Holy Grail SEO: High Volume, Low Competition Keywords

Keyword research and implementation have to be the one aspect of SEO that the majority of people get wrong.

Even the most seasoned SEO experts are still conducting keyword research with tools that do not assist in the development of a comprehensive content marketing strategy.

For example, I still see main keyword research being done in Google Keyword Planner using “high, medium, or low” competition reference points.

These criteria are just insufficient to guide you in developing your content marketing strategy, especially given how important link development is to rank.

Keyword research should uncover ranking chances using an approach that is in line with your website’s potential to rank for them.

Instead of focusing on high-volume keywords or themes, we should focus on phrases and topics for which we have a good probability of ranking, making the most of our time and SEO efforts.

So, what if there was a technique to guarantee that the content you publish will rank even if you don’t do any link building?

A method that solely relied on thorough keyword research to identify subjects, sub-topics, and long-tail keywords that could be leveraged to develop effective content marketing strategies and generate significant traffic to the material you created?

There is a way, which I’ve dubbed “Holy Grail SEO.”

In Arthurian fiction, the Holy Grail is a cup with magical abilities to bestow happiness and boundless prosperity. You, too, can do SEO using Holy Grail SEO techniques, such as focusing on high-volume, low-competition keywords.

Continue reading to find out more about Holy Grail SEO, including:

  • The significance of low-competition keywords and who should target them.
  • Where can I find keywords with a high volume but low competition?
  • How to combine keyword competition data to develop comprehensive themes.
  • How to use SEO and content to create happiness and abundance.

We need to target keywords and topics that we actually have a chance to rank for

Are There Any High Volume, Low Competition Keywords Left?

If you’ve ever worked in SEO in a competitive business, you know how difficult it is to come up with topics to rank for that no one else has covered or that don’t require a lot of link building.

You’re smart enough to see that the tried-and-true “publish and pray” method of content ranking doesn’t work.

This is why SEO professionals must incorporate low-competition keywords into their overall plans in order to compete with the big boys.

Why Are Low Competition Keywords Important?

As SEO professionals, if we’re working with a customer who is:

  • It’s a new company.
  • There’s a new website for him.
  • Has a low to non-existent domain rating.
  • In a fiercely competitive industry.
  • All of the above is true.
  • Then we’re burdened with the need to get outcomes quickly.

We need to leverage our SEO knowledge to ensure our clients stick around (or our employers don’t fire us!) beyond the normal website optimizations, constructing our product or service pages, and trying to persuade our clients they need a higher budget for PPC or social promotion.

While every client acknowledges that SEO takes “six to eight” months, when no sales are made by month three, they become nervous.

This is why, in our SEO and content marketing strategies, we must employ low competition keywords. Low competition keywords are ones that can rank with minimal link building and domain authority.

Simply creating a blog based on a target of low competition keywords might result in (relatively) quick traffic and long-tail rankings if done correctly.

Even better, it gives us a strong base on which to write more competitive issues and pursue more difficult, and often volume-rich, topics.

Who Should Be Going After Low Competition Keywords vs. High Competition Keywords?

We’ve all reverse-engineered competitor websites in the hopes of figuring out why they rank higher than ours.

We believe that my topic is more in-depth, that we have better graphics, references, and social shares, and that my blog is more current, so why isn’t it ranking higher?

Most of the time, this is due to our competitors having a higher domain rating than we do.

Side note: Ahrefs defines domain rating (DR) as the strength of a website’s backlink profile on a logarithmic scale of 0 to 100, with 100 being the strongest. The terms domain authority (DA) and domain authority (DA) are interchangeable.

Forbes, for example, may create stories, conduct little outreach, and generate a fraction of the backlinks that the rest of us do while still outranking us.

Sites with a high domain rating are typically reliable resources that can produce content and rank for it, whilst the rest of us must work much more.

As a result, if you’re trying to rank a blog for a site, odds are you’ll be up against a media site or some other well-known behemoth in your vertical.

This is also why you should focus more of your efforts on locating and generating content for keywords and topics with high traffic and low competition.

Bottom line: high DR sites can target high keyword difficulty themes and usually rank for them; low DR sites, on the other hand, can’t.

So, how do we characterise a site with a high DR?

High DR locations are assessed on a scale of 0 to 100, but they can also be assessed at the industry level, implying that a high DR is industry-related.

Forbes, for example, is a generic site with a DR of 93 that covers a wide range of topics. Forbes may or may not be targeting the same keywords as you.

You might not have to compete with generic high-DR sites like Forbes in that instance (you lucky dog).

If you don’t, you’ll be competing with sites in your industry that have a higher DR than yours, which means you’ll have to be more deliberate with your keyword research and subject creation.

On the other hand, certain industry sites have extremely high DR.

If you’re in the real estate industry, for example, you’ll almost certainly be competing with Realtor.com (DR90) or Zillow (DR91). For many of the same keywords/topics, we’re up against industry and general sites.

That’s fine; we’ll still be able to compete with these sites!

Where to Find High Volume, Low Competition Keywords

Let’s look at three terrific ways I prefer to find high volume, low competition keywords now that we know why low competition keywords are so essential to so many of us.

Note that determining what constitutes a high volume keyword might be subjective. During your investigation, you may discover that you’re focusing on topics with thousands of monthly searches, while other times you’re focusing on issues with hundreds. Keep in mind that the target keyword and topic may create a lot of long-tail traffic in any case, which is why we’ll use this research to piece together full topics.

Method 1: Using Google SERPs to Reverse Engineer Results

When it comes to keyword research, you might start with a specific topic in mind, or you can simply browse competitors’ websites to get ideas. The first method pertains to the former.

For example, Castle Wealth Management, a financial planning client of mine, manages a lot of wealth for high-net-worth clients and wanted to start a blog about trusts.

As an SEO and content marketing service, we encourage our customers to be more selective about what they cover before jumping into a specific topic just because they want to.

Because I work in finance, I knew we’d be up against giants like Forbes (DR 93), Nerd Wallet (DR 86), and Kiplinger (DR 86).

Using the Ahrefs Chrome extension’s statistics on DR, Referring Domains, and Keywords a URL ranks for, we immediately saw that generic trust articles like “What is a trust?” were actually dominated by the likes of large businesses like Bankrate.

The issue also had a Keyword Difficulty (KD) of 29, the top post had 40 referring domains (RD), and the top site had an 89-point domain rating. We opted to move on from this topic because the goal is to generally be in the top three ranks.

We realised the long-tail topic “why would you place your house in a trust?” was ripe for the grabbing after a few searches. This same keyword receives 200 monthly searches, as shown below.
In terms of volume, 200 isn’t exactly a gold mine, but you’ll see that you occasionally need to look beyond the major keyword volume and keep a watch on long-tail traffic.

When we looked into this, we discovered that a site (Darrow Wealth Management) had a similar DR (31 vs. our client’s 27) and was ranked first.

Furthermore, their post on the subject had only seven referring domains and was in the top 100 for over 1,600 keywords, many of which were in the top 100.

You can check at all of the keywords, their volume, keyword difficulty, position, and more in Ahrefs to get a sense of how your competition stands up.
As you can see, Darrow Wealth Management is in the top five results for a lot of searches linked to “why would you place your house in a trust.”

Now that we have this information, we can look even more closely at our primary term to see what kind of backlink profile we’ll need to rank on Page 1 of Google.

According to Ahrefs, a keyword difficulty of 3 indicates that we’ll need links from roughly 4 domains to rank in the top ten for this phrase. This measure isn’t always accurate, as we were able to rank #2 for this search with just one backlink.

Fast forward three months after the blog was published, and you’ll notice that our high volume, low competition plan paid off.

Take a look at how our client’s site is performing presently for related keywords:

Despite the fact that the site does not rank first for the target keyword, we only actively constructed one backlink to the page and have seen significant results from our technique. The blog grew organically over the next eight months, ranking for over 500 long-tail searches:

This isn’t the only way to come up with keywords and themes to write about. You can also delegate all of your tasks to software.

Oh, and if you’re thinking, “Well, there’s really no competition for that, so this method is a joke,” simply look at the high DR sites that are also competing for the keyword that our strategy has beaten out.

Our technique placed our customer in second place, beating out sites with one referring domain such as SFGate (DR90), CNN (DR92), and Pocket Sense (DR70).

Method 2: Using Keyword Software to Target Specific Topics

Another efficient technique to locate high volume, low competition keywords is to use software to help you filter through data. The Ahrefs Material Explorer has some fantastic filters for finding low-hanging fruit material.

Start by conducting a broad keyword search. For instance, “garment bag.”

You should now see a number of pages in the index that have your chosen term. In this situation, the index contains almost 14,000 pages, thus I’d like to remove them.

There are other factors to consider and filters to apply, but part of the pleasure is experimenting with the tool.

However, you’ll want to start by filtering out any pages that aren’t ranking for anything. For starters, I’ll set the organic traffic filter to “From: 500,” which will only show pages that rank for more than 500 keywords. Depending on the outcome, you can be more or less aggressive.

In this scenario, the filter returns 173 pages, which is a good result given where it started.

I’ll also filter sites with a DR30 or higher because I want sites with a low or moderate domain rating.

I do this because I want to know how likely it is that I’ll be able to identify a topic that a low DR site ranks for and that my site will be able to do the same.

However, this isn’t always the case. For low competition, large traffic topics, high DR sites can be gold mines. However, in this case, we’ll stick to low-DR sites with limited competition and high-traffic blogs from which we can take content.

We can now see that there are ten pages to analyse based on our “garment bags” topic with our updated filter set:

All we have to do now is look through the organic traffic tabs on each site to see if there are any keyword prospects that satisfy the Holy Grail criteria.

Voila! The SEO goldmine of the Holy Grail!

The initial blog includes a lot of themes, and the stats indicate that it’s a good idea to cover them all.

To begin with, the site’s referring domains are all at once, the site’s index contains almost 1,200 keywords, the keywords I see appearing are all of the very low keyword difficulty, and the volume of the keywords, both collectively and for a few isolated ones, is very high (ex. “Garment bag carry on” 1,600 volume, KD1; “garment duffel bag” 500 volume, KD1).

I may go through the same investigative procedure on the other sites on the list and jot down the other keywords I want to target in my blog.

This method is excellent, but the other method can often find ideas even more quickly. And that’s how you uncover high-volume, low-competition Holy Grail material via competitors.

Method 3: Looking at Competitors to Find HV/LCK Keywords

Mine rivals’ sites for keywords and blog ideas is one of my favourite Holy Grail SEO tactics.

Even sites with a high DR can be gold mines for low-competition, high-volume keywords.

And, as we saw with the Castle Wealth Management example, a well-written low-competition keyword target can win out sites with a high DR.

Let’s use our finance scenario as an example. This is a fiercely competitive business, with specialty sites, industry sites, and general news sites like CNN all vying for attention.

I’ll go to NerdWallet, one of the most popular financial advice sites, to see if there are any high-volume themes I can address.

To analyze the website, I use Ahrefs Site Explorer. We can use this tool to sort themes by Top Sites (pages that the software says rank for a lot of keywords) and apply a Keyword Difficulty filter.

I set the KD filter to 10 in this situation (although you could probably go a lot lower to see what you find).

Look through the filtered options to see if there are any contextually relevant topics that you believe your audience would be interested in.

For example, if I run a general financial counselling website, I may consider topics like “how to fill out a money order” and “best time to buy a television.”

To dig deeper, I open the Organic Keyword report for each and examine the results’ Volume and Keyword Difficulty.

It’s also worth mentioning the Position, as it demonstrates that solid rankings can be replicated with a similar blog.

When we compare the keyword difficulty of these two topics, we can observe that the “Best time to buy a TV” topic has a little greater keyword difficulty. The majority of the keywords are in the eighties, while “How to fill out a money order” is in the sixties.

Furthermore, there appears to be a lot greater search volume for the money order core keyword – 23,000 versus 11,000 – indicating that there is a lot more competition.

You may choose to cover both topics in the end, but if you must choose between the two, you should choose the easier of the two.

If you go a little deeper, you’ll want to figure out how many backlinks you’ll need for each. For the money order and TV blogs, you’ll need roughly 7 and 9 links, respectively.

Putting Your Keyword Competition Data Together to Create Complete Topics

I’ll be the first to confess that conducting thorough keyword research is merely the first step. If you want the study to help you increase traffic, you’ll still need to implement it appropriately.

Here are some additional pointers on how to get the grail home.

Keyword Research Still Needs to Be Complemented with Great Writing

Yes, good keyword research does not imply that you can write mediocre blogs. This may seem self-evident, but let’s get it out of the way first. Here are some sites that can assist you:

Aside from strong writing, one suggestion I have for you is to be thorough while researching a topic. Being thorough with a topic is a combination of research and reasoning, and it frequently requires a slew of keyword-rich sub-topics, in my experience.

Take a look at the keyword data for the aforementioned “garment bags” study, for example:

We know we have keyword data and volume from here, but that alone isn’t enough to bring the blog to life.

Then we’ll apply some reasoning to figure out what would make fantastic talking points in our piece while also being mindful of keyword chances. So, let’s say you decide to write a general piece about the “15 Best Garment Bags of 2019.”

You may then utilise the keyword data to split down some interesting sub-topics with a lot of interest.

Note that I don’t always focus on themes with low keyword difficulty for the subtopic section. This is useful, but if a sub-topic is relevant to your piece, don’t be scared to address it.

The Quest for Holy Grail SEO Never Ends

The capacity to generate traffic to high-volume, low-competition websites is extremely genuine. It’s an excellent technique for new websites, startups, companies with little to no domain rating, and sites that just wish to increase traffic.

The research is actually pretty straightforward and can be completed in a matter of minutes with a little practice. While link building is never ruled out as a deliverable, it’s good to see traffic increase without having to invest a lot of time and resources in link development.


Give Holy Grail SEO a shot for yourself, and I guarantee it will improve your content marketing approach if done correctly.

Leave a Comment

error: Content is protected !!