Working with keywords with low volume, long-tail keywords, and low competition keywords has become a classic in SEO. But when they are spoken about, they mean keywords that are visible in keyword research tools. Although the space of possibilities is much wider. Here I share my experience on how to find profitable keywords with low competition.
Table of contents
- What are diamond keywords
- Search volume accuracy hierarchy
- Levels of working with keyword research tools
- Why do you need diamond keywords
- How to find diamond keywords
- Where to get content for diamond keywords
- How to analyze page performance
What are diamond keywords
I came up with this term myself when I came across keywords with the following parameters several times:
- keyword with low or even zero search volume;
- when they are used massively, they can bring a lot of traffic;
- some of them convert much better than standard keywords;
- the most important – it is difficult or impossible to find them using standard methods of keyword research.
This is how the diagram below was born.
To understand the scheme even better, you need to understand what options are there for measuring search volume and how they relate to each other.
Search volume accuracy hierarchy
Google Keyword Planner
One of the most popular tools, the API of which is used by most of the keyword research tools. But it occupies the smallest area in the pyramid since it is the least accurate source. There are a lot of materials on the Internet on the topic of how this tool lies, of the latter, there is an interesting post from Ahrefs about comparing the Search Volume metric in Google Keyword Planner (GKP) and Google Search Console (GSC).
Some people give access to browser plugins to track their behavior in search engines. Some companies buy this information from plugins, aggregate and resell it to keyword research tools. The same Ahrefs is an example of a service that uses click-stream data on its own.
Such data is valuable in that it does not group keywords like in GKP. But their disadvantage is that only a small percentage of people share data on how they surf the Internet.
Google Search Console
GSC will not let you see the capabilities of competitors – this is a big disadvantage. But it ranks first in terms of the accuracy of data on actual search demand for keywords. However, it is important to understand that even in GSC you do not see all of the data. I will show examples below.
Real users’ queries
The tools for collecting and expanding the keyword list must be used. But remember, they don’t give you a complete picture of the world about what queries and how often people are requesting. Everyone comes to this realization in their own way. But the most likely path has three stages.
Levels of working with keyword research tools
Each level is described in the form of internal dialogue of a specialist about an error and the conclusions he makes.
Error: “I created content for which there is no Search Volume.”
Conclusion: “Now I will always make keyword research and create only the content for which there is a search volume.”
Error: “I’ve created content based on keywords with Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs, Similarweb, Semrush, Kparser, Answerthepublic, and others. But I realized that they do not see many search queries and often make mistakes in their estimates.”
Conclusion: “Now I will pay more attention to keyword research in Google Search Console – the most truthful source of data on keywords.”
Error: “I realized that Google Search Console does not show all search queries, and all available keyword research tools show new search trends with a delay.”
Conclusion: “Now I am additionally looking for what problems are bothering my audience on blogs, forums, chats, social networks + I am testing keywords (I upload the page to the website and look data at GSC and GA, always together)”.
P.S. The circle has closed. Sometimes I create content for which there is no Search Volume.”
Why do you need diamond keywords
You can ask a question: why bother with these low-volume keywords if I can find high-volume keywords with low competition? The answer is this.
1. To grow a young website without a budget, with a minimum budget
The higher the competition, the higher the entry threshold for high-volume keywords. If you do not have the resources to overcome this entry threshold, there is no point in trying to create content for high-volume keywords and try to promote your site using just time. Better to start by solving unpopular user problems to build Google’s trust. Read more in the article about the SEO Avalanche Technique.
2. To extend a project that already covers all visible keywords
All niches have a growth ceiling. When you reach it, you can start creating pages for related niches, pumping YouTube, and more. But remember that you always have a blind spot when evaluating keywords coverage. Learning to consider benefits that others are not paying attention to will strengthen your niche leadership.
3. To make the site unique, valuable and get a boost in high-volume queries
Each new page that brings traffic is a new opportunity to strengthen internal linking for high-volume and middle-volume keywords. This is also a new opportunity to show Google the uniqueness of the site and the maximum coverage of adjacent intents of users who are looking for high-volume keywords.
How to find diamond keywords
1. Modeling user problems
Inside Sitechecker there is a Site Audit tool that checks the site for errors.
For each mistake, we wrote a very short instruction inside the platform, why it is bad and how to fix it.
The content was not published anywhere, as there were no keywords for most of the errors according to the keyword research tools.
But at some point, we decided to publish a couple of pieces. This is how the Site Audit Issues category was born. The main hypothesis that we tested is that errors of many Site Audit tools have similar names and they are often not clear to people:
- somewhere people cannot find how to fix them;
- somewhere people want to explore alternative opinions about these errors.
The first results showed that there is traffic potential for these keywords. And when we saw the first conversions, we decided to scale the category to the maximum.
What’s important here
1. Many keywords have an unprecedented CTR for non-branded keywords in the first place. CTR is so high due to the lack of ads, featured snippets, and most importantly, a very small number of pages precisely tailored for such narrow queries.
2. Ahrefs doesn’t see the keywords that bring us the most clicks. This is a confirmation of the thesis that Google Search Console is better than tools for keyword research in cases when your content is already published.
A year ago we launched an affiliate program in Shareasale for Sitechecker. We saw that a lot of sales come from coupon sites, which, as a rule, do not bring us new traffic. We made our own coupon page, not accessible from the site, but available for Googlebot and, accordingly, from Google search.
The page brings traffic and sales, but it is not visible for which keywords. This is the moment you become aware of the limitations of the GSC.
Why is Google Search Console lying?
It is not lying, it is official hiding of info.
To protect user privacy, the performance report does not display all data. For example, we may not track certain requests that are executed very few times, or those that contain personal or confidential information.
Same problem on this website. My Google Analytics Backlink Report received 252 clicks in 3 months.
But I can’t see a single keyword that generated these clicks.
2. Expanding an effective cluster of keywords
For example, we have a site with a cluster of brand pages (e-commerce, affiliate site).
If we create pages, not only based on the data available in the keyword research tools, then we:
- we will get traffic along the big tail of few popular brands, but which our audience is nevertheless looking for;
- we can stake out the top for the growing future stars.
Where to get the list of brands
In addition to the standard analysis of competitors, you can:
- make a form for adding a company to your site;
- parse the SERP for thematic queries and sort through brands by hand;
- study who advertises on Telegram, Facebook, Instagram, Google Ads in your niche;
- go to online and offline conferences;
- create pages for brands whose products are in your catalog, but for which there are no keywords in keyword research tools.
3. Digging into keyword research in Search Console
This is a well-known and commonly used method. But it is usually used:
- to find what queries and topics to expand existing pages with;
- to find high-traffic keywords for which you need to create separate pages.
I suggest digging deeper, looking for low-volume queries for which you have a good position, but in intent, they are very different from the page that collects these impressions. And instead of expanding content on an existing page, create a separate one.
An example is in the screenshot below. My template to Merge Google Search Console & Google Analytics Data ranked by keyword that deserves of creating a separate page.
It seems strange to create a separate page for the keyword if there is a page on which there are already clicks on this query and there is a good position. It seems more appropriate to simply expand the content on the existing page. But:
- in fact, the user who enters this request has a different intent;
- there are only a few pages in the search results that answer exactly this request, the rest are all far from relevance.
4. Looking for popular issues where the audience shares them
Common ways to find low-volume queries are search suggestions, people also ask blocks, related queries that Google shows at the bottom. These methods work great and should continue to be used. But it is important to remember that their requests appear late and some requests do not get there.
Where to look additionally:
- Niche forums;
- Categories on Reddit;
- Chat on the site;
- Polls on the site;
- User interviews;
- Search queries on the site;
- Communities on Facebook.
These methods are important because:
- The audience is often looking for answers to highly specialized questions closely related to your product, to which they probably did not find answers in the search.
- You can find out about pressing issues for which there is no search volume yet, but it will be soon.
Where to get content for diamond keywords
There, where and always, but since there are few pages in the search results for such queries, the requirements for uniqueness, length, and expertise of content are lower than for other keywords. You can:
- Write yourself;
- Hire writers;
- Find content that is not in the text index (video, audio, pictures) and transcribe it into text content;
- Translate content from other languages from other sites;
- Use content that you did not create for search queries;
- Parse, buy databases, and aggregate content from multiple sources;
- Play with GPT-3.
How to analyze page performance
- We look not only at Google Search Console but also at Google Analytics. You need to understand whether you are attracting a relevant audience and how well it will convert.
- We evaluate the effectiveness not on a single page, but across the entire cluster.
- We look not only at conversions, clicks, but also at the impact on the positions of other linked pages.
- When making keyword research and analyzing page performance in Google Search Console, it is important to keep in mind the limitations of the keyword research tools.
- Success in diamond keys has three components = low cost of content creation * scalability * high conversion rates. You don’t know in advance the conversion rate, but if you have the first two points, then this is a good foundation for experimentation.
- The benefit of working with such keywords lies in the fact that they are either not seen or underestimated.