Should You Target Zero-Volume Keywords? (And How to Find Them)

Explore the untapped potential of zero-volume keywords in SEO, their types, and how targeting them can help you reach niche audiences, rank higher with less effort, and improve traffic quality.
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    Sarah Berry SEO Consultant
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  • October 25, 2023
  • 4 min. read

Can you really generate traffic from zero-volume keywords, or keywords with zero search volume data in keyword research tools like Ahrefs, Semrush, and Google Keyword Planner? The answer is yes, but there are some considerations before targeting zero- or low-volume keywords.

What are zero-volume keywords?

Zero-volume keywords are search queries with no or low search volume data in keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs, and Semrush. In search engine optimization (SEO), websites will target zero-volume keywords to reach audiences without the competition of high-volume keywords.

What are the types of zero-volume keywords?

There are a few types of zero-volume keywords, including:

  • New keywords, like “facebook threads”
  • Niche keywords, like “kid-friendly amusement park in tx for little kids”

Sometimes, these keywords will transition from zero-volume to long- or short-tail keywords. For example, the keyword “facebook threads” will gain search volume but might register as a zero-volume keyword at launch.

Why target zero-volume keywords?

There are several reasons why SEOs target zero-volume keywords, including:

Reach a niche audience

If you have a niche audience, you’ll often find high-volume keywords aren’t effective at reaching your unique market. Instead, you may use forums to connect with potential clients or partner with influencers.

Zero-volume keywords, however, can help you reach this market through organic search.

Rank higher with less effort

Another reason why some SEOs promote low-volume keywords is because of keyword competition.

Every keyword has a competition level — or how difficult it will be to rank for it. For example, ranking for “amusement parks” is likely more challenging than “kid-friendly amusement parks in tx.” You’ll probably find a keyword like “kid-friendly amusement parks in tx for little kids” even easier.

While this is an advantage of zero-volume keywords, you need to consider a keyword’s:

  • Relevance
  • Quality

You won’t generate qualified traffic if the keyword is irrelevant to your target market. That’s why it’s crucial to evaluate low-volume keywords before targeting them. They’re not worth your time and resources if they don’t contribute to your overall goal, like more qualified traffic.

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Improve traffic quality

SEOs also promote zero-volume keywords because they can improve traffic quality.

This benefit trickles down from having a niche audience. If you have a super-specific audience that uses an identified low-volume keyword, targeting and ranking for it can help your business attract more qualified traffic.

Remember that since you’re targeting a zero-volume keyword, though, you won’t see that much traffic.

Target voice search results

Businesses with an on-the-go audience or experimenting with voice search optimization will also find low-volume keywords valuable. That’s because voice searches have a different structure than text-based searches.

As an example, if you’re looking to eat somewhere, your searches might look like this:

  • Voice search: I’m looking for a good sushi place
  • Text search: sushi restaurants near me

Since voice search keyword data is limited or nonexistent in SEO and keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs (or Ahrefs alternatives), and Semrush, you’ll often find voice searches register as low- or zero-volume keywords.

Demonstrate thought leadership

Keywords without search volume can also help your business demonstrate thought leadership.

Targeting a new keyword, like “facebook threads,” can show readers that your company leads the industry. You stay updated on what’s happening in the market and have the experience to provide your thoughts and recommendations on new changes, products, or trends.

When should you target zero-volume keywords?

There are a few scenarios when you should consider targeting zero-volume keywords, including:

  • You want to appear as a thought leader and cover timelier topics
  • You want to reach a highly niche and qualified audience
  • You want to get ahead by targeting a keyword trending upward in search volume
  • You want to appear in voice search results

Before proceeding with low-volume keywords, it’s critical you:

  • Understand your target audience’s online behavior
  • Estimate your potential gains, like traffic or sales, from targeting these keywords
  • Balance your strategy with long- or short-tail keywords

While zero-volume keywords can be effective, we recommend diversifying your keyword targeting.

How to find zero-volume keywords

If you’re looking to use low-volume keywords, here are some tips on how to find zero-volume keywords:

  • Use Google Search Console’s query data
  • Use Google Search’s search suggestions
  • Use Google Search’s People Also Ask
  • Use online forums relevant to your target market

You can also use keyword research tools like Ahrefs, Semrush, or Google Keyword Planner to find low-volume search terms. If you’re looking for keywords with zero search volume, you won’t find them in these platforms.

Find the best keywords to target with SEO experts

Now that you know all about zero-volume keywords, help your business make the most of its keyword targeting. With SEO.com, you’ll have access to keyword insights for free, alongside competitor and content insights.

Try SEO.com for free today to start streamlining your SEO efforts.

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Sarah Berry is an SEO Consultant at one of the largest SEO agencies in the USA — WebFX. With more than 10,000 hours of SEO experience, she offers practical insights and strategies you can use to grow your rankings, traffic, and revenue from search.

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