Keyword Difficulty

When conducting your keyword research, You are probably looking at the search intent on the SERP (search engine result page), search volume, CPC, and of course, the keyword difficulty. Here's everything you need to know about that metric.


  • 1

    Template using this KPI

  • 2

    Integrations using this KPI

What is keyword difficulty?

The keyword difficulty metric represents how easy or difficult it will be to rank on Google's organic search results for a specific keyword. It is based on different factors including page authority, domain authority, referring domains, and content quality. 

The keyword difficulty score is on a logarithmic scale from 1-100 and it really differs between SEO tools. Moz, SEMrush, Ahrefs, and Google keyword planner all have their own version of a keyword difficulty checker. 

How to calculate keyword difficulty

In your keyword research process, you do not have to calculate the keyword difficulty yourself. If you're using an SEO tool, you may use their keyword research tool to find the best keywords for you. In the case of Ahrefs for example, they analyze the search results for a keyword and look at the number of referring domains the top 10 ranking pages have. 

The only issue is that every tool measures difficulty differently, so make sure you always use the same keyword difficulty tool as a benchmark.

What is good keyword difficulty?

Keyword difficulty scores range from 1 to 100. To determine your target keywords, you should look at other factors like your competitor's keywords, your domain authority, evaluate your chances to appear on the first page of the SERP, and create a list of low-competition keywords.

Track yours with an automated report

What is bad keyword difficulty?

A bad keyword is one that has a very high difficulty, that is over-saturated, or short-tail. If you're just getting started with an SEO strategy, you should consider low-difficulty keywords. 

Track yours with an automated report

Keyword difficulty KPI examples & templates

SEO (Search engine optimization) template SEO (Search engine optimization) template

Gather all your favourite SEO tools, from Google Analytics to SEMrush, Ahrefs with an awesome SEO report! Track your SEO performance and keyword rankings in seconds and get insights on how to improve you on-page SEO.

Try it for free

Digital marketing report template Digital marketing report template

Track your digital marketing efforts with our marketing report. Our digital marketing reports let you track organic traffic, email marketing campaigns, PPC results, and your social media presence.

Try it for free

Google AdWords Report Template Google AdWords Report Template

Track your Google Ads campaigns using this report template. You can include the most important ad performance KPIs so you'll know exactly how your campaigns are performing. 

Try it for free

Get 10 free dashboards for 15 days


Keyword difficulty best practices

Here are some of the best practices you should keep in mind when making your lists of keywords and improving your chances of ranking. 

Keyword difficulty best practices

step 1 icon Focus on long-tail keyword

If you're fairly new to the game, you're going to have to prove yourself before you shoot too high with highly competitive keywords. Use the keyword explorer to look for google search queries that are easier to rank for you, and don't forget to check new keyword trends. Long-tail keywords usually get lower volumes but are more targeted and that could be beneficial for you. 

step 2 icon Keep an eye on your competitor's keywords

Whether you are trying to optimize your content strategy or your google ads, you might want to use your competitors as benchmarks. SEO difficulty tools will help you find high search volume keywords that would be the right keywords but you also want to measure your chances against competitors. A smart move would be to check your lower domain authority' competitors and use their keywords to create high-value content. 

step 3 icon Prioritize the quality of backlinks

Keyword difficulty varies depending on the domain authority and ranking factor of other web pages that use this particular keyword. In order to improve your page ranking, you want to build a content marketing strategy as well as a link-building strategy. Optimization includes conducting keyword research frequently, doing a SERP analysis, creating a high-quality piece of content like case studies or guides, and knowing how to take advantage of linking opportunities. SEO tools give you complete backlink profiles. 

Want to track all your KPIs in one easy-to-use dashboard?

Try dashthis free

Keyword Difficulty Synonyms

Although keyword difficulty is widely used, there are multiple synonyms that can be used. Here are a few: 

Keyword difficulty score, Difficulty score (DS), Keyword competition score, Keyword competition, SEO difficulty score, SEO difficulty

Ressources about keyword difficulty

KPIs you may also like

Digital Marketing reporting dashboard

Get Started Today!

Try DashThis

Made in Canada

DashThis is a brand owned by Moment Zero inc

Copyright © 2011-2024