Keyword Difficulty – An In-depth Guide

  Published on March 09 |   5 minutes read

What is Keyword Difficulty?

The goggle algorithm is complicated to predict because websites have to follow many different rules and regulations, which are hard to understand at first. Keywords are an essential tool in Search Engine Optimization. There are ways to select keywords, but the process is more complex than people realize.

Google’s algorithm has a way of evaluating and ranking different keywords. For keyword efficiency, it is imperative to know how the keywords are evaluated and ranked. This process is called Keyword Difficulty. There are many factors, such as the quality of content as well as the domain and page authority.

Why is Keyword Difficulty Significant?

Keyword research is an integral part of the keyword selection process. The process includes looking at competitors’ keywords that are ranking at the top and coming up with unique keywords related to the same topic. The primary keywords are selected on the basis of that, followed by the secondary keyword.

If the evaluation and ranking of a keyword aren’t carried out, the resulting selected keyword may be sub-optimal. As keywords are a means of generating traffic, the correct selection of keywords is made by including keyword difficulty. It helps in choosing the best keywords for search engine optimization.

How to Find Out Keyword Difficulty?

There are many factors that affect keyword difficulty; viewing the numbers of these factors can help in finding the actual keyword faculty of any term, word, or phrase. Following are some ways to find out keyword difficulty:

  1. Take a Look at the Page Authority
  2. Look at the Referring Domains
  3. View the domain authority
  4. Consider Link Profiles
  5. Content Optimization
  6. Content Quality

1. Take a Look at the Page Authority:

A very simple thing yet often not considered is the page authority. Google does not look at websites when it comes to rankings, and it looks at pages. The Web pages are parts of websites, but each webpage has different content and keywords.

This is the reason considers web pages over websites. Page authority is considered over domain authority as well as brand presence. If a keyword is being used by many pages with low page authority, it is a good idea to skip that keyword.

2. Look at the Referring Domains

The Google search engine has been considered a vote collection engine for a long time. Essentially the more votes a page has, the higher it ranks in the search result pages.

These votes are in the form of backlinks, and these referring domains are extremely important. To assess which of these backlinks are good for you, look at the link index. You can use tools to assess it, and you can manually look at the referral links.

3. View the domain authority

Google will show links from larger and more popular domains at the top. This means that the keywords that are being used by them automatically rank higher. Looking at the domain authority allows identifying which keywords will most definitely be good for use.

A smart way to go about this is to check out your biggest competitor’s keywords and utilize them to your advantage. This will tell you a much greater keyword difficulty along with the page authority and backlinks.

If a page has many links, it may be appealing and may even appear at the top. However, that position is short-lived if the links are spam. Google will identify the spam links, and this will either lead to the removal of the page or even being banned.

This is why Black hat SEO seems appealing to a lot of people. But in practical application, the results are inconsistent and temporary. Check the competitor’s backlinks, look for any spam links. If there aren’t any, then look at the keywords they used and make them beneficial for you.

5. Content Optimization

The content is displayed on the pages that are ranked high is always optimized. One way to determine which page is optimized is to look at the title tags; these are the blue links appearing on the search engine result pages that people click on—the more accurate and better the title tags, the better the optimization of the keywords.

6. Content Quality

Fluff and filler content will rank lower than good-quality original content. The reason is that the meaning of the content, the way it is written, etc., is recognized by Google. The Meta titles and Meta descriptions are for Google to know what the page is about, more specifically, what the content is about. This helps in approval as well as ranking. Original content has unique keywords, and these keywords are extremely important for the generation of new unique keywords. A look at the higher-ranking competitor’s content will give a much clear insight into the identification and creation of new keywords.


Keyword difficulty helps in selecting keywords that will potentially rank high. The process requires an evaluation of how Google ranks keywords. As keywords play an integral role in search engine optimization, it is important that keyword difficulty is carried out properly. Search engine optimization reaps better rewards for businesses that use keywords with difficulty in their keyword selection processes.


Farasat Khan

Khan is an SEO consultant with 8 years of experience. His expertise has helped hundreds of brands generate additional revenue through search traffic. He is an SEO cum Digital Marketing specialist specializing in content strategy, search intent, and the sales funnel.

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