- Keyword difficulty (KD) scores help understand potential search engine performance
- KD scores help build strategies, filter out ineffective keywords
- Low-competition keywords give an advantage in attracting traffic
- Some KD calculating tools may be inaccurate due to the use of limited parameters
- Semrush has calculations that it says has improved accuracy
With countless companies competing for the same audience, digital marketerscontent strategy to find a way through the crowded market and connect with potential customers. Keyword difficulty (KD) is an essential metric to assist marketers in formulating an effective results pages (SERP).
Focusing on a keyword with a low KD score can achieve faster results with traffic from search engines as there is less competition. Whereas keywords with a higher KD score will typically have far more competition in search results, making it much harder to appear of SERPs in the short term. Long-term improvements are achievable but will take measures to be implemented.
KD calculation tools can determine a keyword’s effectiveness in search results. However, a lot can depend on the SEO tools thatare using. Such devices are not always accurate due to the limited parameters that can vary from developer to developer. The result is that the KD calculation may be inaccurate and even to believe that their keywords will perform better in practice than in reality—cSemrush, an online visibility management platform provider, has developed what it says is a proven formula to achieve an accurate KD percentage score based on in-depth patterns and client feedback—content created in partnership with Semrush.
How Semrush’s Keyword Difficulty platform works
This year, Semrush released an updated version of its KD metric. The new formula resulted from extensive lab testing by the company’s . They studied patterns of SERP activity for approximately 120,000 keywords, covering more than 100 parameters and varying contexts to determine an accurate KD value. The teams also analyzed the data to determine the difficulty that keywords would face in using SEO to appear on the first page of search results.
The three steps to decode your SERP standing and opportunities
Semrush’s platform has three steps to calculate the formula.
1. SERP analysis
The first involves SERP analysis, where the median value is identified for three metrics throughout URLs on the first page of search results. The three median values are:
- The number of referring domains pointing to the ranking URLs
- The authority score of the ranking domains
- The ratio of follow/no-follow links to the ranking URLs
2. Keyword parameter analysis
The second step is an analysis of keyword parameters. This considers the above SERP factors alongside a closer inspection of individual keywords. All elements are weighted differently in Semrush’s formula regarding the likelihood of influencing the first-page ranking. The parameter weighted theof referring domains for ranking URLs, totaling 41.22 percent. At the same time, the second-largest weighted share is the median authority score for ranking domains at 16.99 percent. Search volume is third at 9.47 percent, and the median follow/no-follow ratio for ranking URLs is a fraction lower in the fourth position at 9.17 percent. Other parameters include featured snippets, branded keywords, and site links, with the weighted share becoming progressively smaller. Factors that can harm the KD score are keywords with a high word count and no SERP features.
3. The calculations
The third step is the calculation itself. The formula also adapts for each country, considering a nation’s population size and the number of websites when calculating the KD score based on Semrush’s regional database.
What KD scores mean for your SEO performance
On Semrush’s KD platform, users can enter up to 100 keywords to check the KD score. Crucially, the platform can help the user find valuable low-competition keywords. KD scores can also be calculated for both long-tail and local keywords. In addition, the tool allows users to compare their SEO strategy with competitors to see what is performing well and identify any keyword gaps.
The results provide the user with the KD rating and advice on what to do next to gain hits. At theof the scale, 0-14 percent scores are classed “very easy,” with the most substantial likelihood of new pages appearing near the top of Google rankings without backlinks. The up is 15-29 percent, considered “easy”. While there may be some competition, achieving a high ranking for new web pages remains possible. However, this will require quality content based on the keywords.
Things get progressively more complicated as the KD scores get higher. For example, a score of 85-100 percent is classified as “very hard”, where keywords face the most vigorous competition and the odds are stacked against new websites breaking through. A, link building, and campaigns to promote content. In this instance, pay-per-click advertising may prove more beneficial. Download its recent whitepaper to learn more about Semrush and its Keyword Difficulty platform.