What is Keyword Competition & Why Does it Matter for SEO?

In the realm of SEO (Search Engine Optimization), “keyword competition” is a crucial concept that directly impacts your website’s visibility and success. Understanding keyword competition and its importance is essential for developing effective SEO strategies. This article delves into what is, why it matters, and evaluates whether targeting low, medium, or high keyword competition is the best approach for your business.

What is Keyword Competition?

It refers to the level of difficulty in ranking for a specific keyword in search engine results. It is determined by the number of websites targeting the same keyword and the quality of their SEO efforts. Keywords can generally be classified into three competition levels: low, medium, and high.

which better for? Low, High, Med Keyword Competition

  • Low Competition Keywords have relatively fewer websites targeting them, making it easier for new or smaller websites to rank higher in search results.
  • Medium Competition Keywords have a moderate number of competitors and require a balanced SEO strategy to achieve good rankings.
  • High Competition Keywords  are highly contested with many well-established websites competing for top positions, making it challenging to rank without significant SEO effort and resources.

Why is Keyword Competition Important?

  1. SEO Strategy Development Understanding keyword competition is fundamental to crafting a successful SEO strategy. By identifying which keywords are more easily attainable and which require a more substantial effort, businesses can allocate their resources strategically and set achievable goals for their SEO campaigns. This knowledge empowers them to focus their efforts on keywords that align with their resources and objectives, ultimately maximizing their potential for organic traffic growth and online success.
  2. Resource Allocation In addition, targeting highly competitive keywords typically requires a more substantial investment of time, money, and effort. Therefore, a thorough assessment of keyword competition is crucial for businesses to determine the most strategic allocation of their SEO budget, ultimately maximizing their return on investment (ROI).
  3. Content Planning Keyword competition data directly influences the type of content you create. Targeting low-competition keywords may inspire you to craft niche content that caters to specific audiences, while high-competition keywords might necessitate developing comprehensive guides or in-depth resources to stand out in the crowded search landscape.
  4. Traffic Potential While high-competition keywords often boast higher search volumes, ranking for them proves to be a more challenging endeavor. Conversely, low-competition keywords may have lower search volumes but offer a greater likelihood of securing a coveted spot on the first page of search results, thereby attracting a steady stream of organic traffic.

Low, Medium, or High Keyword Competition: Which is Best?

To determine the optimal keyword competition level to target, it’s essential to consider several factors. These include your website’s current SEO strength, the resources you have available, and the goals you want to achieve. With that in mind, let’s delve into a detailed comparison of the three primary competition levels: low, medium, and high.

Low Competition Keywords


  1. Easier to Rank: Conversely, new websites or those with lower domain authority have a distinct advantage when targeting low-competition keywords. They can often achieve high rankings more easily due to the reduced competition in these niche areas.
  2. Quicker Results: They can often achieve high rankings more easily due to the reduced competition in these niche areas, thus seeing SEO results faster.
  3. Cost-Effective: Furthermore, targeting low-competition keywords requires fewer resources and less time, making it an ideal strategy for small businesses or those operating with limited budgets.


  1. Lower Search Volume: However, it’s important to note that low-competition keywords often have lower search volumes, which may result in less overall traffic compared to highly competitive terms.
  2. Niche Market: It’s important to note that low-competition keywords often have lower search volumes, which may result in less overall traffic compared to highly competitive terms. Additionally, these keywords tend to target a smaller, more niche audience.

Best For:

  • New websites
  • Niche businesses
  • Limited SEO budgets

Medium Competition Keywords


  1. Balanced Approach: Medium-competition keywords, on the other hand, offer a good balance between competition and search volume, making them a potentially attractive option for those seeking to maximize their return on investment.
  2. Steady Traffic: Consequently, they typically require a moderate level of SEO effort and resources to achieve good rankings, and in turn, can drive consistent traffic without the fierce competition of high-competition keywords.


  1. Intermediate Difficulty: Requires more effort than low-competition keywords but less than high-competition ones.
  2. Resource Intensive: Might still require significant content and backlink efforts.

Best For:

  • Established websites with some SEO experience
  • Businesses looking to expand their reach
  • Moderate SEO budgets

High Competition Keywords


  1. High Traffic Potential: High-competition keywords, though more challenging to rank for, boast high traffic potential due to their high search volumes, and can significantly bolster brand authority when successful.
  2. Brand Authority: Targeting medium-competition keywords requires a moderate level of SEO effort and resources, making them a suitable option for businesses with some established authority and a dedicated budget for optimization.
  3. Market Leadership: Furthermore, successfully dominating these keywords can significantly bolster your brand’s reputation, positioning you as an industry leader in the digital landscape.


  1. High Effort and Cost: Targeting high-competition keywords necessitates a substantial investment in SEO, encompassing comprehensive content creation, extensive backlink acquisition, and meticulous technical optimization. This level of commitment is typically best suited for well-established businesses with ample resources and a long-term SEO vision.
  2. Longer Timeframe: Finally, it’s important to acknowledge that achieving high rankings for these competitive keywords can be a lengthy process, requiring more time and effort compared to low or medium-competition alternatives.

Best For:

  • Well-established websites with high domain authority
  • Businesses with significant SEO budgets
  • Long-term SEO strategies

each keyword competition has different portion

Tools for Assessing Keyword Competition

To effectively assess keyword competition, several tools can provide valuable insights:

  1. Google Keyword Planner: This tool provides data on keyword search volume and competition levels, helping businesses understand the competitive landscape.
  2. Ahrefs offers comprehensive keyword analysis, including keyword difficulty scores and competitor analysis, making it a favorite among SEO professionals.
  3. SEMrush keyword research tools provide detailed information on keyword competition, search volume, and related keywords, aiding in the development of a robust SEO strategy.
  4. Moz Keyword Explorer provides an intuitive keyword difficulty score, search volume data, and insights into SERP features, making it easy to assess keyword competition.

Keyword competition is a vital element in any SEO strategy, influencing how businesses approach their content creation and optimization efforts. Low-competition keywords offer a relatively easy entry point for ranking and require fewer resources, however, they may not drive as much traffic as more competitive terms.

In contrast, medium-competition keywords strike a balance between difficulty and potential traffic volume. On the other hand, high-competition keywords, though more challenging to rank for, can yield substantial traffic and bolster brand authority when successful.

Ultimately, the best keyword competition level to target depends on your specific goals, resources, and the current state of your website. By leveraging tools like Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs, SEMrush, and Moz Keyword Explorer, you can make informed decisions and craft a strategy that drives sustainable organic traffic to your site.

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