Are No Search Volume Keywords Worth Targeting for SEO?

An Introduction to Keyword Search Volume

What is “keyword search volume”? Keyword Search Volume, in the most basic sense, is the number of searches for a specific keyword in a specific timeframe. It gives SEO experts, marketers and people alike an idea on how competent a keyword and how much volume it brings in a specific time frame. “Search volume” is a measurement of how a particular keyword or set of keywords can bring potential search engine traffic.

Ironically, the term “no search volume” has no search volume according to all the tools.

no search volume

Seasonality and Evergreen

“Seasonality” and “evergreen” are two concepts that are essential when it comes to keyword search volume. Seasonality pertains to the specific timeframe in which a keyword is mostly searched. While “evergreen” is associated with keywords that have a steady search volume throughout the year. Though it is worth mentioning that the keyword’s context is vital on categorizing as to whether it is “seasonal” or “evergreen”. Keywords’ use and definition can vary from one place to another.

The Importance of Keyword Search Volume

Keyword Search Volume plays a vital role in attracting traffic into your site as well as new visitors. Like anything, it has its pros and cons. The good side of utilizing keyword search volume in the content of your site is that it makes your site more visible though the downside is that using keywords with massive search volume is that you’re not the only one using it, in fact there are thousands of sites using it hence you’re vulnerable to competition especially to bigger sites with higher authority. This is an evident problem especially for start-up independent sites. So, is there a way around it? Luckily you can utilize “No Search Volume Keywords”. But before we discuss what, how, and when to use “No Search Volume Keywords”, we need to discuss how to determine if a keyword has a massive or no search volume. Luckily there are tools available to do so.

How to Determine a Keyword’s Search Volume Data

You can use these tools to determine if a keyword has a massive or no search volume. One thing to note while using these tools is that the data from these tools is gathered from Google Adwords and must be only used as a guideline.

Moz Keyword Explorer

Moz Keyword Explorer is one of the best search blogs and SEOs. One of the best tools Moz Keyword Explorer offers is “Keyword Explorer” which provides important data on the keyword’s competitiveness (referred to as difficulty in Moz Keyword Explorer) and a SERP (Search Engine Result Pages) analysis which entails the domain authority and page scores. Moz Keyword Explorer can be utilized for free although they also offer a Moz Keyword Explorer Pro which comes with a suite of tools for professional users.

SEM Rush

SEM Rush, like Moz Keyword Explorer is one of the best search blogs and SEOs. SEM Rush provides and presents vital data when it comes to keywords. They offer the average search volume, competitiveness of a keyword, a detailed graph overview of keywords’ trends and other related keyword or phrases. SEM Rush can be utilized for free although they also offer subscription which offers a more indepth data on any given subject.

Google Trends

Google Trends, unlike Moz Keyword Explorer and SEM Rush is less featured although it is one of the best places to start if you want to know a keyword’s search volume. They also offer a perspective on a keyword’s growth and decline search volume and geographic (international and domestic) search volume and popularity.

Google Keyword Planner

Like Google Trends, Google Keyword Planner shows a keyword’s search volume though Google Keyword Planner offers a more detailed perspective when it comes to the keyword’s search volume in a specific timeframe. This is great if you are interested in a keyword’s seasonality or if it’s an evergreen.

Search Volume Tools Limitations

As mentioned before, most of the keyword research tools gather data from Google Adwords. The tools will show “no search volume” or “very low search volume” if there are no adwords campaigns running for the keywords you are researching. Consider the following 3 scenarios:

Search volume data is not consistent

Searching “SEO” and “SEO Melbourne” in Google Keyword Planner and Ahrefs gives different results.

Product searches for Ecommerce websites

Local searches

Should You Go for a Keyword with Massive Search Volume or Low to None?

As stated before, a keyword having a massive search volume, or the lack thereof (low to none) has its own advantages and disadvantages. A keyword with a massive search volume is that it makes your site more visible though the downside is that using keywords with massive search volume is the amount of competition using the same exact keywords. But how about keywords with low to none search volume?

Keywords with Low to No Search Volume

Google defines low search volume as keywords or keyword phrases if it generates minimal traffic hence keywords or keyword phrases are categorized as low to no search volume if it generates minimal traffic or minimal search history. The downside of using such keywords is that Google may tag them irrelevant rendering it inactive hence not triggering your advertisements or content.

The Advantages of Using Low to No Search Volume Keywords

Low to No Search Volume Keywords are often synonymous to “long tail keywords”. Long tail key words are keyword phrases that is consisted by three to four, sometimes, more than, group of words. These keyword phrases generate minimal searches or traffic because, for one, finding the exact same group of words that will match to searches is difficult. Another, though tools such Moz Keyword Explorer, SEM Rush and Google Keyword Planner generate keywords related to the one you are looking for, it’s almost impossible, if not rarely that these tools generate long tail keyword phrases. So why do they still exist, much more, why are long tail keyword phrases still utilized?

Long Tail Keyword Phrases and Its Advantages

First, unlike specific one to two words keywords which generates a massive search volume, long tail keyword phrases can be specific. This is an important quality that long tale keyword phrases possess. Even though these keyword phrases generate low to none search volume the probability that you can have three to four visitors in a month using the long tail keyword phrases, collectively, still makes a huge impact to the site.

Another advantage that long tail keyword phrases offer is that people who search these keywords are more likely to go from visitors to buyers, meaning conversion is highly plausible. “Conversion” is when a visitor buys a product that you are offering, converting them to visitors to buyers hence the jargon.

Using long tail keywords, unlike high search volume keywords, presents less competition. Long tail keywords are so specific that the probability of it being used by other sites is highly unlikely nor it being copied. Remember no current tools are generating such keywords.

Second, unlike the first approach, you can approach it in a larger scale. This seems to be the approach of large companies and blogs. They do this by producing a big number of contents with niche specific long tail keyword phrases that reaches a broad audience. This approach’s advantage is that you produce a lot of content increasing the probability of reaching a broader audience hence increasing traffic. Doing so also gives you the opportunity to focus the quality of the content. Remember, the quality of the content is as is, if not more, important as any keywords.
Another advantage is that you can target niche specific audience. Combining a niche specific approach with the use of long tail keywords can generate, collectively, a huge number of traffic.
Using low to no search volume keywords also means less cost especially for those who run paid search marketing campaigns as there is less competition.

How Do I Find Low to No Search Volume Keywords or Long Tail Keyword Phrases?

Now that we’ve established why it’s worth using long tail keyword phrases. Since there are no current tools that automatically gives long tail keyword phrase, how do you come up with one? Though, there are no tools readily available you can use the current tools smartly to come up with long tail keywords. According to Rocco Baldassarre of Search Engine Journal, here are seven ways:

1. By simply using the search box in Google

This is an unexpected way to come up with long tail keywords and arguably the smartest and most effective way. Once you enter a word, Google automatically generates common search terms or phrases relating to the word. And Google will probably make the same suggestions to other users hence showing the same results. In addition, Google doesn’t only suggest a single phrase but a number of them increasing the number of long tail keyword phrases that you can utilize.

2. By checking search query report

A search query report is a list of searches on your site that is produced by modified broad keywords. You can utilize this by looking for long tail keywords or terms that produced a number of clicks or conversions. There are different ways to access this: through an AdGroup or a campaign, per keyword level, and by clicking the keyword’s tab then proceeding to details.

3. By using Google AdWords Keywords Tool

You can utilize Google AdWords Keywords Tool in searching for long tail keywords if you use the right settings. The first step is to put a few terms that will serve as the base of your research. The next step is to exclude terms that you don’t want or are unnecessary and include words that you want to be included and that are necessary. After that, expect that Google will be producing a number of new keywords that can be useful though make sure that the keywords that you will be choosing are relevant.

4. By checking your organic traffic

Checking the organic traffic of your own site can give a vast amount of ideas on the combination of keywords or long tail keywords that you can use. Remember organic traffic is very competitive hence the keywords that you get are most probably highly competitive as well. You can access this through the webmaster tool. You can use webmaster tool by logging in, selecting your website, after a menu on the left pop ups, you can search by choosing search traffic.

5. Having the mindset of a local user

Though at first thought, focusing on a specific location, especially including a specific location in creating long tail keywords, will not impact the traffic of your site. This is false as most searches tend to include a specific town or city when looking for local services. Including specific location when creating long tail keywords, especially when targeting multiple location in the country, will create traffic to your site. Another advantage of doing so is that conversions are likely for such searches. So, make sure that you include specific geographic location in your long tail keywords.

6. Run the URLs of your competitors

Running your competitors’ URL using keyword tools will give you an insight as to what Google considers valuable from the competitors’ site. This will give you the opportunity to cross reference the keywords that you are using against your competitors’ hence giving you some of the keywords that may help your site. Remember to use these newly discovered keywords into making a long tail keyword.

7. Utilize the tools available

Again, though there is no tool available just yet that produces long tail keywords, although there are a lot of tools which gives plenty of single or two-word broad keywords. Tools like Moz Keyword Explorer, SEM Rush, and Google Keyword Planner offers such services.

You can combine the words provided to produce a long tail keyword and cross reference it to the results using the Google Search Box. This will at least give you a general idea of what keywords to use. Remember to use it wisely and only use relevant keywords.

Research Your Keywords the Smartest Way Possible

Utilizing the tips above is a great way to start with formulating your long tail keywords and can provide you with a vast number of possible long tail keyword phrases that you can use. It is important to remember that the number of keywords or long tail keyword phrases is irrelevant if they are of low quality. So how do you choose wisely in the sea of keywords?

We think that making a thorough research on the subject is still the best way to go. Solely relying to keyword planners might cause you to miss golden keywords that can generate a lot of traffic. Make sure that you carefully study your target audience especially for niche-specific approaches. Use your creative lenses when studying data. These will provide you with a good insight of your approach at the same time give you an idea of what keywords to use.

Another thing worth doing is carefully evaluate all of the keywords or long tail keywords that you are using. Make sure that these words are relevant to the services and products that you are offering and most especially to your brand. You can do this by consulting marketing professionals outside of the SEO practice as they can offer a different perspective on the matter. You can also check PPC (Pay Per Click Campaigns) historical data. Like marketing professionals outside of the SEO industry, consulting with sales or customer service professionals will also offer a fresh perspective on the matter as they directly deal with the audience.

Unlike “keyword stuffing”, which is the practice of, in the simplest terms, shoving a massive amount of keywords to gain increase on Google’s SERP ranking (which by the way, is now considered a black-hat tactic), you should consider practicing “keyword stacking”. Keyword stacking is the practice of adding your low to no search volume keywords to you high search volume keywords, whilst making sure that the words included are all relevant.

Using keywords to target a local audience is also a good practice as 43% of Google’s search queries possesses local intent. As stated before, have the mindset of a local. This will help you with pulling in traffic. Make sure that the words you are using are relevant to the local audience you are targeting.

One key component to evaluate when it comes to keyword or longtail keyword phrases is its competitiveness or its KDS (Keyword Difficulty Score) and KEI (Keyword Effectiveness Index). This will help you with how you’ll rank your keywords.

When to Utilize Low to No Search Volume Keywords?

Now that we have established the advantages of using low to no search volume keywords, how to come up with one, and a few tips and tricks we are going to discuss when is the best time to use these set of keywords.

The use of low to no search volume keywords is perfect when business is just starting up. This is because using these keywords presents less competitions, hence you can avoid big companies and blogs to hinder the visibility of your own site.

The use of these words is also perfect if you are targeting a niche specific audience. As said, long tail keywords are composed of three to four words. This gives you the opportunity to target a much specific audience.

Lastly, the best time to use low to no search volume keywords is every time. Again, with the concept of keyword stacking; having highly relevant long tail keywords along with your main keywords cannot do the site any harm but rather it will gain a lot of benefits in doing so.


The use of low to no search volume keywords, or long tail keywords in any SEO campaigns is very beneficial, as it produces better search rankings, better traffic and less cost for those who are running the campaign. These keywords also avoid competition or threats from big companies or blogs as these set of words are very specific. Low to no volume keywords also offers the possibility of reaching a very specific niche and set of audience. And visitors who used the long tail keywords in searching are most likely to convert, so not only did you increase the traffic in your site but your sales as well.

Though there aren’t any tools that make long tail keywords readily available. There a number of ways to get this, from using the humble Google Search Bar to studying your own organic traffic. Remember to always practice the best SEO practices from properly studying your audience to evaluating each of the keywords or keyword phrases that you’ll be using.


It can get pretty overwhelming when you’re only starting to use or practice the use of low to no search volume keywords. Here are the main points to remember:

The first place to start in any campaign is research. Making a good research on every component of your campaign is a good foundation. This will give you better sense of direction as to who is your audience and what your approach will be.

After that, make sure that you utilize all the tools available, some come for free, some requires a subscription. The important thing is that you utilize these tools as they will help you in terms of giving you related keywords. Consider taking a look at the keyword’s seasonality as well and make sure that you’re using it in the proper context or timeframe. Remember to take a good look into all the data presented to you by these tools as they are very valuable for you campaign. Make sure that you take note and study the data presented.

Since there are no tools that are readily generates long tail keywords make sure that you use the tips given within the article. From utilizing the Google Search Bar, Google Adwords Keywords Tool, checking search query report, to studying your own organic traffic as these will provide a vast number of keywords that you can use. Although remember to be wise about choosing these keywords and only keep the relevant ones. Once you have the set of keywords that you deem relevant to your campaign, it’s time to evaluate them according to their effectiveness and competitiveness. Avoid keyword stuffing as it is considered a black-hat tactic and practice keyword stacking instead as this will give you the best results.

Remember to use low to no search volume keywords or long tail keywords, whether you’re a blog that’s still building its brand or a well-established company in your next as it will surely do a lot of good for your next SEO campaign.

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