What is a Keyword Difficulty Rating?

When delving into the world of SEO, understanding the landscape of keywords is imperative. The 'Keyword Difficulty Rating' becomes a central pivot in this industry, guiding individuals and businesses in making strategic decisions for their online content.

Written by

Will Robertson-Brown

November 2023

What is a Keyword Difficulty Rating?

A Keyword Difficulty Rating is a metric used in SEO to gauge how challenging it would be to rank for a particular keyword in search engine results pages (SERPs). This rating is typically presented on a scale from 0 to 100, with higher values indicating a higher level of difficulty.

The calculation of this rating encompasses various factors, including the strength of the domains ranking on the first page of the search results, the quality and relevance of the content, the number and quality of backlinks, and other on-page and off-page SEO factors.

How to Check Keyword Difficulty with SEMrush?

SEMRush stands out as a powerful tool for assessing the difficulty of keywords. Here’s how you can leverage it:

Step 1 – Log In or Sign Up: Access SEMRush and log in to your account or sign up if you’re a new user.

Step 2 – Enter the Keyword: Navigate to the ‘Keyword Overview’ section and input the keyword you wish to analyze.

Step 3 – Analyse the Results: SEMRush will provide a comprehensive breakdown of the keyword’s metrics, including its ‘Keyword Difficulty’ score. Pay attention to this score to gauge how tough the competition is.

SEMrush Keyword Difficulty Overview

How to Find Low-Difficulty Keywords on SEMRush?

Seeking out low-difficulty keywords is akin to finding hidden gems that can drive traffic with less competition. On SEMRush, you can:

Step 1 – Use the Keyword Magic Tool: This tool allows you to enter a broad keyword, and it will generate a list of related keywords, complete with their difficulty scores.

Step 2 – Filter the Results: Apply filters to narrow down the list to keywords with a lower difficulty score. This will help you identify terms that are more accessible for ranking.

How to find low difficulty Keywords?


What is a Good Keyword Difficulty?

The concept of ‘good’ keyword difficulty is relative and hinges on the strength of your own domain. For websites with robust Domain Authority and Topical Authority, tackling keywords with a higher difficulty may be within reach. However, for newer or less established sites, aiming for keywords with a lower difficulty score is a strategic starting point.

Factors to Consider:

Domain Authority: A strong domain authority bolsters your site’s capability to compete for competitive keywords.
Topical Authority: Establishing authority in a specific niche enhances your chances of ranking higher for related keywords.
Content Quality: High-quality, relevant content is paramount, irrespective of the keyword difficulty.

Grasping the nuances of a Keyword Difficulty Rating is vital in steering your SEO strategy in the right direction. By employing tools like SEMRush, you can gain invaluable insights and identify opportunities to enhance your online visibility. Remember, a balanced approach, considering your website’s authority and the quality of your content, will serve you well in the competitive landscape of SEO. Happy optimising!

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