How to find easy to rank keywords

Written By Fraser McCulloch

Traditional marketer specialising in keyword research, SEO content plans, and content briefs. Has-been Scottish golfer. 

If you’ve struggled to find good keyword ideas, you need to read this post.

In it, I’ll teach you how to find easy-to-rank keywords that will help you grow your traffic and maybe even dominate your niche.

What are easy-to-rank keywords?

A keyword that is easy to rank for is a search query you could rank on page one and earn organic traffic from where it is little or no competition or the competition fails to address the searcher’s intent.

To identify easy-to-rank keywords, you need a strong understanding of keyword research, user intent, and content creation.

Step 1: Identify your service and product keywords.

The starting point is to determine the keywords most likely to be used by your target audience.

These keywords will serve as the foundation for your SEO strategy and the creation of all content.

Your business model and business goals

Here are the 3 main website business models.

Affiliate business
An affiliate website creates content to promote other companies’ products and services for a sales commission.

Your seed keywords will be the name of products or services you intend to promote.

Service business
Your business model provides services that solve your customers’ problems and generate sales leads for your services.

So if you are an insolvency practitioner, you’ll identify seed keywords such as “debt, “insolvency”, “IVA”, “bankruptcy”, or “liquidation”.

My seed keywords will be “SEO” and “keyword research”, as these are related to my services.

E-commerce business
You make or resell products and sell them online.

If you sell furniture products, you’ll start with seed keywords such as “furniture”, “tables”, or “chairs”.

Step 2: Use a keyword filter.

Using an SEO tool such as Ahrefs gives you access to billions of terms people search.

Here are a few keyword filters you can use.

Keyword difficulty.

How do you compete in the SERPS with high domain authority websites?

Identify keywords with low difficulty.

Ahrefs measure low keyword difficulty based on the number of page links to the top-ranking pages.

So KD of 5 means your page would need around 5 links to break into page 1.

Long-tail keywords or word count.

A great way to identify low competition, long-tail keywords is to filter your seed keyword with 5, 6, or even 7 words.

Traffic potential.

Use the CPS filter set to greater than 1 ( greater than 2 if you want to be adventurous).

(you can also remove irrelevant keywords or include commercial keywords etc.)

Now you can click the SERP button and see the estimated traffic to the top search engine ranking pages.

SERP feature.

Another filter you can set up is identifying keywords with no featured snippets in the search results.

In this example, I discovered the keyword “keyword research report”; whilst the monthly search volume is only in the UK, there is a global keyword search volume of 700.

Since I serve a global audience, this keyword would appear to be a good keyword to target.

Use buyer’s journey filters.

People go through 4 stages in the buying process, and you can filter your seed keyword to identify relevant keywords.

Problem stage modifiers

how, what, and, for, with, where, when, for, with, and, issue, fix, improve, increase, reduce, remove, lower, grow

Information stage modifiers

example, guide, learn, tutorial, video, calculator, best, top, bespoke, service, colour, color

(include your product, brand, service name, and category words)

Evaluation of alternatives keyword modifiers

review, compare, comparison, vs, versus, alternative, similar

Purchase decision stage modifiers

Buy, nearest, cheap, dimensions, size, shop, store, discount, coupon, deal, sale, eBay, Amazon, offer.

Step 3: Check for search volume and traffic potential.

Once you’ve narrowed down your seed keyword with the above filters, now you want to check for search volume and traffic potential.

In most cases, Ahrefs displays both these metrics and enables you to sort and show your filtered keywords in descending order.

Step 4: Check if the top pages address user intent

User intent is the reason why someone searches for something on the web.

For example, when someone types “how do I get rid of acne” into Google, they have a specific goal.

They want to know how to remove their acne and are looking for a solution.

Ahrefs lets you previous the top results; click the SERP button next to the keyword.

If there’s no SERP button, then Google the query and look at the title of the top pages for clues about user intent.

In this example, keyword research report, only one of the top pages mentions anything about reports; Google only provides general guides.

So this could be easy to rank keyword opportunities because you can better fulfil what the user is looking for.

Look at the top results for “product videography”.

The selling aspect of product videography isn’t apparent to the user from reading the page titles.

Step 5: Find an unaddressed angle; information gains.

You can start creating your content when you’ve identified a keyword that doesn’t address user intent.

Try to find an angle the top pages haven’t addressed instead of copying what everyone else is saying.

This is called Information Gains Score, which rewards content creators with better search engine rankings.

Here are 2 ways to add a unique angle to your content.

  • Add your personal experience.
  • Add fresher statistics or information.

Step 6: Add the page to a content hub

Let’s say I published a page about “keyword research reports”.

But as George from Minuttia, an expert in topical authority, stated, “Google works with semantic associations, and it has to associate a website with a certain topic to consider it a relevant and trustworthy resource and give it visibility with keywords that are part of this topic“.

It would probably rank better if included as part of a group of pages.

To do this, export your ranking data from Google Search Console into keyword clustering tools such as Keyword Cupid or Keyword Insights.

I should include my page in a group of pages, a content hub, related to keyword research services.

Step 7: Repeat

Once you’ve found and published one opportunity, repeat the above steps to identify other easy-to-rank keywords.

Conclusion

Finding easy-to-rank keywords is one of the hardest parts of SEO. It takes a lot of research and testing to determine what works and what doesn’t.

But once you do, you’ll be able to use this information to create a strategy to help you dominate your market.