SEO: Is Ranking For Competitive Keywords Hard?

If you’ve been around SEO for a while, you know how targeting competitive keywords is something experts highly discourage. You’ve been told to stick with low-competition and longtail keywords for better success. But is it true that competitive keyword is hard to target? Yes, generally they are. But this shouldn’t stop you from trying if you’re up for the competition. In this guide, we’ll show you how to target for competitive keywords and succeed.

rank competitive keywords

Why Are Competitive Keywords Hard To Target?

Experts do have some merit when they say competing for popular keywords is hard. This is because of two main reasons:

  • These websites have established high authority in their industry. Particularly if your website is new, it is almost impossible to compete with heavy-traffic and long established websites. Google takes into account a site’s authority when it comes to the age of domain, a number of inbound links, etc.

  • It is VERY competitive. Common sense dictates that if a keyword is searched more times by users compared to others, more businesses will want to target those keywords as well. Without site authority, it can be extremely difficult to compete for those keywords, which is why new sites are encouraged to target less competitive ones.

The gist? In order to rank for competitive keywords, you need to establish site authority. How do you do this? Mind you, it will take a lot of time and effort, but your business would be all for the better in the long run. Check out our guide below.

Start Slow

Here’s something you probably don’t want to hear, but if you're going to compete with popular keywords, you need to target long-tail keywords first. Long-tail keywords are more extended, more specific keywords that generally have low competition. Targeting competitive keywords without site authority can cause your site to be hidden into a pile of other ignored links. Which is why you need to start slow; get ranked for long-tail keywords, gain traffic, and once your site is established, you can try competing for harder keywords.

Create A LOT Of High-Quality Content

These days, having useful and relevant content is something you need to have for any of your digital campaigns to work. Search engine algorithms have developed ways to rank high-quality content over things like the number of inbound links and on-page SEO. In fact, low-quality, spammy content can cause your SEO rankings to lower. Your content creation should suit the type of business you have and the keywords you are targeting. Content is the glue that holds SEO together. High-quality content is what gets your site valuable links, leads, and direct sales. This is why it’s crucial to produce a steady stream of relevant and actionable content so your site can gain authority.

Build Links The Legitimate Way

Google and other search engines have become smarter. Unlike before, you can no longer cheat your way into building a high number of links. Today, that method can get you penalized. One of the defining factors in Google’s SEO scoring is not the number of inbound links, but the quality. You should practice safe and honest link building that will help you obtain backlinks from reputable, high-traffic websites. No matter what you do, NEVER purchase links or resort to any sort of blackhat SEO. It will only get you in trouble. Instead, build links by guest blogging, email marketing, and other legitimate ways that are recognized by search engines. You may also try starter links, it's good for your branding, add more referral and back-links.