Free Keyword Difficulty Checker

Enter a keyword to check the keyword difficulty of any search term.

Signup for a Keysearch account to take your keyword research to another level.

Looking for something else? Browse our library of free tools.

Keyword Difficulty Tool

Screenshot from Keysearch Keyword Tool

The free Keysearch Keyword Difficulty Checker allows you to check the keyword difficulty and SEO competition of any keyword. You can check the keyword difficulty one at a time or use our bulk keyword difficulty checker option to check multiple keywords at once.

Free Keyword Difficulty Checker & Keyword Research Tool

What is Keyword Difficulty?

Keyword difficulty is the measurement on a scale of 0-100, of how hard it would be to rank a web page on the 1st page of Google for a specific keyword search. Keyword difficulty can also be known as KD, SEO difficulty, or SEO competition score.

Having an easy-to-understand metric enables anyone to get an overall gauge of the efforts and resources it may take to bring in Google traffic for certain search queries. You don't need to be an SEO expert to quickly understand keyword difficulty.

What is Keyword Difficulty
How to Check Keyword Difficulty

How Do I Check Keyword Difficulty

First signup for a free Keysearch account. Once inside, enter the seed keyword you'd like to check the keyword difficulty for into the keyword research tool. The keyword difficulty will then be shown for the main keyword. You will also be shown a list of related keywords which you can also check the keyword difficulty. If the score is not already shown for these related keywords just click the "Check" button and it will go out and check the keyword difficulty for that particular search term.

If you want to check the keyword difficulty for multiple keywords at once, just select the keywords you'd like to check and click the "Bulk Check" button. This will then do a bulk keyword difficulty check for all the keywords rather than one at a time.

Why is it Difficult to Rank For Certain Keywords?

Certain search terms have much stronger SEO competition. This can be because the web pages that are ranking are highly optimized for the search term, with strong backlinks, and do a good job of satisfying user intent.

Other times the web pages themselves might be lacking one of these elements, but the main domain the web page is on is highly authoritative, with plenty of credibility on the topic. Although the web page itself might not be as strong as others, the domain it is on could be propping it up in Google's eyes. This is also known as Domain Authority a metric made famous by MOZ.

Take Your Keyword Research To Another Level

Sign Up For a Keysearch Account


Take Control of Your Online Success!

How is Keyword Difficulty Calculated?

Each tool calculates keyword difficulty differently. Here at Keysearch, we have over a dozen different on-page and off-page SEO factors that go into the algorithm.

First, we gather the first page SERP results from Google. Then we analyze different metrics such as the number of backlinks, referring domains, ranking strength of the main domain, how optimized the ranking pages are, and many more elements. All of this feeds our algorithm and enables us to judge how stiff the competition might be to outrank.

There is no one metric that can be used to accurately determine keyword difficulty. Figuring out an algorithm that weights these factors appropriately is what differentiates the scores from keyword tool to keyword tool. That's why you may notice keyword difficulty can vary wildly depending on which SEO tools you are using.

We pride ourselves here at Keysearch as having one of the most accurate keyword difficulty scores. We don't set and forget the algorithm. It is consistently tweaked whenever we notice it can be improved.

How is Keyword Difficulty Calculated
What is a Good Keyword Difficulty Score

What is a Good Keyword Difficulty Score?

Any search term with a keyword difficulty under 30 is considered "easy to rank". The lower the keyword difficulty score the better.

What defines a good keyword difficulty score for your website to target though, varies depending on the ranking strength of your particular domain. As a rule of thumb, any website should be able to target keywords with a difficulty score of 30 or lower. Your website though may be able to target more competitive keywords.

How to Choose Keywords For SEO

When choosing keywords for SEO, the main goal is to identify those with a high enough search volume to drive search engine traffic, coupled with a low keyword difficulty score.

Usually, we recommend keywords with a search volume of at least 100 searches per month. The keyword difficulty to target will depend on the strength of your domain but anything under 30 is a good start.

Keyword Difficulty vs. Keyword Planner Competition

One thing that confuses many people is the "Competition" column in Google's Keyword Planner. This is not an indicator of the SEO keyword difficulty. This represents the amount of advertiser competition, meaning how much competition there is if you were to bid on the keyword using Google Ads.

Keyword difficulty, on the other hand, uses the organic search results to determine how hard a keyword is to rank. If you are using a keyword difficulty tool and it has a column labeled Comp, Competition, or PPC this is referring to the advertiser competition and not the SEO keyword difficulty.

Keyword Difficulty vs. Keyword Planner Competition

Bulk Keyword Difficulty Checker - SEO Competition Score - Keyword Analysis

Using Keyword Difficulty in Your Keyword Research

The main idea behind keyword difficulty is to help you find the right keywords to form your content around. By targeting keywords with low keyword difficulty, you give yourself a better chance to rank and draw traffic from Google for these keywords. Usually, this means targeting long-tail keywords rather than big, general search terms.

Since keyword difficulty is a single score that takes many SEO factors into account, it enables you to do an analysis of many keywords quickly and focus your content properly. This prevents you from investing endless hours of resources trying to decide what topics might be worth writing about.

Need Help With Keyword Research?

Sign Up For a Keysearch Account


Take Control of Your Online Success!