Audit My SEO - Zero Search Volume Keywords

Of course, every SEO specialist would like to rank high on the search engines results page (SERP) for high-frequency keywords. After all, they bring the maximum traffic and, as a result, more leads. But every expert knows that it´s not always easy and often impossible.


What should you do if your business or blog is not that big yet and belongs to a very competitive field of activity? It’ll be too challenging to break into the top for high-frequency queries organically in such a case. The solution to this problem is building your SEO strategy on long-tail, low-frequency, or even zero search volume (ZSV) keywords.


The following article will explain in more detail how you can find proper ZSVs. And why they are worth the effort.


The ZSV Approach: A Brief Overview


Audit My SEO - Zero Search Volume KeywordsSo, what’s the deal with zero-volume keywords? Doesn’t “zero” imply that they’re worthless? Well, not entirely.


This approach to SEO allows getting more targeted traffic. So that you can concentrate on the potential audience looking for specified information.


To briefly describe the essence of this approach. Essentially you need to identify keywords with zero or low competition and use them to promote the website.


Why should you do that? Because it is much easier to rank for such queries than for high-frequency ones. This means the pages are much more likely to get to the top. Which will bring the target audience to your site.


Below, we’ll give you more reasons why you should consider investing your time in this strategy as food for thought.


5 Reasons to Pay Attention to Low-Volume Keywords


  1. Attracting traffic to your site: ZSVs can bring quite a lot of visitors. Even if services for SEO specialists (Ahrefs, SEMrush, and others) show that nobody searches for them.
  2. Relevance to your customers’ needs: Such keywords are usually highly relevant to a specific segment of your potential audience. And so, the more relevant the content is and the better the page ranks for ZSV keywords, the more visitors will become clients.
  3. Generating interest in a narrow topic: ZSVs usually are perfectly suited for single-use queries that may occur only once in Google.
  4. Versatility: You can add several zero search volume keywords to one page to increase the possible amount of traffic.
  5. Functionality: Along with ZSVs, you can also add commercial queries to the page to get more leads. In this case, there will be a high return on investment (ROI), which will cover the content creation cost.

The Principle of Selecting ZSV Keywords for Your Page


When you determine the keywords to use on the page, you first choose a primary keyword phrase.


Then, as you write the text content, naturally add secondary keywords.


Or even latent semantic indexing (LSI) phrases that bring traffic to the site.


That way, the text includes the phrases users are searching for the information they want, bringing them to the site.


Next, your task is to retain users and turn them into customers.


What Can You Do to Convert More Clients?


Audit My SEO - Local SEO AgencyMany factors influence the number of conversions. Let’s list a few of them.


  • Loading speed If the page is loading too slowly, the user will leave it within seconds. So, you should check the performance of the platform. And in case it´s poor, then speed up the Magento website (or similarly for any other platform).
  • Content quality If the quality of content on your page is poor and does not meet user demand, it will not bring many conversions, even with a large traffic volume.
  • Accessibility If the site has confusing navigation and not a user-friendly design, then many visitors will leave it. Despite the valuable content.


As you can see, your conversion success is influenced by keywords and many other factors. However, the correct use of keywords will help bring more users to the site.


4 Ways to Find Low-Volume Key Phrases for Your Website


Since ZSV keywords are so effective, should you base the whole strategy for promoting the site only on them? 


Of course, I would not suggest you promote your business only by this kind of query. Don´t be afraid to combine different keyword-finding techniques. Be sure to measure the results of their performance and check what works best in your case.


Next, let’s discuss the 4 methods of finding, selecting, and using ZSVs.


1. Using Special Tools to Determine Search Volume


You can use free browser extensions such as Keyword Surfer or Keywords Everywhere to choose ZSV keywords.


They allow us to find out the estimated search volume of queries and other indicators.


A summary report will appear when you type the keyword into the Google search box.


An Example of Using an Extension to Find ZSV Keywords


The screenshot below shows the approximate search volume and cost per click. When using the query “how to choose a dog” in Google Adwords. This is the result provided by the Keyword Surfer extension.


In the screenshot above, you can see that the phrase “how to choose a family dog” has the value 0. What does it mean? In simple terms, it indicates that people don´t enter this exact phrase in the search. But people are asking similar questions, which means that including this phrase on the page will increase traffic.


If you search for this query, you’ll see additional questions: those are Google prompts based on the original keyword. You can see the similarity percentage and the average monthly search volume on the right.


Audit My SEO - Zero Search Volume KeywordsKeep an Eye on the Icons


If you look at the titles of the sites in the results, you can see icons showing other vital data.


  • Approximate traffic in the selected region for the month;
  • The total number of words in the article;
  • The number of appearances of this key phrase.


An example of the key phrase used above is shown in the screenshot below.



2. Analyzing the Information from the Related Searches Section


Audit My SEO - Zero Search Volume KeywordsTo begin with, you should note that the suggested phrases in the Google Search drop-down menu and the related searches section are the same in most cases. You can check this out by looking at the screenshot below.


The only difference is that to check the related searches section, you have to scroll down the page. In addition, this section doesn´t show the data provided by Keyword Surfer. So, without using special plugins, you won´t be able to determine whether the phrases presented in the related searches section have any search volume.


Keyword Surfer and its analogs allow you to see the basic SEO information on the search phrases you´re interested in. It´s shown even when entering the main keyword query into the search box.


How Do You Find Additional Queries?


Get additional keywords if you need more queries than what related searches provide. To do this, enter one of the relevant phrases suggested by Google into the search box.


For example, I searched for the phrase “how to choose a family dog”, which Google gave me as a clue. And Keyword Surfer showed zero search volume. As a result, I got even more ZSV keywords to pick up for my site.


You can repeat this procedure until there are enough matching keyword phrases.


As you can see, Google assumes that there will be no searches for these queries in a month. But in fact, with this strategy, you can get a significant amount of traffic. As long as the page is ranked at the top.


3. Applying the Alphabet Soup Method


Audit My SEO - Zero Search Volume KeywordsThis method is based on the functionality of Google responsible for autocomplete when typing queries in the search box.


Unlike the previous two methods of finding low-volume keywords, the use of this method is a little more complicated.


Still, it’s not that difficult to give up when selecting zero search volume keywords to bring traffic to your site.


What Is the Point of the Alphabet Soup Method?


First, enter your main keyword into the search box. Let’s take the phrase “emerald sweater” as an example. Then just add some letters. And Google’s algorithms will suggest a list of keyword phrases that you can use for the pages.


As you can see in the screenshot below, in my case, I typed the letter “d” after the key query.

As with the previous methods, you can get even more keyword phrases using this system. Just enter one of the suggested ZSVs into the search box to do this.


For instance, the screenshot below shows that I selected one of the search engine phrases, “women’s emerald green sweater dress”. As a result, I got a new list of queries I can use for my website.


Is the Alphabet Soup Method Perfect?


Keywords selected for more than one step by this method tend to bring in less traffic.


But, this doesn´t mean that you shouldn´t use them.



The fact is that it will be easier to rank the pages for such queries at the top of SERPs.


So, if your business is highly competitive, it’s possible to select keywords by this method in 3 or more steps.


4. Using the People Also Ask Method


Audit My SEO - Orphan PagesklistYou’ve probably seen the People also ask section in Google searches. These are the questions people ask that contain the initial keyword phrase. And they can serve as clues as to what additional keywords you can use.


By default, this block usually shows 4 questions. However, if you click on the arrows next to the questions, you will get additional queries.


Of course, these are complete questions rather than keyword phrases. So, when you check each of these queries, you will see that their search volume is zero. Yet, if you remove the supporting words in the question and extract the keyphrase from it, you may see it has a search volume. Therefore, when using this method, before picking up the queries for the content, you need to extract keyphrases from questions and check the estimated search volume.


A-Pro Tip


It’s worth keeping this in mind. The lower the questions are listed, the less relevant the questions are to the main keyword in the search. Though, in general, they remain relevant to the topic, which means you can use them as well.


To Sum Up


I hope I’ve convinced you that it’s worth paying attention to low-volume keywords. Because even though Google says there are no searches for these queries, they can bring visitors to the site. 


We covered 4 ways of selecting ZSV keywords, which you can implement:


  • Using special plugins for browsers;
  • Applying data from related searches;
  • The Alphabet Soup method;
  • Utilizing the “People also ask” section.


I recommend combining all 4 methods to select keywords for your site’s content. This will help diversify your semantic core and optimize the pages, bringing you maximum traffic. Still and all, this doesn´t mean that you can forget about the other ways to select the semantic core.


But I can assure you that a beginner SEO specialist or a business that’s just starting to develop will benefit from the abovementioned free methods of selecting keywords. You’ll understand exactly how things work and gradually improve your promotion strategies.


Audit My SEO - Zero Search Volume KeywordsAuthor Bio for this Guest Post:


Kate Parish is the chief marketing officer at Onilab with over 8 years of experience in Digital Marketing in the sphere of eCommerce web development.


Kate always aspires to broaden her competency in line with cutting-edge global trends.


Her primary areas of professional interest include SEO, branding, PPC, SMM, Magento PWA development, and online retail in general.

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