This search engine optimization (SEO) guide answers the question, “why is Keyword Difficulty important in SEO?”
Below, you’ll find out why Keyword Difficulty matters when you’re conducting keyword research analysis and get a list of the top benefits of using the Keyword Difficulty score when selecting search terms to target for SEO content.
There’s also a section with additional resources that explain more about the fundamentals of Keyword Difficulty to help you create the most effective SEO strategy for improving your website’s rankings in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
Table of Contents
Why Is Keyword Difficulty Important In SEO?
Keyword Difficulty is important in SEO because the Keyword Difficulty (KD) score helps you choose the best keywords to target on a website based on the competition. The KD metric indicates how much effort it may take to reach the top of the SERPs for a target keyword phrase.
Benefits of Keyword Difficulty Scores for SEO
1. Helps You Analyze the Competition
The top benefit of Keyword Difficulty analysis is that it helps you analyze the competition to find out how difficult it may be to rank for a specific keyword phrase. The higher the KD score, the more challenging it will be to outrank the competition in the SERPs.
Keyword research tools provide you with Keyword Difficulty scores so you can factor them into your decision on whether or not targeting a specific keyword is worth your time, effort, and budget.
2. Indicates the Backlink Strength Needed to Rank
Keyword Difficulty is also important when conducting SEO analysis because it shows you an approximation of how many backlinks are required to rank for a specific keyword.
Keywords with lower KD scores tend to have websites ranking on the first page of the SERPs with a low number of backlinks while keywords with high KD scores have sites with a high quantity of incoming links. Therefore, ranking for a more competitive keyword would require a stronger backlink profile to help build authority and to rank for the more difficult keywords.
For example, if we analyze the keyword phrase “best crypto to buy now”, it shows us a Keyword Difficulty of 65, which is very competitive. It also tells us that in order to rank in the top 10 positions on Google, you would need around 160 backlinks to the target page.
Additionally, if you wanted to reach the top 5 positions, then you’ll likely need 1,000 incoming links which is what the #3 ranking website has pointed to its URL. And to reach the top #1 position, you’d need around 38,000 backlinks just to compete against Forbes, which is ranking in the top spot.
3. Important for Finding Easy-to-Rank Keywords
Another advantage of Keyword Difficulty for SEO is that it helps you find easy-to-rank keywords that can drive more organic traffic to your website without worrying so much about acquiring backlinks.
In fact, if you look for keywords that have a KD score of 25 or lower, you may not even need a single incoming link to rank for the target search term. Often keywords with a low KD score have three or more web pages ranking in the top 10 positions on the SERPs that have 0-5 backlinks, which is an easy number to get for most website owners.
Many bloggers, niche site operators, and affiliate marketers have built highly successful websites by focusing their SEO strategy to only target keywords with low KD scores. This ensures that the site can rank high in the SERPs without having to do as much outreach link building, if any at all. Often, the web page can rank without any links if the content has good on-page SEO and meets user search intent.
4. Helps You Identify the Best Keywords for Your Website’s Authority
Keyword Difficulty also matters because it helps you pick out which keywords you can effectively target based on your website’s Domain Authority (DA).
DA is a metric based on the quality and quantity of backlinks pointing to the overall domain. Websites with a higher Domain Authority score will typically have more success ranking for higher difficulty keywords, which can help you identify which keywords to target based on the KD metrics.
For example, a website with a high DA of 80 can often rank for higher difficulty keywords in the KD range of 50-80, whereas a site with a low DA score of 15 cannot usually rank for a keyword unless it falls between the KD range of 0-20.
5. Speeds Up the Entire Keyword Research Process
One of the most important reasons for focusing on Keyword Difficulty is that it speeds up the entire keyword research process. Having an understanding of how difficult certain keywords are will give you a strategic advantage when creating a content plan, which can eliminate much of the guesswork for which keywords to target.
For example, if you’ve just launched a new website, then targeting lower competition keywords in your niche (i.e., KD scores between 0-20) would be more beneficial than higher difficulty ones (i.e., KD scores above 30) because you can easily rank for those search terms.
As you build up more Domain Authority for the website with quality backlinks pointing to the domain, then you can start targeting higher difficulty keywords with much more success.
Learn More About Keyword Difficulty
The links below explain more about Keyword Difficulty and how to use it correctly for better search engine optimization. Use these resources to expand your knowledge on the subject.
- How Is Keyword Difficulty Calculated & Measured In SEO?
- What Is a Good Keyword Difficulty Score In SEO?
- Best Keyword Difficulty Checker Tools for SEO
Keyword Difficulty Is Important for SEO Summary
I hope you enjoyed this guide answering the question about why is Keyword Difficulty important in SEO.
As you discovered, Keyword Difficulty matters because this score helps you choose the best keywords to target on a website based on the competition. The top benefits of focusing on Keyword Difficulty for SEO also include estimating the number of backlinks needed to rank for a certain keyword, the ability to find easy-to-rank keywords with low KD scores, identifying the top keywords to target based on your website’s Domain Authority metric, and speeding up the entire keyword research process.