords” and on the next page export this entire list to an XLSX file. 

You could do another search for “landscaping” another for “mowing” and another for “gardening” if you wanted to expand on the total keywords available to you. 

Just merge them all into one excel file and remove duplicates.

Step 2: Sort the Keywords

Next, you want to create two additional worksheets in this file. You can label them something like “No Comp” and another for “Zero Search”. Take the top row from the main worksheet and add it to each of these two sheets.

On the main worksheet with all the keywords, sort by the Keyword Difficulty column. Highest to lowest. 

Scroll down to where the difficulty is empty and grab ALL the remaining keywords.

low competition keywords
  • Cut those and place those into the No Comp tab. 
  • Then, sort the No Comp tab by the Volume column. Highest to lowest.
  • Take all the ones with 0 Volume and put that into the “Zero Search” tab

The “Secret” of Zero-Search Keywords

If you have a brand new website, I would recommend starting on those Zero Search keywords. 

These are keywords that show up in keyword tools and in Google’s people also ask. Go through them to filter out any obscure ones. 

Tools report “zero” search volume, but it is more likely that there just isn’t enough data for it.

In fact, our sample post targets “Is content marketing the same as copywriting?” was a zero search keyword. It was indexed 2 and a half weeks ago and is now page 1 for that term with 11 impressions. 

But more importantly, it now also ranks for 15 other terms driving nearly 400 impressions already in search results. 

All from a “Zero Search” keyword that we auto-published without any editing just to use as a sample.

But the real money is in that “No Comp” tab. If you have some domain authority, I recommend starting there. 

Those all have known search volume while having zero competition. In this example, we end up with nearly 700 keywords. 

These are awesome top-of-funnel keywords that you can get indexed and ranking on page 1 within a matter of days or weeks. 

Final Step – Have Content at Scale Write All the Content

If you’re a site publisher, business owner, or agency. Writing a ton of content is difficult. You have to:

  • Source good writers
  • Make sure the content is optimized for search
  • Develop a process that continuously pumps out content

It’s a ton of work!

It’s these problems that led to the creation of Content at Scale. Our AI-writing tool creates a full article draft based on the input of a single keyword. 

Want a full blog about “how to find the best golf shoes for women”? 

Put that keyword into our AI machine, hit “create content” and a few minutes later — BAM! — about 1,400 words of unique content on the topic.

Of course, you don’t have to input one keyword at a time. Take the No Comp (or Zero Search) list of keywords, and copy all those terms (only the terms). Paste that into a new file and save it as a CSV. 

Upload the CSV to a project within Content at Scale.

Literally, within a few minutes, you can have TONS of content for your site. The best part? You start seeing results quickly with this keyword strategy since the keywords are low competition keywords.

Oh… and if you need help with the keyword research to find these low competition keywords, we help with that too! 😄

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About the author

Josh Slone

Josh is Chief of Staff at Content at Scale, running the in-house portfolio of sites as well as customer success for clients using our Content Machine.

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