Defining Niche Keywords and Keyword Difficulty – Developing a New Essential and Unique SEO Tool

Niche Keywords

It is well known among search engine optimizers that finding “niche keywords” is fundamental to attracting visitors to a website. There are many keyword suggestion tools out there that claim to find niche keywords, but in practice they generate lists of keywords with no practical means or guide to separate the niche keywords for us. In this article, “keywords” includes keyword phrases.

How do we define a niche keyword?

Surprisingly, there doesn’t even seem to have been a serious attempt at defining a “niche keyword”.

The following definition is recommended: A niche keyword is defined as an above-threshold search volume for a website’s target location with the potential for top ten positioning on the search engine results page (SERP) for that location (country).


Although websites remain accessible from any location, the vast majority of websites target visitors within a country, state/county/province, or city/municipality. Few websites aim to provide information generally or sell it internationally. Location-based search is the fastest growing sector on the web – currently estimated at 12%. A search that includes a location has a better chance of converting on ecommerce and emarketing websites.

When we search niche keywords for location-based websites, we need data on the number of searches performed for that location and an assessment of the competition for the country-specific search engines. The most well-known search engine is Google. Examples of country-specific Google search engines are, (Canada), (France) and (Japan). Aside from having the largest search database and being free, the Google keyword research tool has the benefit of offering both global and country-specific monthly search volumes.

threshold search volume

The acceptable search volume threshold for a website depends on its purpose.

A global information website might choose a search volume threshold of a thousand searches per month before considering creating a keyword-focused website.

A website that seeks customers within a location might find the return on investment for developing a website on a keyword with the potential to attract even one additional customer per month acceptable.

Top 10 positioning on search engine results pages

Few searchers click on websites that are positioned in the top ten SERPs. While 42% of searchers click the first-ranked webpage for a search, only 0.7% of searchers click the 11th-ranked webpage and 0.07% click the 41st-ranked webpage. In other words, if the first webpage for a keyword gets 600 visitors, the 11th webpage gets 10 visitors and there is only one click on the 41st page. From an SEO point of view, a website that cannot rank in the top ten positions for a keyword in the SERPs is not going to bring in much traffic.

keyword difficulty

Keyword Difficulty is a rating of a webpage’s likelihood of ranking in the top ten positions on a SERP for a keyword.


Traditionally, the competition was primarily judged by the number of “results”, ie the number of competing websites. The Keyword Effectiveness Index – KEI – is the most popular formula for identifying “effective” keywords. It includes keyword popularity data (P = number of searches) and competition (C). The formula is P2/C.

A search invariably returns at least hundreds of competing websites (results), and often millions. While the number of results will give an indication of keyword difficulty, it is the strength of the top ten web pages compared to the potential strength of the page we can create on our website that will determine if our page ranks in the top Ten can reach. The competitive strength of the top ten competing websites for a keyword is not a direct function of the total number of competing websites. The strength of the competition of the top 10 competing websites for a keyword with only 10,000 competitors will be far greater than one-thousandth the strength of the competition for a keyword with 10 million competitors.

From a search engine optimization perspective, every website should be optimized around a keyword.

From a web design perspective, we need to consider three types of web pages:

1. Pages that need to cover the topic of the site but are based on keywords that are so competitive that they are unlikely to achieve top positioning and therefore will not bring traffic to the site. For example, a website that advertises vacation rentals might produce an excellent page about “Italy.” If it provides useful information, it will be appreciated by visitors who come to the site. High SERP positioning for “Italy” is unlikely, no matter how much effort you put into it, and this page will not bring visitors from the search engines.

2. Pages that need to cover the topic of the website and are based on niche keywords and can bring traffic to the website – in practice there shouldn’t be many of them.

3. Pages that are not obviously required to cover the site’s topic, but are designed around relevant niche keywords from a list of keywords originally generated by a keyword suggestion tool. The difficulty here is extracting the niche keywords from the full list. We need to focus our precious time and SEO efforts on the niche keywords that we can successfully compete with.

How do we find the niche keywords from a list of keywords originally generated by a keyword suggestion tool?

In 2004, Google included an estimated 200 factors in its positioning algorithm. In 2009, many search optimization optimizers believe that Google now uses more than 300 factors. It is unlikely that each of these factors carries equal weight.

Using a retro-analysis of the ten best-positioned websites for numerous keyword searches, the author identified the most important but underestimated factor in Google’s algorithm that determines positioning on SERPs (HomePage PageRank or G-Factor-I). It then turned out that a second factor (G-Factor-II – a hidden increase in the effective PageRank of homepages competing for a keyword) significantly influenced the positioning.

Once I was aware of G-Factor-I, identifying niche keywords by manually analyzing a list of keywords generated by my favorite keyword suggestion tool proved prohibitively time-consuming. For a list of 50 keywords, each of the top 10 websites needs to have its G-Factor-I – 500 calculations. A unique specially designed program – Keyword SEO Pro – was commissioned. No analysis is required for G-factor II.

The most important question in search engine optimization

The most common question I get asked by website owners is “How can I get my webpages to the top of the SERPs for my keywords?” My advice may surprise you: take out the “how”!

You then have the most important question for website owners and search engine optimizers to ask:

“Can I get my website to the top of the SERPs for my keywords?”

By combining KeywordSEOPro to analyze G-Factor I for a list of keywords and comparing it to G-Factor I and II for your own web pages, you can identify your niche keywords and focus your SEO efforts accordingly. A more detailed explanation can be found on the website.

Source by David Viniker

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