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The Hidden Powers of the Keyword Difficulty Tool

Mike Isaac
The Hidden Powers of the Keyword Difficulty Tool

If you are a regular to SEMrush, you have most likely stumbled upon the keyword difficulty tool. This may be something you have used once or twice but do you truly understand how to use it and what it can do? This tool provides more data than meets the eye and should be taken advantage of.

First off, I would highly recommend this tool for anyone conducting keyword research. When you are determining various keywords to include or exclude from your SEO efforts, this tool will assist you by providing crucial analytical data.

Most people need data on large quantities of keywords so that they have enough data to choose from. When you open up this tool, you will see a box that will allow you to enter up to 100 keywords at a time. Once you are done entering your keywords, you will instantly see results for these keywords. These results will allow you to find keywords within your target range that are plausible to rank for.

The analytical data that you will see at first for these keywords will include the organic difficulty %, search volume, number of results, trend and the SERP source. The first column will simply list the keyword that you have done a search for. However, by clicking these keywords you will automatically be redirected to the keyword overview page for that respective keyword. The organic difficulty percentage will be on a scale from 1 to 100%. The higher the number gets to 100%, the harder it will be to rank for.

Keyword Difficulty ToolNow here is another trick that you may not know about. If you click the difficulty % number for a keyword, you will see a pop-up display. Once you click this number, a pop up displaying the top 20 organic listings for the given keyword.

Also, you will see the name of the domain in whichever position they are currently ranked along with the domain strength of that given domain. This can be extremely helpful in determining possible keywords. By auditing this report and determining the domain strength of these ranking domains, you can further determine if these domains are on the same level as your and if it would make sense to target in your SEO efforts.

If you did not know about this function, I would strongly suggest playing around with this tool and see what kind of information you can find. This may reveal more information about your keyword research that what you initially thought.

The next column, search volume, will display an average monthly search volume. On average, per month, x amount of people search for the given keyword. This will be another great indicator if you should or should not target a keyword. The best way to determine what keywords to track would be to compare the search volumes of the keywords you already rank for to your results. How do they stack up against each other?

You will want to make sure that you are choosing keywords that are around the same levels to what you are already ranking for so that you are not shooting too high.

The next column, number of results, refers to how many results show up within Google when you search for the given keyword. Some people tend to get confused when coming to this particular metric. However, try not to overthink it.

The trend column represents the change in search volume for a keyword month by month. This will change as we gather data for the given keyword. The next column will be for the SERP source. This is a literal snapshot of the top 20 organic results for the keyword.

You can see exactly where on the SERP page each domain shows and in what position. This will help you in understanding who you are stacking up against in your SEO efforts and who may be easier to leap over than another.

Keyword Difficulty Tool (1)

All of the analytics described above will assist you with your keyword research and make sure you are targeting the right keywords. Another thing to consider when getting down to keyword research would be for you to add these keywords you choose or are considering choosing to a position tracking project.

Regardless of if you decide to target a particular keyword in your SEO strategy, you can still track the keywords and see where you stand within the top 100 results.

If you still have questions about any of this information, please feel free to reach out to our Customer Success Team at: (855) 814-4510 or by email at [email protected]. You can also contact us on Twitter by using the #semrushcare hashtag.

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Mike Isaac is the Customer Success Content Manager at SEMrush. He has been working at SEMrush for over 3 years and is constantly pushing out new content to keep users engaged. Feel free to connect with him on LinkedIn or follow him on Twitter.
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Mike Isaac
Hey Gregory, thanks for the feedback! We have notified our developers to make this adjustment. Sorry for the inconvenience!
You need to optimize the images Michael. The article looks strange on smartphones!