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Free Keyword
Difficulty
checker tool
Pick your best SEO keywords!

Find easy-to-rank-for keywords with our Keyword Difficulty checker and beat your competitors in SERPs!

What's the worst nightmare of any SEO? Wasting time and optimization effort on the wrong keywords. With Rank Tracker's improved Keyword Difficulty tool, forget about it for good. The tool lets you find the most cost-effective keywords that are super easy to rank for in no time at all!

What is Keyword Difficulty score?

Keyword Difficulty is a metric that shows how hard it's going to be to rank in top 10 results for any given keyword in Google or any localized versions of your target search engine.

To produce the Keyword Difficulty score, the tool calculates major factors of the ranking pages' such as PageRank, the overall domain authority, the number and quality of backlinks referring to the researched pages.

The algorithm behind the Keyword SEO Difficulty value is dead simple. The keyword tool analyzes top 10 ranking pages for a certain keyword according to a wealth of important SEO metrics like:

InLink Rank
Domain InLink Rank
Sites referring to a page
Sites referring to a domain
After analyzing all the factors, the tool checks the page strength against the top 10 competing websites for the SEO keyword and comes up with the overall score for the keyword. It forecasts how hard it will be for the page to outrank each individual competitor in the top 10 on the SERP for this query.

How exactly keyword difficulty metric can help you

  • Save time, money, and effort by picking the keywords that will quickly bring more earnings for your site at a lower cost.
  • Analyze keyword competition and win the best keyword opportunities using the Keyword Difficulty metric in combination with search volume and other SEO indicators.
  • Prioritize the right keywords or a whole list of keywords for your site based on how much effort it will take to rank for them.
  • Do niche research in keyword competition for any popular suggestions in a matter of minutes with the most extensive keyword database.
  • Explore local SEO competition with your custom settings for any search engine and geo location.
  • Choose the right optimization tactics for a keyword based on SERP analysis and your pages' strength.

Use the keyword difficulty metric for competition analysis

A competitive keyword with high ranking difficulty may take years to rank in organic search. How to estimate the time and effort it will require to rank for the keyword? Get help from our Keyword Difficulty Tool, the best of free SEO tools for estimating your traffic potential!

Take a look at Keyword Difficulty scores in combination with Search Volume and Keyword Effectiveness Index (KEI). You will find keywords that have the highest chances of bringing you tons of organic traffic and don't require much optimization effort to rank for.
Where to find the feature:
  1. In your project under the Target Keywords module, move to Rank Tracking and right-click on the header of any column in your workspace.
  2. Add the Google Keyword Difficulty and # of Searches columns.
  3. Click on the Update button and have a look at the added stats.

How to use keyword difficulty to spot the best-performing queries

For newbie websites who need a good start:
Keywords with low search volume are usually long-tail keywords that will be easier to rank for because pretty often they have low competition (which is not a strict rule, though). They will bring less traffic to your site. However, long-tail keywords show a higher click-through rate from organic search. They are a nice pick to start with and build up your domain authority.
For long-term rivals in tough competition:
With time, you will find your site competing for higher-search volume keywords as well. The most typical picture is that high-volume keywords have higher competition. To improve the keyword rankings for them, you will need great content plus strong domain authority. This will require much on-page SEO in combination with link building from high-quality domains.
A rare but lucky case for niche topics:
The lucky finds are low-competition keywords with considerable search volume. They become perfect keywords to optimize your pages and the easiest to rank for.

Get a close-up look at keyword competition with SERP Analysis

Keyword SEO Difficulty is the very first parameter to look at when comparing your pages to best-performing competitor domains. Now the Keyword Difficulty Checker lets you compare top 50 ranking competitors' pages for every SEO keyword and pick the right optimization strategy for your pages.
Where to find the feature:
  1. In your Rank Tracking project, hover your cursor over the Google Keyword Difficulty value next to your selected keyword.
  2. Click the Analyze SERP icon.
  3. The tool switches to the SERP Analysis and lays out top 50 ranking pages from the search results, with detailed insights into their ranking metrics.
The tool shows SEO difficulty calculated based on the top 50 results. All pages are analyzed for the major ranking factors, including:
  • Page strength
  • Backlinks to the page and to the domain
  • Major keywords and organic traffic of the domain
  • Performance score and passing Core Web Vitals test

You will get an overview of the keyword competition, with domain authority for the ranking pages, and the strength of their link profile. The tool discovers correlation between ranking factors and ranking positions on the SERP. Keyword difficulty is derived from the page's strength.

Such domain rating gives you a clue how much on-page and link building effort it will take to occupy a position amidst the top 10 ranking domains.

Estimate SEO keyword difficulty in bulk

If you've just collected a large number of new keyword suggestions and want to get an accurate Keyword Difficulty score for all of them in bulk, there's good news for you. With our Keyword Difficulty Tool, you can check and compare the difficulty index of the whole keyword list. This feature is especially useful for those who carry out keyword research and have to deal with a large amount of data.
How to check ranking difficulty for all keywords in the project:
  1. In the Rank Tracking submodule, click the Update icon in the header of the Google Keyword Difficulty column.
  2. In the pop-up wizard, select All keywords in workspace from the drop-down menu, make sure that Keyword Difficulty is checked
  3. Hit OK, and you will get the bulk difficulty score calculated for the whole list of keywords.
How to check ranking difficulty for a list of keywords:
  1. Group your keywords into topic clusters or assign them to target landing pages.
  2. In the Keyword Map submodule, find the average Keyword Difficulty score for a group of keywords.
  3. Examine the average difficulty score for all keywords mapped to an individual landing page.

Prioritize keywords by keyword difficulty score

Being an SEO, the last thing you probably want is to drown under a huge amount of rubbishy data. Don't waste your efforts on keywords that will hardly bring you any traffic to the site. Rank Tracker offers a nice solution to filter keywords with an appropriate SEO difficulty index. By applying filters, you will easily prioritize keywords that have the potential to maximize your SEO results.
How to
  1. In your workspace, click the funnel icon at the top right corner.
  2. Click on Add filter and set your preferences to show the keyword difficulty score, for example Less than > 60.
  3. Select all under Show results matching to see only the results that match your filtering conditions, and hit OK.

Check keyword difficulty on autopilot

With super fast-changing competition landscapes, Keyword Difficulty is the kind of metric that needs to be constantly monitored. The good news is, now you can get your scores calculated (together with a number of other SEO stats in bulk) completely on autopilot. Note that the automated tasks are supported in the Enterprise version, but there is always a free trial to test it.
How to
  1. In your project, move to Preferences > Scheduler.
  2. Click on the Add button, mark Update keyword data, and hit Next.
  3. Choose your site project, set the time and frequency of your checks, and name your scheduled task.

Professional SEO tools ain't just for pros.

Unbeatably powerful keyword research. Spot-on accurate rank monitoring of websites.
  • 23 methods of free keyword research from a most extensive keyword database in one software
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  • Improved Keyword Difficulty checker
  • Unlimited number of keywords and projects
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  • Fully customizable ranking reports
  • The most generous plan from all free SEO tools