May 22nd, 2023
In the ever-evolving world of SEO, keyword research is a fixed constant. Every great blog piece or article you’ve ever seen was carefully researched before a single word of it was written down.
The reality is that as much as written content is created for you, the reader, it’s also optimized and engineered to appear to search engines like Google and Bing and rank highly in the search engine result pages (SERPs).
When creating content that will rank highly in the SERPs, targeting high-volume keywords is essential to drive traffic to your website, especially if your business is relatively new.
The problem is that high-volume keywords are often extremely competitive and hundreds of other websites have tried to target them. Unless you’ve got an established website with plenty of traffic and good domain ranking, chances are you won’t appear in the first few search results on Google for high-volume keywords.
This is where zero search volume keywords come in. In this article, I’ll tell you why you should target these specific keywords, especially if you’re struggling to boost your rankings and you’re interested in building domain rating.
Zero search volume keywords are keywords that generate very little or hardly any search volume on most search engines. In other words, these are keywords that very few people are searching for. For example, if you have a website that sells baseball caps, one instance of a zero search volume keyword could be "1950s mesh yellow baseball cap."
Although the keyword “yellow baseball cap” would generate plenty of hits, adding “1950s” and “mesh” to the equation will probably result in few if any hits on SERPs.
The short answer is: it depends. The longer, more detailed answer is that you probably won’t benefit from targeting ALL zero search volume keywords, but if you know what you’re doing and you can target the RIGHT zero search volume keywords, you’ll benefit in the long run.
Here’s what you need to pay attention to if you want to target zero search volume keywords.
The first and most important factor you need to consider is relevance. Even if a specific keyword has zero search volume, it may still be relevant to your website and your content.
For example, if you have a blog post about the history of BMW cars, the zero search volume keyword "blue 1998 E38 740i" may be relevant in the context of the article. In this case, it would make sense to include the keyword in your content and optimize it for SEO. This is obviously an arbitrary example, but you get the idea.
When you narrow things down to your specific niche, you can hopefully see why it would make sense to also include zero search volume keywords that are connected to your content and that have the potential to one day become relevant or high volume keywords.
If you can target a zero search volume keyword before it becomes popular, you’ll rank in the first page of every search engine for that specific keyword once it goes viral. None of us can predict the future, but it doesn’t hurt to target zero search volume keywords that you think have good potential.
Zero search volume keywords are often long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords are more specific and targeted than general keywords, making them far easier to rank for.
Even though long-tail keywords have low search volume, they are still valuable since they can drive highly targeted traffic to your website. People who look up long-tail keywords are much more likely to buy your service or product since they’re going out of their way to specifically look for it.
A high-intent keyword with 100 monthly searches could drive more revenue than a low-intent keyword with 10,000, as the person is further along in the sales funnel and is looking to convert.
Remember that user intent is the entire reason behind a search query. Understanding user intent is crucial when creating content that satisfies the user's needs.
Even if a specific keyword has zero search volume, it may still have user intent behind it. For example, the zero search volume keyword "best pink fedora for my dog” has user intent behind it.
As silly as it sounds, this person is looking to purchase a pink fedora for their dog, and they’ll probably buy it if they’re presented with a search result that matches their query.
Zero search volume keywords are less competitive than high-volume keywords. If a zero search volume keyword is relevant to your content and it has user intent behind it, it’s infinitely easier to rank for that than it is for any equivalent high-volume keyword. Focusing on less competitive keywords can help you rank higher on SERPs and drive more traffic to your website.
Last, but not least, it’s important to remember that content quality is essential and trumps everything else. Keyword stuffing is a thing of the early 2000s and is not only frowned upon now, but search engines will penalize you if they detect you doing it.
Remember that content has to be enjoyable for readers and it has to provide them with what they’re looking for, whether that’s a service, a product, or a piece of information they’re after.
Always creating content that is informative, engaging, and valuable to the user. This will help you rank higher on SERPs, regardless of the keyword's search volume.
Remember everything outlined above and try to combine elements of it the next time you create content. I wouldn’t suggest targeting zero search volume keywords to find topics but rather integrating them into topics that already have a decent amount of search volume as a way to increase that volume even further.
Zero search volume keywords may not drive a lot of traffic to your website directly, but they can drive highly targeted traffic that is more likely to convert and is sometimes even more valuable.
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About the author
Stefan is the founder and owner of Writingful. He's been working as a freelance writer for over 6 years, writing about anything and everything. His expertise lies in the Automotive industry, SEO and IT. He even built Writingful using Next.js and Sanity.io.