How to find low competition keywords for SEO?

In this article we explain what low competition keywords are and what characteristics they have. Being able to identify them will help you with finding your next content idea.

Sam van Houten
May 19, 2022
4 min read

Whenever your client or organisation enters a new market, launches a new product or new website you want to rank as fast as possible where you can. This so called low hanging fruit is also known in SEO terms as low competition keywords. In this article we will explain what such keywords are and how you can find keywords with low competition. We will do so by answering the following questions:

  1. What are low-competition keywords?
  2. What determines the level of competition of keywords?
  3. Why are these long-tail keywords important?
  4. How and where can you I find keywords with low competition?

After reading this article you will be ready to find low competition keywords and use them in your advantage.

Let's get started!

1.What are low-competition keywords?

Let's start from the beginning. When talking about low competition keywords we're talking about search terms that have less competition in the search results. That makes is easier to rank high on these keywords in Google. You won't aim for keywords with a high search volume, but use the keywords that have higher potential on the short term to rank on. The results for these search terms often have zero to little backlinks and domain authority. No worries, we will explain what this means in a second.

2. What determines the level of competition of keywords? 

Okay, now we now the definition.. So what determines how much competition keywords have? There are a few factors that distinguish low from high competition keywords.

Keyword difficulty

First off, keyword difficulty. Keyword difficulty is most commonly represented on a numerical scale from 0-100, showing how hard it is to rank in the top 10 search results of Google with a certain keyword. This keyword difficulty score be found in different SEO-tools, for this example we'll look at Ahrefs. Ahrefs calculates the KD score for a search term based on the average backlinks the top 10 results have. A backlink is a link from an external website to your own website. High KD-scores means many backlinks exist and lower KD-scores means less backlinks. To sum it up the KD-score indicates how easy or difficult it is to rank top 10 for a certain keyword.

Domain authority

Domain authority is a metric with a scale from 1-100 that is given to websites by Google. For each search Google wants to show to the most relevant search results. Google uses this metric to determine the relevance of a website for a certain topic, in other words how much authority they have. When rating a domain Google determines your authority based on backlinks, more backlinks means more authority. In other words high domain authority for a certain keyword means it's more difficult to rank high on Google for it. Domains with high authority for a certain topic are seen as expert in this area by Google and will show up faster.


As we mentioned earlier keyword difficulty indicates the amount of backlinks, however keyword difficulty does not account for backlink quality. To determine the quality of a backlink there are different criteria to check:

  • The relevance of the linked domain and page in relation to your topic
  • The authority of the linked domain and page
  • The way the link is used on the page
  • The anchor text (the text with which the url is linked)
  • Follow vs Nofollow status

Search intention

Determining the Keyword Difficulty score is just the beginning, it's definitely a good start but not enough to determine how competitive a keyword really is. That's why it's important to create content aligned with your target audience. Search terms should relate to the type of content you want to create. The intention a searcher has when using google can be categorised in four groups:

  • Informational intent: The user is looking for information in a certain field or topic
  • Navigational intent: The user is looking for a certain website or page
  • Commercial investigative intent: The user is thinking about making a transaction, but does not yet know where or how or what
  • Transactional intent: The user is ready to make a transaction

As you can see it is important to understand which intention a searcher has when using certain keywords. Learn more about search intentions here.

3.Why are these long-tail keywords important?

Long-tail keywords are also known as keywords with 3 or more words and are more specific than short-tail keywords, keywords with 1 or 2 words. Long-tail search terms have less competition, because they have lower search volumes and less content is written about them. When looking for low competition keywords it's is smart to search for the long-tail keywords as these tend to have less competition. The common train of thought is to write content about high volume keywords, as more people use these terms. This causes less content to be written specifically for long-tail keywords making it easier to rank top 10 in Google. Besides, people using these long-tail keywords are being specific for a reason. This means they are actively looking for a service, product or information and they are further in their search journey.

4.How en where can I find keywords with low competition? 

1. Brainstorm

Start with a short brainstorm. Think about which search terms your target audience might use for their search in Google. We're not yet looking for exact keywords or sentences, but the broad topics. Think about 5-10, for example you sell computers and accessories online:

  • Computer
  • Laptop
  • Macbook
  • Imac
  • Hard Drive

2. Creating a keyword set

Next, you can use different tools to create a list of keywords like Ahrefs Keyword Explorer or Keyword Magic Tool. Based on the 5-10 topics you came up with these tools will generate potentially relevant keywords. The tools generate lists of keywords related to your topics. Both tools also indicate the level of competition which you can use to filter out certain keywords that are too generic. Use the four indicators discussed earlier in this article to analyse the keywords. It could be that a keyword with a low KD-score does not necessarily have a low domain authority. Don't forget you should align your content with the needs of the target audience. When creating a keyword list we recommend to check some backlinks, quantity does not mean quality.

What's next? Well, you can start keyword clustering with KeyWI. By using keywords with a low competition in your marketing strategy you can focus on getting results faster!

Sam van Houten co-founder KeyWI
Sam van Houten

Sam van Houten is Co-Founder of KeyWI, has an educational background in data science and is always eager to learn new stuff. Together with the KeyWI team he has been busy developing SEO software and understanding how to use code to automate and smarten SEO tasks.

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