What Is Keyword Difficulty In SEO?

What Is Keyword Difficulty In SEO?

What is keyword difficulty in SEO? What does a keyword difficulty checker indicate? Is keyword difficulty excellent or bad? How do we measure it, and why does it matter in SEO? This comprehensive blog will answer and break down all vital questions about keyword difficulty. If you are a novice SEO professional, the article will provide practical tips to gauge the keyword difficulty metric and implement it in your digital marketing strategy.

Keywords are essential to bring traffic to the website and gain a high ranking on the SERP on Google on that particular keyword. It provides a solid foundation for your content strategy by identifying the keywords you should emphasize. The foundation of any effective search engine optimization (SEO) or content marketing strategy is keyword research.

Keyword search volume and difficulty are two of the most critical aspects to consider. As we all know, search volume is the total number of times a keyword was entered into a search engine during a specific time frame. But that doesn’t tell you anything about the difficulty of ranking for those keywords or the competitive landscape. That’s why it’s essential to incorporate metrics like keyword difficulty scores in your research.

What Is Keyword Difficulty?

Keyword difficulty in SEO is the competition of the keyword of how difficult it is to rank them organically on Google SERP results. When you perform keyword research on a tool, it will indicate a keyword difficulty checker in the form of a percentage. So, if the percentage of the keyword research difficulty is higher, it will be harder to rank on Google.

SEO keywords

So, it is a metric that helps you decide and makes it easy to determine which keywords to target and include in your research. Therefore, you must avoid high-competition keywords as they are challenging to rank. Also, avoid low-competition keywords as they lack high search volumes.

Why Is It Important To Understand Keyword Difficulty Score?

Understanding the keyword difficulty score is essential because, as an SEO professional, you can make informed decisions and develop a content strategy to boost your website’s visibility in the SERP results. The keyword difficulty score matters as it will save you time and resources so that you do not miss the opportunity to target the right keywords, the ones that are not too challenging or the ones that are too easy.

What Is A Good Keyword Difficulty To Rank?

Based on the score percentage you get in a free keyword difficulty tool checker like Ahrefs, Mangools, etc., you can broadly divide the keywords into percentages:

Above 70-80% Keyword Difficulty: These keywords are challenging and competitive. You won’t get immediate results competing for these keywords. You’ll need to put a lot of time and effort into search engine optimization and link building to rank for these keywords.

Between 40-70%: Ranking for these keywords is probably more achievable and profitable. The difficulty comes from high search volumes, yet the competition isn’t too high.

Below 30-40%: You get lucky if you can find low-difficulty phrases and keywords with high search volumes. Companies, in a way, curate content based on less complicated keywords. They research specific, long-tail keywords to generate interest in their products and services. Since long-tail keywords are more precise to the user’s search, they convert better. They are easier to rank for than broad keywords due to their lower difficulty scores and SERP competition.

How Is Keyword Difficulty Score Calculated?

Average keyword difficulty scores range from 0 to 100, with higher numbers suggesting more challenging keywords. This score estimates how difficult it is to rank for a specific term and is calculated by tools and software by assessing all of the above factors and applying algorithms.

Why Should You Care About Keyword Difficulty Checker Tool?

Strategic Planning: Knowing the difficulty helps you focus on keywords that balance traffic potential and achievable ranking well.

Resource Allocation: It guides you in distributing your resources efficiently, concentrating more effort on keywords with lower difficulty to get quicker results.

Realistic Expectations: Understanding the difficulty prevents setting unrealistic goals and frustrations that might result from targeting highly competitive keywords without adequate resources.


The assessment of keyword difficulty holds significant importance in picking appropriate target keywords. The keyword difficulty checker indicates the ease or difficulty of achieving a high ranking for a particular keyword. The difficulty score positively correlates with the difficulty level in attaining a high ranking for the desired term.

The keyword difficulty score can be utilized to effectively organize and refine extensive keyword lists, enabling the identification and selection of optimal keywords for one’s business.

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Sonam Badia