Digital Marketing

A Business Leader’s Guide to Keyword Competition

You know that ranking highly on Google’s search results is a key to building a successful business. You know that to improve your webpages’ ranking, you need to integrate keywords. But, did you know that some keywords are much more competitive in search rankings than others? Did you know that trying to rank for the most competitive keywords might be a waste of your company’s time and effort?

Keyword competition is a complicated concern, and many business leaders fail to factor it in when developing their rudimentary SEO strategies. To help you improve your business’s SEO, here is a guide to keyword competition — though you might be better off relying on white label SEO experts who already understand the complexities of competitive keywords.

What is keyword competition?

Simply put, keyword competition is the measure of the difficulty of ranking of a particular keyword. The more competitive the keyword, the more time and effort it will take to shift your position on the SERPs.

There are many factors that affect keyword competition ratings. Typically, competitive industries will create keyword competition for the most high-volume search terms. However, keywords used in high-quality content and on highly authoritative domains will also tend to become competitive. Buyer intent also has a significant impact on the competitiveness of certain keywords; if web users employing specific search terms are more likely to convert, businesses will be more aggressive in trying to rank using those keywords.

How do you use keyword competition tools?

Different SEO experts use different tools and techniques for identifying and utilizing highly competitive keywords. Some use browser tools that track different SEO metrics; others use bespoke applications that track data for different keywords, like the number of results, the PageRank value of pages and domains, the number of ads, the number of links pointing to top-ranked pages and more. Using this information, experienced SEO professionals can determine how long it will take and what kind of effort will be involved to move a business’s page up the rankings.

Because keyword competition is a complex concern within the already complicated and highly technical field of SEO, it generally isn’t advisable for the average business leader to try to utilize keyword competition tools on their own. Most business leaders lack the fundamental SEO knowledge and skill, and there are other, more important responsibilities they should focus on. Still, if you are committed to understanding keyword competition, you can use keyword research tools. Keywords with higher KD numbers will usually be more competitive.

What are some of the most competitive keywords?

The easiest way to identify the most competitive keywords is looking at the maximum bid price in Google Ads. Purchasing Google Ads is an easy way to skip the ranking system entirely and shoot right to the top of the SERP, which is what some companies choose to do when faced with a highly competitive market and highly competitive keywords. However, businesses pay a cost whenever a web user clicks their advertised link, and the more competitive keywords have much higher per-click prices, which makes this strategy less-than-ideal for most businesses. For example, the most expensive keywords on Google Ads include:

  • Business services: $58.64
  • Bail bonds: $58.48
  • Casino: $55.48
  • Lawyer: $54.86
  • Asset management: $49.86
  • Insurance: $48.41
  • Cash services and payday loans: $48.18
  • Cleanup and restoration services: $47.61
  • Degree: $47.36
  • Medical coding services: $46.84

Are there other strategies for ranking in competitive keyword markets?

It is possible to nose out industry leaders and achieve a top ranking for competitive keywords — but it takes time, effort and incredible strategy to do so. You need to understand every minute detail of your market, from the SEO tactics of your competitors to the buying journeys of your target audience, and you need to develop an impeccable internal linking structure to impress Google’s spiders. You might try to optimize your webpages for advanced technologies, like voice assistants, which are likely to increase in search volume in coming years. Finally, and perhaps most critically, you need to be certain that your content is the best it can possibly be. That might mean hiring a professional writer to populate your business’s blog with useful and engaging posts that users and search engines both want to read.

Ranking highly in search results matters, especially in a competitive industry or market. Working with a knowledgeable and skilled SEO expert should help you achieve your search ranking dreams — even if you are looking to rank with the most competitive keywords on the web.

Cheryl Henson

Cheryl Henson is a passionate blogger and digital marketing professional who loves writing, reading, and sharing blogs on various topics.

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