4 Important Keyword Metrics
There are a few things we’re looking at here to determine the competitiveness of this keyword.
1. Monthly Search Volume
This is the average monthly search volume of each keyword (based on your target location). Here, we’re targeting the United States. You can see that for ‘coffee’, the volume is 369k searches per month. For ‘best coffee maker with grinder’, it’s 2.6k searches per month.
At Content Refined, we generally look for keywords with over 500 searches per month. This ensures we’re casting a wide enough net to gain some traction with our keyword, but that we’re also searching for specific terms that might not have thousands upon thousands of searches per month. This goes hand in hand with our other metrics, which will determine the likelihood of being able to rank for each keyword.
2. Keyword Difficulty
This is a score provided by Ahrefs’ algorithm, which estimates the difficulty to organically rank (rank without using paid advertising) for each keyword.
On the Ahrefs site, they explain the keyword difficulty score as being “calculated by taking a weighted average of the number of linking domains to the current top-ranking pages. The result is then plotted on a logarithmic scale from 0 to 100 (low difficulty to high).” It then suggests a number of backlinks needed for that keyword to be able to rank, based on the average from the already-ranking results.
At Content Refined we look for a keyword difficulty score of under 30.
This metric is important for websites that are monetized with PPC (pay-per-click) ads. It shows the average price that an advertiser will pay for a “click on their ad in paid search results for a target keyword in a given country.”
If you have a niche site where you’re building up authority in a particular space and monetizing through Google AdWords or BingAds, you’ll definitely want to take CPC into consideration when choosing keywords.
4. Domain Rating or Domain Authority
A website’s domain rating or domain authority indicates how popular and powerful it is for its specific field or niche. This is determined by several factors, but Ahrefs describes it as follows:
Domain Rating (DR) shows the relative “backlink popularity” of the website compared to all other websites in our database on a 100-point logarithmic scale (higher = stronger). We calculate DR based on the number of websites linking to the domain’s URLs and their backlink profile strength.
Basically, they’re looking at how much traffic is coming and going from each website. Are there lots of other websites linking to this website? To Google’s algorithm, that shows that people know, like, and trust the website, because they constantly visit it and refer to it. In other words, it has a strong presence in its network.
The higher the rating (closer to 100), the more power and authority that website carries.
Domain rating is important for keyword research, because we want to know that we have the potential to beat out the top competition in search results.
So, we can look at the domain rating for the websites that appear in the top results for each keyword.
Let’s go back to our coffee examples. Here are the top results and domain ratings for the keyword ‘coffee’: