When we talk about SEO and keyword research, we often assume that keywords with the highest search volume are the best ones to target. But that’s not always the case.

For example, if you’re selling pet supplies and want to rank for “dog toys,” it’s a pretty safe bet that you’ll get some traffic from Google’s search engine results when people search for that keyword. But it’s also pretty likely that there are businesses on the first page of Google who will outrank you because they’ve been around for a long time, have more links, and have had an established presence in the industry.

So how do you break into a crowded field? You might think about targeting highly specific keywords that aren’t searched for very often—but even then, competition can be fierce.

This article will explain how zero search volume keywords work and why they’re so important for your marketing strategy. Let’s dive in!

What Is A Zero Search Volume Keyword?

A zero-volume keyword is a term that doesn’t get searched for very often. In most cases, keyword search tools don’t even have enough data on zero search volume keywords. That means you won’t see it in your searches or reports.

However, zero-volume keywords can be useful for some sites—especially eCommerce sites that want to sell products based on specific searches. Take a look at this example:

Say you sell high-end jewelry and want to know what people are searching for when they’re looking to buy diamond rings. You might think “diamond rings” would be a good keyword to optimize for. But it turns out that most competitors are already ranking for this high-volume keyword phrase.

If you narrow down the search term to a zero search volume keyword like “round diamond rings for newlyweds, ” you’ll have less competition.

Zero Search Volume Keywords vs. Long-Tail Keywords

Long tail keywords are basically a bunch of words strung together in a sentence that is related to your product or service. When you type in a long-tail keyword, the search engine will try to match what you typed into the search box with its database of content from all over the web.

If there isn’t enough content on the internet about what you typed in, then it won’t show up on any results page. When a long tail keyword has little to no monthly searches, it can be considered a zero search volume keyword.

Targeting long-tail keywords and zero search volume keywords can help you get traffic from people who are ready to convert into customers immediately because they’ve already decided what they want before they start searching for it.

And if no one else is targeting those long-tail keywords, you’ll have an easy time getting traffic from people who are ready to buy what you’re selling right away.

Why You Should Target Zero (Or Low) Search Volume Keywords

When it comes to keywords, you have a choice: You can target high-volume keywords or low-volume ones.

Here’s why we think you should aim for zero search volume keywords:

1. It’s Less Competitive

Targeting zero (or low) search volume keywords means that there will be fewer competitors for any given keyword. This means you’ll have more space to stand out from the pack and get noticed by potential clients. It also means that it will be easier for you to rank for these terms.

2. It’s More Specific

Targeting low-volume keywords means that your target audience is hyper-focused on what they’re looking for—and they’ll be more likely to convert than someone who just casually typed in “best website design company.” In other words, you’re talking directly with someone who’s genuinely interested in what you have to offer.

3. Generate Traffic

Targeting zero (or low) search volume keywords is an effective way to reach a new audience or expand your existing one. You’ll have to do some research to find them, but once you do, they can provide a steady stream of traffic that you may not be getting with other types of keyword targeting.

4. They’re Inexpensive

The cost of advertising on low-volume keywords is lower than that of high-volume ones because fewer people search for them. This means more people will see your ads for less money, which leads to greater visibility and brand awareness.

5. Diversity

Targeting zero search volume keywords can help you diversify your keyword list and get more reach.

When you target keywords with high search volume, there is a good chance that you’ll be competing with many other businesses. That means you will have to pay more for ads, which will make it harder for you to get the ROI (return on investment) you want.

Targeting low- or zero-volume keywords will give you a bigger pool of options, which will help you find less popular topics that people are searching for but aren’t yet advertising on. This can help you find untapped markets where there’s still an opportunity to generate leads and sales without paying high ad space prices.

How Keyword Research Tool Planners Come Into Play

Keyword research is one of the most important tasks in SEO, but it’s also one of the most time-consuming. If you want to save time, then you should consider using a keyword planner tool.

A keyword planner tool is online software that helps you find new keywords for your website. These tools use different algorithms to analyze the top search results on Google and find similar keywords that are less competitive and easier to rank for.

But there’s a catch: many keyword planners don’t work well with zero search volume keywords.

So how do you overcome these limitations? The answer is not to abandon your current keyword research tool but rather to use them as a guide to discovering new keywords. Be sure to do additional research before making any assumptions about whether your targeted keywords will end up helping you reach your goals.

Best Strategies for Zero Search Volume Keywords To Keep In Mind

Zero search volume keywords are a challenge. They’re not something you can just throw into your content and expect them to convert magically, but they’re also not something you should ignore.

Because low search volume keywords present such a challenge, you must approach them with the right mindset. You don’t want to spend time and money on these keywords if they’re not going to deliver results, but at the same time, paying attention to them will help you identify trends in your niche that other companies may miss.

Let’s take a look at three strategies for zero search volume keywords that are worth considering:

1. Use Related Keywords

When you’re targeting keywords with zero search volume, it’s important to make sure that you’re picking related keyword phrases that are also relevant to your product or service. While it might seem like a waste of time to include these related keywords in your campaigns, they can actually help boost your overall click-through rate and conversion rate.

If you’re selling something like a snowboard boot, for example, you might want to target the keyword phrase “snowboard boots” as well as “winter boots” and “winter shoes.”

While these terms may have lower search volume than their more popular counterparts, they can still be valuable additions to your overall strategy.

2. Target Keywords Relevant to Your Audience

One of the best strategies for zero search volume keywords is to target keywords relevant to your audience.

The truth is, most people don’t know what they want regarding their internet search needs. They may know they need a certain product or service, but not what that product or service should be called. And if they know what they want, they might not know how to find it.

This means that the best way to make use of low search volume keywords is to target keywords that are relevant to your audience—words and phrases your customers might actually use when looking for what you’re selling.

For example, let’s say you run a bakery in New York City and sell cupcakes with caramel frosting. You could target “caramel cupcakes” as one of your keywords, but there’s no guarantee that anyone searching for those exact words will click on your ad. Instead, try targeting “caramel frosting cupcakes” or even just “caramel frosting.” That way, when someone searches Google for “caramel frosting,” they’ll see your ad at the top of the results list.

3. Make Use of Buying Keywords

Buying words like “top”, “best,” and “versus” are very specific, meaning they target buying users. These keywords are perfect for eCommerce sites and products purchased online. These words help you attract more customers ready to spend money immediately.

However, when you want to target users looking for information on a website, it is better to use informational keywords such as “how to” and “what is”. People looking for information tend to be more concerned with finding answers rather than purchasing something immediately.

Understanding which keywords your target audience is searching for is crucial in helping you increase your sales and conversions.

4. Include a Wide Range of Low-volume Keywords

The best way to use low-volume keywords is to include them in your content strategy. When you write content that includes a wide range of low-volume keywords, you can increase the likelihood that your content will rank for them.

However, it’s not only important to have the right number of keywords but also the right types of keywords. That means broad and specific terms and single-word and multi-word phrases.

Including low-volume but highly specific keywords in your content can help bring in more traffic from people specifically looking for that type of content.

5. Test Conversions with PPC

If you’re targeting a keyword with zero search volume, you may be tempted to skip PPC testing. We get it—it’s not worth paying for clicks that no one will make.

But don’t write off PPC just yet! You can still use it to test your landing page, ad copy, and overall marketing strategy. For example, if you’re trying to sell winter coats but know no one is searching for that niche, you could still run ads in the surrounding months when people are actually looking for coats (say, in October and November). 

You’ll get a sense of how many people click on your ads versus how many people click on competitors’ ads, which helps you understand what kind of message resonates best with your audience.

6. Try the KRG Method

The KRG method is one of the most popular ways to target zero search volume keywords. It stands for Keyword Research Groups, and it’s pretty simple: You just divide a bunch of keywords into groups based on their meaning and then assign each group a keyword that describes what it means.

For example, if you’re selling blue jeans, you could have one group called “Blue Jeans,” another called “Denim,” another called “Fashion,” etc. Then, when you’re doing your keyword research, you’d look at each of those groups separately and see what’s most searched for within them.

The biggest benefit of this strategy is that it helps you get more specific about your target audience—you can really hone in on who will be looking for what exactly. And because it allows you to think about keywords as categories instead of individual words or phrases, it also lets you think more creatively about how these words or phrases might fit together into sentences or questions (which can lead to better content).

Before You Leave

Now, we’re not saying that all your keywords should be low-volume—some high-volume terms can be great for SEO and overall website performance. But there are some instances where you want to target low-volume terms because they have the potential to make your site more visible and relevant in SERPs while also driving traffic to your site.

The bottom line is that you should always be thinking about how you can optimize your content for website users and search engines. It’s helpful to focus on what will help people find what they’re looking for and then optimize accordingly.

Enhance Your Keyword Strategy with Boostability

Here at Boostability, we understand the importance of targeting the best keywords within your SEO strategy. Our team of experts work to stay up-to-date on any keyword updates or trends that could affect a website’s performance. If you want to boost your rankings and online presence, reach out to our team today! 

Sign up for our partner SEO program today to enhance your keyword strategy. Trust our white-label SEO services to make all the difference for the website’s you manage.


Kyle is the former Partner Marketing Lead at Boostability. Since graduating from Utah Valley University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing, Kyle has developed a passion for creating SEO and Digital Marketing content to help educate and inform readers, customers, and partners through various marketing channels. He has previously worked with clients directly on Boostability’s Client Management team and loves to help businesses succeed online. Outside of work, Kyle enjoys playing sports, skiing, trying new restaurants, and spending time with family.