Low or zero search volume keywords definitely have a place in our plan for our blog posts, especially for beginner bloggers in a new niche. You need to get established by having some ranking posts and the best way is using keywords with low competition ie. low search volume.
It is essential that you write posts, with a chance of ranking in the top 3 positions, ideally position one. The more of these you have, the more trust is built up in Google and the less time your site will be “sandboxed”, many new websites spend 3 months or more trying to do this and get some traffic going.
Assessing Zero Volume Keywords
If you’re using a keyword tool and it suggests a new Keyword that could be of interest to your readers, but its search volume per month is zero, do you go ahead and write an article on that topic or continue searching? Bear in mind that your competitors, if they are using a Keyword tool may come up with exactly the same set of keywords and may reject the low volume ones as having no value.
Things to check;
- Solid Topic?
- Authority of competition
- Relevance of competing articles
Do you have a Solid Topic?
Is the keyword suggestive of a solid topic? If maybe your reader’s comments have asked this query recently, or if you have seen the question appear in Quora or another forum, or you think you can write say 2000 words on it, that would be helpful for them, then yes go ahead and write the article.
If the keyword does not make sense, if might be one of those that Google throws up as being near another relevant keyword to your niche, it might be worth investigating. Try one or more of these suggestions to see if there’s a better-structured keyword, that would be more like a human would type into Google
- rearrange the word order
- what “related queries” appear in the SERPs when you Google that keyphrase
- see what “people also ask” appear
- Can you find a related word using https://relatedwords.org
How Relevant are Competing Articles
When you have an alternative phrase, using any of the above, it’s time to check the search in Google. Look at each of the results in Google’s SERPs. Are they RELEVANT? Do they answer the search query? Do they answer it completely? What is the Authority of the site that is ranking?
Check the Authority of the Competition
If the site is a forum, then you can almost certainly produce some content that is more thorough and goes deeper into the topic. If it’s a well-known site like CNN or Forbes, it would depend on the length of their article, although it’s more difficult to outrank top sites, it is not impossible and as your own site and experience grow, you might take on these sites if their content is short and perhaps does not cover the topic fully.
To help you assess sites that appear in the SERPs, if you don’t have access to some of the bigger (expensive) keyword tools, use the free MOZbar tool which is a Chrome extension, if the DA is high and the article thorough, forget it, but if the article is very short and goes into no real depth, then the keyword might be worth pursuing. If the DA is below 30 then you have a real chance to beat it with a good, long, in-depth article that is ON-TOPIC and thorough.
Silos and Competition
While it is fine to group together posts with a similar base, in groups, silos or clusters, (actual or virtual ) make sure not to write competing articles. The point made earlier about rewriting keywords word-order is well worth spending time on, to avoid this very problem. And you must be well organized.
In the example below, there are two phrases that are very similar, but if you wanted low volume keywords (10 or fewer searches per month) in order to rank a new site, you might end up trying to rank for the other Keyword which has a fairly high and unsuitable volume of 880 for your new site. So rewrite each keyword and check the volume for each variation, there may be several with low or zero volume and one that is out of the park!
Over a period of months, writing solidly, you may accidentally end up writing two or more very similar articles if not being very careful to select your keywords. Then Google may be unable to decide on which is the best and you may miss out on a good ranking for either.
Rewrite or redirect into ONE article covering all the points. If by rewriting the key-phrase you uncover more low volume keywords or Related Searches (bottom of SERPs page) suggest more low volume keywords, be sure to include them, maybe as sub-headings in your article.
Use some sort of post planning to avoid the duplication problem, I use a planner-sitemap which I build in Elementor see article
Example1 : The difference between “cheapest construction method” and “cheapest type of house to build” is a huge amount: 10 versus 880 searches/month ( Ubersuggest figures )
Example 2. If Google shows the zero volume keywords highlighted below, especially row 14, a simple rewrite of word order can show up keywords in rows 2 or 3, with a 110 search volume. So writing an article for “rules for hockey penalty” might be competing with “what are the penalties in hockey” with its larger competition – so fully explore all your keywords before deciding which to use for the basis of an article.
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