August 13

Important Reasons to Target Zero Volume Search Keywords

Online marketing


When you hear zero search volume, you are automatically wondering why we would discuss such a topic. There is zero interest in these keywords, right? Nobody uses them. Here, you are wrong. And this is the reason we do recommend you to target zero volume search keywords.

What Are Zero Volume Search Keywords?

The name is rather misleading, because it does not mean that there are no searches performed using these keywords. First of all, let us define zero search keywords as phrases similar to long tail keywords, in the sense that they contain at least four words.

Secondly, what you actually see in keyword planners and search tools is not 0, but N/A. Thus, these are highly specific keywords, for which the tools have too little information to display a clear search volume.

There are many reasons for this lack of information:

  • They are used in a specific business niche
  • They are B2B keywords
  • They are popular among people in a low population area
  • They represent alternative spelling of various words (US vs. Australian spelling).

Where Do You Find Zero Volume Search Keywords?

Before we explain the reasons to target zero volume search keywords, let us tell you how to find them. You have several methods available:

1. Google Auto-Complete

The auto-complete function in Google Search is very useful for finding long tail and zero volume search keywords. As you start typing, make sure that you do not stop after your main keyword, but add a business domain or location specific word as well. You will get long suggestions (5-6 or longer phrases), but they usually read like natural speech, so they will be easy to integrate in your content.

2. Search Query Aggregators

Some web platforms provide helpful suggestions when you do not know how to create new blog topics. Answer the Public (recently acquired by Neil Patel and soon to be integrated into his Ubersuggest keyword research tool) is one of the most popular platforms of this type.

How does it work? You type in your main keyword and get actual questions asked by users in Google searches. The topics are grouped by search intent to help you identify the most relevant ones for you:

  • Who
  • Why
  • What
  • Where
  • When
  • Which.

For example, a search for “leather shoes” will deliver 80 results, such as:

  • When to wear leather shoes
  • Are leather shoes waterproof
  • Why leather shoes are better
  • What leather shoes with jeans.

Thus, this tool provides you with ample opportunities to target zero volume search keywords and identify new content topics at the same time.

3. Intercept Keywords

An intercept keyword may appear counterproductive because it involves using a major competitor brand in your key phrase. But you don’t even know how effective this is. Many people know top brands, but are looking for simpler or more affordable alternatives – your products.

Imagine a stay at home mother looking for sports equipment to work out at home. She knows a major brand such as Under Armour, but those are premium products she can’t afford. On several occasions, such a user will type “affordable alternative to Under Armour”. Here is your intercept keyword to use for your family friendly priced sports equipment.

4. Piggyback Keywords

In this instance, you do not target a directly competing brand, but one that sells complementary products. For example, many people use smart fitness bracelets to track their progress.

Before they buy a product, they want to know if it is compatible with their smartphone. Thus, your fitness bracelet brand can piggyback on top smartphone brands, from Apple iPhone to Samsung or Huawei and attract customers to your online store.

Why Should You Target Zero Search Volume Keywords?

Now that you know how to identify such keywords, the question remains: why should you use them? Here are our answers:

1. You Can Create a Precisely Targeted SEO Strategy

Each business has a unique selling proposition and attracts uniquely qualified clients. In many cases, there is not a lot of specialisation in your products and services. But you never know.

Let’s say you sell leather shoes, as in the example above. There is much to say about them, and many people ask various questions about such shoes. One of the questions actually asked by users is “why do leather shoes squeak?”

Now, let us imagine that your shoes are carefully made and do not squeak or deteriorate quickly. As odd as it may seem, targeting the specific question about squeaky shoes may bring you several customers who do not like this particular issue about leather shoes.

2. You Have Fewer Competitors

It may seem like a no-brainer, but we say it: you should target zero search volume keywords to stand out from your competitors. You won’t have many other sites to compete with and you get the chance to make it among the top Google Search results with a careful content strategy in place.

Why fight hard for highly competing keywords when you can reach out to customers who happen to use a less usual combination of words in their search queries?

3. Weed Out Unqualified Site Visitors

We mentioned, among others, the fact that zero search volume keywords are specific to the B2B sector. So, if you are selling products and services only to other companies, not to consumers, you do not want traffic from people looking for a retail product.

You want to get corporate buyers, purchasing managers and other similar job titles on your site and open discussions for a procurement agreement. And this is why you should target zero search volume keywords. Here’s one simple instance: replace “buy” with “procure” or “purchase” in the key phrase. A regular person is not likely to type “procure leather shoes” in the Google Search bar.

4. Generate Additional Website Traffic

Let’s say that you are doing really well in the ranking for your main keywords. You are successfully competing for moderate to high search volume keywords and get a steady flow of traffic to your site.

Now, the question is: why shouldn’t you generate more traffic? If you target zero volume search keywords, your main keywords are not negatively impacted. Instead, you will get more traffic from people who usually perform more detailed and less common searches.

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