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Why you should still target keywords that have no search volume

target keywords with zero search volume

As you are preparing a content plan for your blog, or just doing some research for a post?

Many keyword tools, like Ahrefs, will give you keyword suggestions that display 0 search volume.

keyword ideas with no search volume ahrefs
are these really worthless?

Most beginner bloggers and SEOs will automatically discard these keywords.

It’s the wrong thing to do, however. You should examine these and use some of them to grow your business.

There are several reasons some keywords may have 0 search volume in your keyword tool reports – and still be useful.

Let’s go over a few.

1) The keywords are only starting to trend.

All keyword tools, including the KeyWord Planner in Google ads, are looking back. That is, they show how popular a keyword has been on average.

Search phrases that are only gaining popularity, however, have no history to show.

Celebrity gossip, next versions of products, new movies that are out – all those search phrases can be really hot right now, but still have 0 search volume in your keyword tools.

Predicting keyword search volume is an art in itself.

There are ways to leverage seasonality, premiere schedule, and other data to get tons of organic traffic from so-called 0 search volume queries.

Creating content plans that think ahead is what real blog post SEO is about.

2) The keywords got into the suggestions list somehow.

One way or the other, somehow, somewhere, these search phrases emerged out of chaos and got into your keyword ideas list.

That already means someone searched for them and triggered the bots enough so that they understood the query, recorded it, and later gave to you.

At least read through the 0 search volume keywords and use common sense to determine if they are genuine or a glitch.

3) The keyword tool data is wrong.

Yes, you heard it here. As we audited content marketing strategies of hundreds of sites, we’ve noticed a pattern:

Search phrases in real life are more popular than they seem in keyword tools.

Google Search Console can give you an idea of a search query’s true volume: once you get a keyword to Page 1, check the amount of impressions you got for it in the certain country.

Then compare your number with the search volume you get in your keyword tool for that country.

Usually the real-life impressions number will be 2-6(!) times higher than the tool data.

Another good reason not to dismiss 0 search volume keyword ideas – they might be way more popular in real life.

4) More text -> more word combinations -> more prospective keywords.

We can not stress this enough to our clients: publishing content is the gateway to finding new content ideas.

Google Search Console is at play here again – we’ve written about getting new keyword ideas using GSC.

If you include sections that explain and expand those 0 volume search topics into your articles, you will get more impressions for new unexpected search phrases.

The more words you combine in your blog posts, the more new queries your site will appear in SERPs for.

All the keyword ideas will then be able to turn into standalone posts.

To put it in another way – you should by all means expand your content pool with more relevant blog posts, no matter if the keywords are 0 or not. After all, “SEO content” is not something that should define your blogging strategy.

5) All search phrases are gateways to content ideas.

This is the highest level of keyword research that tools can’t do.

And luckily so, because it means we humans still have an edge over robots.

When you analyze keywords with 0 search volume, think about the possible searchers behind them.

Are these people different from your customer persona? If yes, then how?

If no, then – are you sure their interests are covered with your existing or planned content?

Is the search phrase just a variation of something you already covered, or is it a whole other topic you didn’t even tap into?

As you think of that, you will get more blog post ideas.


If this is all over your head – order a content plan from us: our experts do all the thinking, and your content marketing gets jump-started.

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