How To Do Keyword Research With SEMrush – 4 Easy Steps

How To Do Keyword Research With SEMrush: So, you just created your brand-new website, and you’re ready to take on the market, but once you start doing keyword research, you realize that the competition is wild.

So, how can you find the best lowest competition keywords?

That’s what we’ll find out today. So, let’s begin.

Why low-competition keywords are important

Of course, we all know that doing keyword research is essential for a business, but you need to be smart about the keywords you choose because choosing enough low competition keywords will help you boost your website’s rank.

I’ll show you 4 steps that will guide you on how to do keyword research with SEMrush & find the best keywords that also have the lowest competition.

So let’s start with the first step. 

Step #1 Building Initial Keyword List with Organic Research and Keyword Gap Tool

semrush organic research tool

To do this, go to Organic Research, enter a competitor’s domain name in the search bar, and click search.


semrush organci research keywords data

What you will get as a result is a list of keywords that your competitor’s website is currently ranking for in Google’s top 100 organic search results.

Keep in mind that you can also use filters to find keywords that are most relevant to your website.

You can see here an example I made with the word “vegan”. Of course, if you repeat this process with a long list of competitors’ domains, you will get a huge keyword list, and you can export all these results in an XLS file so that you can keep all the results together.

In case this was not enough, I’m going to show you an alternative with the Keyword Gap Tool.

Using the Keyword Gap Tool, you can view unique keywords per domain and export your results just as you did for the Organic Research report.

semrush keyword gap tool

All you have to do is enter your website and four of your competitors.

Then, you set the filter from “shared” to “all keywords” in the filters tab.

semrush keyword gap tool export data

Exporting also these results will give you a good bird’s eye view of what’s the situation in your market right now.

 Let’s move on with the second step.

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Step #2 Expanding List With The Keyword Magic Tool

semrush keyword magic tool

Now I know what you must be thinking: “Why in the world am I expanding this list which is already huge?!” Well, the answer is pretty simple: it will make easier for you later, to filter it down to find the most accessible keywords.

To do this, you can go to the Keyword Magic Tool, where you can find and create the best longtail keywords for your project. 

You’ll be able to find “phrase match” keywords, which is a list of expanded keyword phrases that include your queried term, but also you can find related keywords, which are phrases that are semantically related to your queried term, and may not share the same phrasing but still give you back similar results.

And to top all of that, you’ll be able to check also the section “questions” where we’ll show you all the keyword phrases that include a keyword question, like “who” “what”, “where”, “when”, “why” or “how”.

Just let me expand a little bit on this: to be able to find exactly what is the customer’s pain and finding the questions related to your queried term will make it so much easier to create great content that you will already know the answers to search intent.

Okay, we’re done with expanding lists now and we can move on to step three

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Step #3 Find Low Competition Keywords With High Traffic 

 So if you’re reading this article (how to do keyword research with semrush) you probably know that the average monthly search volume for a keyword shows you how much potential traffic you can get to your website. 

 Of course, though, we all know that the keywords with the highest volume are also the most difficult ones to rank for because of the high competition.

So the solution to this is to try and find a balance between a keyword search volume and competition level. 

To help you with that SEMrush can come in handy with two main ways of filtering keywords: Keyword Difficulty and Competition Level. 

So what are Keyword Difficulty and Competition Level?

Keyword Difficulty is an estimation of how hard it would be to outrank the current website that is ranking for particular keywords in Google’s top spots.

Competition Level is the density of advertisers that are using a particular keyword for their ads.

I understand that this metric is usually referred to as competition in paid search, but I still think it can be somewhat representative of what is happening also in the organic search. 

So when you make your reports always make sure that in your files you have two columns for these specific metrics. 

And now that I’ve explained to you what they are you probably must be asking yourself: “But how do I understand which are the best ones?” 

Well, I’ll give you a couple of numbers that will help you sort out that question: so about Keyword Difficulty as a general rule, I would suggest you that a Keyword Difficulty which is above 80% is probably the most difficult to target for and I wouldn’t suggest pursuing that.

Keywords from 60 to 80 percent are average, which means that it won’t be impossible to rank for them but it also won’t be exactly a piece of cake.

Keywords below 60% are the easiest ones to rank for but also the hardest to find. 

The same goes for the Competition Level: if a keyword has a competition level of above 0.80 it means that probably a lot of advertisers are already using it or trying to rank for this keyword, which probably means that the user has a transaction intent when looking for that specific keyword.

The keywords from 0.6 to 0.8 are average, which means that there is an average density of advertisers trying to rank for these, and the ones below 0.60 are the ones with the least competition.

This could mean two things: either they are just not profitable, or a lot of advertisers in your niche haven’t exactly understood the full potential of these keywords.

 So… might be a goldmine, might be not.

So now we’re ready for the fourth step in our list. 

Step #4 Filter Keyword List Using Keyword Manager 

semrush keyword manager tool

Start with a filter for Keyword Difficulty to only look at keywords with a KD score, which is less than 75.

This will allow you to find some very high volume target keywords that won’t be impossible or extremely hard to rank for.

A quick way to estimate what are the best keywords, after you have filtered what we have left just as I have shown you, is to put them inside of the Keyword Manager. 

In the Keyword Manager, you can enter up to a thousand keywords at a time, and you can create multiple lists. 

You’ll be able to refresh the data on all your selected keywords in a simple click so that you will always have the freshest results to create your best strategy. 

And also, you can look through advanced filters, this will help you understand specific metrics about your keywords, and you’ll be able to see if they trigger a featured snippet. 

Featured snippets are good for SEO, and you should always take note if one keyword or a lot of your keywords can trigger one of these. Because if you write your content in the right way, you might be able to take over the featured snippet with your link.

Final Thoughts

So as we’ve seen, keyword research is essential for a business to thrive in the market, but you need to be smart and choose carefully the keywords that you want to target.

So always remember to, first of all, believe in your SEO and, second, follow these steps:

  • Check your competition and build your initial keyword list. 

Once you’ve done that, enrich this list with related keywords, phrase match keywords, and question

Then, check your competition and the keyword difficulty of your competitors.

After you’ve implemented, don’t forget to keep researching low competition keywords regularly, and of course, track your rankings to see if they’re growing!

Have you ever done anything similar? What’s your process for low competition keywords research? Let me know in the comments below!

I hope, now you get the idea about how to do keyword research with SEMrush to find low competition keywords for your website. 

Having any questions or query, please feel free to comment below.

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