Optimizing for low Volume Topics – What To Do When There is Little to No Search Volume
“What are the keywords we want to focus on?”
It’s the #1 question asked at the beginning of every SEO campaign or before starting a content marketing campaign. Improving website organic search traffic is an important part of a digital marketing strategy. Every professional agency will always perform keyword research on the most utilized keywords before performing SEO services, creating content, or starting a digital campaign.
After all, why put out content without any semblance of search volume, right?
What if your topic doesn’t have any monthly search volume?
This is a common issue every SEO Agency encounters if a business happens to be “too niche,” or maybe if the service is brand new to the marketplace. You can’t have search volume if no one knows what your business is in the first place. So the question remains: how can you stimulate SEO results without any search volume?
We’re going to break down five ways to craft a starting point for your content development, even without high-volume keywords.
Strategy #1: Do SERP and/or a Competitive Analysis
SERP, if you’re unfamiliar, is a search engine results page (the page a search engine displays all of the results of a query). Try to research your niche topic beforehand to see what kinds of results pop up. The more relative searches you test, the better of an idea you’ll have of what kinds of keywords are common for the topic you’re focused on (and may help narrow down useful keywords).
In addition to utilizing SERP, do some in-depth research on your competitors. What kind of content are they producing? How are they optimizing that content? The more you spy, the more you’ll be able to learn what does or doesn’t work, and how to compete with the content that’s already out there.
Strategy #2: Write What You Know
Yep, you read that right. A great way to get leads on content is to go back to the basics: writing what you know. Too often businesses will dish out content for the sole purpose of SEO results instead of producing honest, genuine topic pieces.
Google has already confirmed that 15% of searches are brand new and have never been searched before. With upwards of two-trillion searches each year, that’s an abundance of search activity that isn’t being recognized in monthly search volume metrics.
By writing thorough, relevant content on a subject, you will offer up new content for Google to crawl and then index where it fits best in its search index. We know this may sound a bit confusing, “aren’t you now just publishing your best content into the abyss of the web?” Not exactly! Leading into our next tip, as long as you follow up with additional research and edits, optimizing your niche-topic may be easier than you think.
Strategy #3: Do Keyword Research After-The-Fact
Start by publish the great quality content that you have from strategy #2. Make sure that content has quality, relevant, interior links throughout your site and google can easily crawl this new content. After your content has had the opportunity to get indexed in search, use Google Search Console to identify any keywords that Google is recognizing your page for.
Once you see how Google is deciphering your content, you can reposition your content to better match your service. For example, if you find out that Google is interpreting your article to match a completely different set of keywords than what’s relevant to your brand, then you can work from there to add, remove, or change your content to better represent the topic.
While in this phase, make sure to uncover any new keywords that are gaining traction in your industry; Ahrefs is a great resource. This tool helps you to keep up to date on your search rank versus your competitors, and how to match or beat what they’re doing. It’s also a great way to track your social exposure versus others in your vertical, which will help build up your brand as mentioned in our next tip.
Strategy #4: Use Alternate Brand-Building Methods
So how else can you optimize content that may not be of high volume in search results? Use alternative marketing methods to promote your brand and content. Focus in on your target audience, use methods such as social media marketing to promote your brand and service.
While this isn’t exactly Search Engine Optimization, you will be creating more activity around your brand. The more (quality) brand content you release, the better chance you’ll have of a natural increase in search volume.
While this may seem like we’re saying “don’t do SEO,” it’s a very valid course of action when it comes to niche services and products. The faster you can get the word out and gain traction, the faster you can start optimizing.
It’s important to note that you make sure your content is specifically reaching your target market, so be sure to try various media methods: the more display ads you can craft, social media posts you can promote, podcast episodes you can sponsor, etc., the quicker you’ll gain brand awareness.
Strategy #5: Write About the Solution, Not the Topic
Let’s talk about results and solutions. While it may be instinctual to write and produce content surrounding the topic of your brand, service, or product, sometimes writing about the solution you’re offering will garner more results.
Think about it – consumers don’t always know what product they need, they just know the result they need. By switching up your content to serve as a solution to one or more pain points you may uncover an entirely new set of keywords.
This is also another opportunity to go full-throttle on your branding by creating content pieces (surrounding your solution) that can be distributed through all types of media channels, incorporating even more online attention and search results.
Build Brand, Then Volume
These five tips are extremely helpful when starting an SEO campaign for a new business, a niche product, or a unique service offering. By thinking through the best ways to utilize digital resources to find unique keywords, reworking content to better suit your topic, rerouting to a full on promotional campaign, or simply focusing on the solutions you provide, your “too niche” topic is sure to generate search volume over time.
The next time a colleague asks, ““What are the keywords we want to focus on?” reroute the question to “What’s the best method to build our brand organically?” and build from there.