Zero Search Volume Keywords: Are They Worth Going After?

Keyword research tools can be a great place to start when you’re looking for search terms that definitely get monthly visits. However, after a while, you start to tap out on the topics that are in your particular niche, and you’re going to need to experiment. Experimental SEO is one of the best ways that you can continue to grow your sites when you start to exhaust out your niche.

So in today’s article, I’m going to share with you how you can take advantage of some of the zero volume keyword phrases that Google will output for you and why it’s worthwhile for you to experiment with these particular phrases.

What are zero volume keyword phrases?

A lot of times keyword tools will output for you that there is no volume around a particular phrase when that couldn’t be further from the truth. The reason why you can tell this is because there are often forums such as Reddit or Quora, where you can see that these exact questions are being asked by people. And yet Google search results are giving you a zero volume in terms of the estimated monthly visits.

And then from here, I go through this common sense test where I asked myself, out of a hundred people in the world in my particular niche, is it true that literally none of those 100 people would actually care about this particular question? In most cases, the answer is no. In fact, in many cases, the answer is somebody does care about this particular question.

So what I would tell you is whenever you see the zero volume keyword phrases, as long as it falls into the who, what, where, when, how, and why question phrases, you should potentially pursue these particular phrases.

The best way to prove the importance of these zero volume phrases though, and how easy it is for these to stack up is to show you an experimental set of content that I created on one of my sites. What I did here was I saw that there was a long tail phrase that was consistently coming out as having zero volume even though I knew that people had to be searching this particular phrase in my niche.

So what I’ve gone ahead and done here is I pulled the results from the month of August around these experimental pieces of content. And what you’ll see is that I’ve only created eight pieces of different content around these particular phrases. And you can see that these top eight pieces of content have pretty much brought in my site 2200 monthly visits alone from this context.

So what this tells me is that Google is definitely wrong in the monthly volume estimate here, as well as all the other keyword tools. And what it tells me as well is that this experimental content piece definitely worked. And so from here, what’s really great is that I can actually scale this out another 30 to 50 times and then expect similar results when I do this in terms of the monthly visits to my site.

I’ve done this a ton of times and I can tell you it definitely works. However, it does require you to be open to failing sometimes when you are going after these zero volume keyword phrases. To build meaningful traffic, what I first do is identify a zero volume keyword phrase that has potential to be some sort of series.

I really like to create series or clusters of posts, because it allows me to test those posts together, as opposed to just putting one post out there and expecting it to rank. So what I look for in these zero volume keyword phrases is some sort of thing around those who, what, where, when, why, how questions that I can potentially replicate over and over again.

I’ve recently been using soccer as my example. So just thinking off the top of my head, there might be some sort of question like can you play soccer in the snow? So with that, I would replace that last word, snow with can you play soccer in the rain, in sleet, in hail, in a hurricane, et cetera. And that would just give me a ton of different content ideas that I can start to create clusters of content around.

That’s the second key to this particular process. You want to identify five to seven posts that you can actually create around the zero volume keyword phrase. And then from there I actually execute it. I test at least five to 10 post around that particular idea.

My fourth step is I let the content age for a few months, and then I checked my Google analytics to see if there’s any meaningful traffic coming from that experimental idea.

The fifth and final step to my processes in the case where there is some level of meaningful traffic, I make the decision as to whether or not I should continue investing in this particular cluster of content even though Google is telling me that there is zero volume around that phrase.

So in the example that I shared with you from one of my websites, you can see that there is about 2200 visits now from just the experimental content I’ve created and I can do this another four or five times. And so what I’m going to do is I’m going to go ahead and do that because I know it’s going to work. And it’s from these sorts of experimental ideas that you can actually build some meaningful traffic for your websites despite what Google might tell you or what keyword tools might tell you.

The thing they don’t tell you when you are starting on SEO is that SEO tools can be phenomenal places to start when you are building out your initial content base, but you’re eventually going to run out of ideas in your original niche. And so you need to branch out and you need to think about different ways to experiment with content.

That way you can actually stand a chance at continuing to add additional thousands of page views month over month for your websites.

In the case where you’re reading this and you actually implement this idea, I want you to commit to doing at least 15 posts and three different zero volume clusters. From here, what you’ll be able to do is you’ll get sufficient data points to see which of these three clusters is potentially the best bet for you. And then you can double down a few months from now in terms of getting even more results to your initial results.

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