What is Keyword Difficulty in SEO?

by | Feb 5, 2022 | Business | 4 comments

What is keyword Difficulty?

Do you know what is Keyword Difficulty? If you are looking for the answer, you are in the right place. 

Keyword research is an integral part of SEO and content marketing. And there are different terms in keyword research- Keyword Difficulty is a popular one. 

But you may ask, how does keyword difficulty affect SEO? In 2022, does it matter? 

In this blog, we will answer all your questions. We will discuss the keyword difficulty factors in detail and how they work. 

Before that, look at the overview of what keywords mean in SEO. 

What is Keyword in SEO?



As I’ve said, keyword is the one of the mostly used word in SEO, and let me start with an interesting factor. As we are discussing about the keyword difficulty, let’s find out what is the difficulty of the word ” SEO Keyword”. 

Any Guess? Let me give a hint. It’s very difficult. Well, let’s see the result now from SEMRush. 

Keyword difficulty example

Here is how SEMRush Described it: “The hardest keyword to compete for”. We will discuss more about it later. 

However, a keyword is a word or phrase that people search on the internet to ask any question or buy products. To have a better overview about it, you can read the following blog: 

What is Keyword in SEO? 

Types of Keywords


As we are going to discuss the keyword difficulty,you need to know more about types of keywords. Considering the search content, we can divide the keywords in 4 categories : 


  • Info Keywords
  • Navigation Keywords 
  • Commercial Keywords 
  • Transactional keywords 


There are more types of keywords, considering the length: 


  • Short Tail
  • Long tail 


For understanding keyword difficulty,  you need to understand the short tail and long tail keywords very well. It’s quite easy, keywords with one or two words are considered as short tail keywords. For example, 


Digital Marketing 


This is a perfect example of the short tail keyword. Do you want to see it shorter? 




Look, this type of keyword is called short tailed keywords. Targeting this type of keyword is quite difficult. Should you target the short tail keyword?  Usually the answer will be no, but we will give you some killer strategy to rank on short tail Keywords also. 


Now let’s talk about the long tailed keyword- most important one. 3 or more words are considered as long tail keywords. 


Chris Anderson popularized the term “long tail” by publishing his book, The Long Tail.


Now let me give you an example: 


SEO strategy 2022 or 

Digital marketing for business 


No matter if your target keyword is short or long, you can appear in the search result when you have a great strategy. 


There are more types of keywords, you need to know. 

What is focus Keyword? 



Focus keyword or target keyword is the keyword you target to rank in the search result. When you choose a focus keyword, keyword difficulty is an important factor to consider. Of course, you need to define your target keyword considering your topic, not how difficult to rank or keyword competition. Yet if you do not consider it, the game becomes harder, and the chances of ranking decreases. That’s why we emphasize on calculating keyword difficulty.

What is LSI keyword in SEO? 

LSI keyword or secondary keywords are important for ranking. You need to add relevant keywords for the content you are writing about. Besides, you can use the related contents as well, and when you are writing in a low volume and low difficult content, you can use the high search volume and high difficulty keywords as your LSI keywords. This is a pro tip that you may use to rank in high difficulty keywords also. 

What is the main purpose of using keywords in SEO? 

Do you know What is the main purpose of using keywords in SEO? The answer is easy, yet you need deep analysis to understand all its aspects. Read our Article on What is the main purpose of using keywords in SEO to understand keyword research process better. 

What is Keyword Difficulty in SEO? 


How hard it is to rank a keyword is keyword difficulty in SEO. To understand it, you have to learn about some phrases like keyword difficulty scores. Here is the explanation: 

Keyword Difficulty Score 



Now you have understood what keyword difficulty score is. We have a list of it that every keyword difficulty checker uses. check out the list of keyword difficulty score: 


  • 0-20: Easy to rank


That means, if your keyword difficulty is 0-20, that means the chances of get ranking in this keyword is quite easy.

Usually this type of keyword does not have much search volume and of course they are long tailed. Here is a perfect example of long tail low difficulty keyword: 

If you ask me What is a good keyword difficulty, I’ll suggest 0-20, because they are very easy to rank. However, the next one is also included in the good keyword difficulty. 

How to choose a makeup remover

Easy to rank keywords

According to SEMrush, the difficulty score of the keyword is 0, which means it’s the easiest to rank. 


  • 21-49: Medium Difficult 


That means it’s not that much difficult, it’s not easy to rank but possible to rank. To rank, you need good quality content. Here is an example of it: 


Liquid makeup remover 

possible to rank keywords

According to SEMRush, you will need well structured and unique content to rank in this keyword. Its difficulty is 45. 


  • 50-79: Difficult or hard 


This type of keyword is hard to rank and you need backlinks to get rank along with high quality content. Besides these backlink profile, you need it from a high domain authority. If you want your page ranked, you have to maintain all Ranking factors along with lists of Keywords( focus + LSI). 


Facial cleanser 

Hard to rank keywords

Its difficulty is 71%, hard to rank and you will need 84 high authority referring domains. 


  • 80-100: Very difficult 


These type of keywords are usually short tail and it has a high search volume. But it’s very difficult to rank. You will need backlinks, high quality piece of content.

For example, 


 detox cleanse 

Very difficult to rank keywords

The Keyword difficulty is 87, that means it’s very difficult to rank. It does not only need backlinks, it needs on-page SEO and content promotion as well. 


Keyword difficulty Score Checker


There are different score checkers you can use and most of them are accurate. You can use The free tools for checking how difficult it is to rank, but they may not always give you accurate data. Especially when you are looking for a long tail low competitive keyword, the chances are very low. You may not find out long tail keywords so easily. However, the best free keyword difficulty checker tool are mentioned here: 


  • Google keyword planner 
  • Surfer SEO (Chrome Extension) 
  • Ubersuggest 


To understand what is keyword SEO difficulty, good seo tool are must. There are good keyword difficulty score checker, but keyword tools are paid but for the accurate result, you should use the premium keyword difficulty checker tools like: 


  • SEMRush
  • Ahrefs 
  • Moz Pro 
  • Long tail pro 
  • Spyfu

Wrapping Up



Understanding what is SEO keyword difficulty helps a lot in finding a suitable keyword for you. Some good keywords can be a game changer for you because they help to rank and make sales. However, as I have mentioned, if you are confident enough that your information will be helpful for users and different, then you can choose any keyword. We suggest relying on keyword difficulty, search volume and overall keyword competition, but not blindly. So, don’t waste time on calculation keyword difficulty, create quality content- that’s what is going to help you to grow in 2022.

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