In my previous post on Keyword Research, I told you what it was all about and why it was important. I even told you about my favorite tool, Serpstat.
In this post, I’ll show you my exact method of keyword research using Serpstat that uncovers low competition keywords, meaning you’ll rank faster and get more eyeballs on your website.
How To Use Serpstat
When you first go to Serpstat.com, you’ll see a very google-like home screen:
Enter your base or seed keyword. This should be something simple and generic. We’ll use ASMR for this exercise, as it’s the base keyword for one of my websites.
Note: I did not realize until after this guide was nearly complete that my results contained some Not Safe For Work results. I did my best to erase them from the images, so you may notice this throughout the guide.
Once you hit ‘Search’, you’ll be taken to the keyword overview screen.
On the Overview screen, you’ll be provided the following:
Search Volume — This is the monthly search volume for the keyword, which represents how many times that keyword is searched for in a month.
Competition — This represents the level of competition for the keyword in paid search advertising, so we won’t be looking at this metric.
CPC — This is the keyword’s cost-per-click, relating to paid search advertising. We won’t be looking at this metric either.
Keyword Difficulty (KD) — This is Serpstat’s rating of how difficult it is to rank for the keyword. To rank is to show up in the search engine results in the first 10 positions, also known as the front page results, as they are what is shown on the first page when you perform a search for that keyword.
KD is measured on a scale from 0 to 100%, where:
- 0 to 20 represents a low KD. These are the easiest keywords to rank for.
- 21 to 40 represents a medium KD.
- 41 to 60 represents a difficult KD.
- 61 to 100 represents a super difficult KD. These are the hardest keywords to rank for.
KD score is a proprietary Serpstat ranking, though they do give some information as to how they calculate it:
“To calculate the KD score, we look at top 10 pages for a given keyword. The things taken into account are:
- External Backlinks
- Serpstat Page Rank
- Serpstat Trust Rank
- Number of domains that have the targeted keyword in page title
- Number of URLs that have the keyword in the title.”
Organic Keyword — These include your base keyword, as well as related keyword. The full report on organic keywords is available by clicking on “Show All”.
Ads Keywords — The total number of related keywords that people bid on for paid search advertising. We will not be using this metric.
Others — There are more sections below, but I don’t currently use these in my Keyword Research process, so I won’t cover them in this guide.
My bread and butter is the Organic Keywords report.
On this screen, you’ll see a sortable table with the following columns:
Keyword — Your keyword, as well as related keywords.
Keyword Difficulty (KD) — Defined earlier in this section, it is Serpstat’s rating of how difficult it is to rank for the given keyword.
Volume Google — This is the keyword’s average monthly search volume in Google over the last 12 months. This lets you know how many people are googling this keyword in a month.
CPC — This is the keyword’s Cost Per Click according to Google Adwords (paid search advertising). We won’t be using this.
Competition — This is the level of competition on a keyword in paid search advertising according to Google Adwords. We won’t be using this.
Results — This is the number of websites or pages returned by the search engine for search of the given keyword.
Social domains — This shows the social media domains that come up in search results for the the given keyword. The small icons to the right of the keyword show that the search results contain some additional results like images, videos, maps, knowledge graphs etc. You can learn what each means by hovering over them with your mouse.
By clicking on the “Filter” button, the results can be filtered by:
- search volume in Google Adwords;
- number of results;
- competition level in paid search;
- number of words in a keyword;
- special elements in SERP;
- presence of place names;
- misspelled keywords;
- partial-match keyword.
This report can also be exported in one of the seven available formats:
- CSV Open Office
- CSV Microsoft Excel
- XLS Microsoft Excel
- XLSX Microsoft Excel
- Google Docs
Finding The Right Keywords
The first thing I like to do after searching for my base keyword is to set a filter for the number of results. I like to set this to less than 100,000.
This will help you find a keyword that isn’t overly flooded with competition.
Next, I’ll look to sort by Keyword Difficulty (KD). If you remember from earlier in this guide, KD is rated per the following:
For a brand new site, I want to only target keywords with a KD less than 20. Currently, you’re unable to set a filter to show this, but you can still sort your columns.
Next, I will export the report to Google Docs. Depending on what level account you have, you may be limited to the number of results you can export.
One trick to get around this is to sort your table by “Volume Google”. You can then set a second filter to show only a certain volume and play around until you get a number lower than your account threshold.
Export that, then repeat for the next interval.
You’ll have to repeat this, then combine the files in Google Docs, but it’s an easy way to get more out of your limited Serpstat account.
Working With Your Keyword List
Open up your list in Google Docs (and combine your lists through cut and paste if needed).
The first thing you want to do is delete unnecessary columns until you’re left with Keywords, The number of queries, Results found, and difficulty.
Next, highlight your headers and click the filter button (highlighted in yellow below).
You now have a list of low competition keywords that you can sort. I prefer to sort by number of queries (search volume), as these are the keywords most searched for in your list.
You will then work through this list and sort closely related keywords, always looking to target the one with the highest search volume.
From there, you can move on to creating content, which is a guide for another time!
I hope you found this guide to using Serpstat useful and easy to follow. It’s the exact method I use for my keyword research, so I know it will help you find easy keywords to target!
If you’re looking for where to go next, be sure to read my post on Content Creation.