Why Targeting Low Search Volume Keywords Is A Good Thing? – Case Study

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It’s a common believe that low search volume keywords are worthless and should be avoided when doing keyword research or optimizing a site.

The problem with this believe is that many large companies have caught up in the SEO game and have REALLY started to spend time and money to optimize their sites.

These large companies tend to focus on high search volume keywords because even with their resource, it’s impossible to optimize millions of pages they have on the site with 10 full time SEO professionals.

As a result, the competition level for high search volume keywords is brutal. Unless you have a really strong brand and many backlinks, plus well optimized site, good luck ranking for those high search volume keywords.

On the other hand, thanks to this heavily skewed focus, many of the top ranked pages for low search volume keywords are not optimized and ready for small guys like us to take over.

Having said that though, please note there are still low competition keywords with high search volume out there. The real key to rank high really is to understand the competition level, which has been discussed in this post previously in case you are interested.

Are all low search volume keywords easy to rank?

Not always but more likely in comparison to high search volume keywords. In this world, nothing is 100% and this is why mathematical methods exist to help us make decisions :).

The biggest reason low search volume keywords are easier to rank is due to lower competition (again, many people are focusing on high . Here are some of the reasons (based on my personal biased observation) why people don’t go after low search volume keywords.

  • Low search volume keywords simply have low search volume = will not bring in traffic
  • They don’t know how to tell which keywords are easier to rank so why bother spending time on low search volume keywords? Just go for the high ones!
  • They don’t look at search volume at all!

So is targeting low search volume keywords a good thing?

Based on my personal experience, yes it is.

In fact let me show you a case study in the following video (sorry, it’s a member’s only video. Please join us to access it).

A brief outline has been shown in the following and details have been stripped out.

Full details including the targeted keyword, analytics data, as well as ranking data are shown in the video.

The case study outline

  • Competition level for this particular low search volume keyword was identified using the methods described here.
  • We did not carry out persona development for this particular post.
  • We targeted a keyword relatively closer to the end of buying funnel.
  • The post was created in March 2015.
  • The post now ranks for approximately 70 keywords (based on SEMrush.com data) – even though it is optimized only for the target keyword we chose (watch the video for more details).


targeted keyword

The target keyword’s monthly average search volume


analytics data for the target keyword

Organic traffic (orange line) landing to the post optimized for the target keyword


ranking for 70 keywords

SEMrush.com data shows this post is ranking for 70 keywords

The case study video for targeting low search volume keywords

DRM video thumbnail with button
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