Beginner’s Guide: Simplifying Keyword Research and Understanding Difficulty

If you’re stepping into the world of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and feeling a bit lost in all the jargon, fear not! I’m here to walk you through one of the first, and most crucial steps you’ll take on this journey: keyword research. Imagine you’re a detective trying to find the perfect clues (keywords) that lead people to your business through the maze of the internet. Got it? Great, let’s dive in!

What’s This Keyword Difficulty Thing Anyway?

Let’s start with what keywords are. Simply put, keywords are the words or phrases that people type into search engines when they’re looking for something. If you’re selling handmade candles, your potential customers might search for “handmade scented candles” or “eco-friendly candles.”

But here’s the catch – not all keywords are created equal. Some are super competitive, meaning lots of businesses are trying to rank for them. Think of “car insurance” – it’s like everyone and their dog wants a piece of that pie. On the other hand, some keywords are like hidden gems, not as many people are fighting over them, so they’re easier to rank for.

How Do I Measure Keyword Difficulty?

Measuring keyword difficulty is like trying to figure out how tough it will be to climb a mountain. Some are more like hills, easy to climb, while others are Everest-level challenges.

  1. SEO Tools Are Your Friends – Tools like Ahrefs, SEMRush, and Moz Pro can give you a quick peek at how hard it will be to rank for a certain keyword. They’re not perfect, but they give you a starting point. Each tool has its own way of showing difficulty, so don’t take those numbers as gospel.
  2. MozBar to the Rescue – MozBar is a superhero tool that you can add to your browser for free. It shows you cool stuff like how authoritative a website is, which can help you gauge how tough the competition is. Look for pages and domains (websites) that don’t have super high authority; these might be your chance to shine.
    • Page Authority (PA): This tells you how much search engines trust a specific page. Lower numbers might mean easier competition.
    • Domain Authority (DA): This is all about how much the search engines trust the entire website. Again, lower might be better for you.
  3. Link Explorer – A Sneak Peek into Websites’ Secrets – With Moz’s Link Explorer (you can peek at it 10 times a month for free), you can see who’s linking to whom. Websites with fewer links pointing to them might be easier to compete against.

What Next?

You’ve got your tools, and you’ve got a basic understanding of keyword difficulty. What’s next is putting this knowledge to use. Try finding keywords that are a good match for your business but don’t have you going up against the Goliaths of the internet right away. And remember, this is just the start. SEO is a big world with lots to explore, from making your page irresistible to search engines to creating content that shines.

Feel like diving deeper? There are tons of resources and videos out there that can take you from SEO newbie to pro. Remember, every big journey starts with small steps, and understanding keyword difficulty is a fantastic first step on your SEO adventure.

Perhaps you need an insight into a website you already have? Feel free to make use of our free SEO audit report. This will help you understand how well your website is set up for success in the search engines. If you need more help, then you can always contact Nimble Digital and tell us what you are looking to achieve.

Gordon Sheppard

Gordon helps owners of small businesses and entrepreneurs in the service industries run a more effective business website. He can help your business improve sales, increase profits, and gain efficiency by providing a results-driven, consultative approach. With a career spanning over 30 years in technical support, marketing and service delivery, Gordon understands business owners' pressures to position themselves ahead of their competition in the service industry sector.