Find Better Keywords with Precision

Build efficient SEO and content marketing campaigns with the most accurate keyword difficulty metric!
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Get the Most Accurate Estimations

The Semrush Keyword Difficulty metric helps you quickly find low-hanging fruit on both national and local levels.
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What Score Should You Look for?

The exact Keyword Difficulty score tells you how hard it would be to rank a webpage on the first page of Google for a particular keyword.

Low-Hanging Fruit

  • Very easy = 0-14. These are the best opportunities to start ranking new webpages on Google as soon as possible.
  • Easy = 15-29. These keywords have some competition but are still possible to rank for when you’re starting out. To be able to rank for these, you’ll need quality content focused on the keyword’s intent.
  • Possible = 30-49. Slightly more competition. You’ll need well-structured and unique content appropriately optimized for your keywords.
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Next-Level Challenges

  • Difficult = 50-69. You’ll need to have some referring domains in addition to your well-structured, helpful and optimized content in order to compete here.
  • Hard = 70-84. Even stiffer competition. These keywords will demand more effort in terms of getting referring domains in order to rank your well-optimized and helpful content among the top pages.
  • Very hard = 85-100. The absolute hardest keywords to compete for, especially for a new website. These will demand a lot of SEO and content promotion efforts to eventually rank and acquire traffic.
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Research your competitors’ domains to spot their top performing keywords, estimated traffic, advertising, and backlinks.

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Research your competitors’ domains to spot their top performing keywords, estimated traffic, advertising, and backlinks.

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How Semrush Calculates Keyword Difficulty

In three steps, our formula analyzes multiple data sets and parameters to calculate keyword difficulty with high precision.

Analyze the Ranking Webpage’s Stats

We collect the number of referring domains to each URL, Authority Score of the domains, and each URLs’ follow/nofollow ratio. We also note any SERP Features in the results.

Identify
Median Values

To balance the formula and mitigate inflation due to outliers on the SERP, we identify the medians of each metric and weigh them accordingly.

Understand the Context of the Search Term

Finally, we examine characteristics of the keyword itself. If the keyword is branded or not, what the intent is behind the keyword, the keyword’s volume, and more.

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What Industry Professionals Think of Semrush Keyword Difficulty

“I took a look at the new KD scores for our keywords - amazing job! They are much more accurate now.”

Bartosz Góralewicz

CEO of Onely

“The new and improved @semrush KD metric definitely looks more realistic based on the difficulty of actually ranking for a given keyword. I’ve analyzed it based on websites that I’ve ranked and assessed my effort:rank ratio. Higher SV doesn’t always mean higher KD. Great work!”

Itamar Blauer

SEO Consultant and Video Marketing Expert

“New Keyword Difficulty! Thanks @semrush for this MEANINGFUL KD%.”

Peter Mead

Wordpress SEO Consultant

“The calculation that takes into account the median # of backlinks & authority score PLUS the relative weight of links really helps nail down a more precise score. Thanks for putting the time and effort into this.”

Franco Valentino

Founder at Narrative SEO, LLC

“I like the updated keyword difficulty metric as it provides an additional help in prioritizing content efforts. Great job, Semrush!”

Kristina Azarenko

SEO Consultant, MarketingSyrup

 
 

Evaluate your chances for winning the SERPs with the most accurate keyword difficulty

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