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Keywords Explorer

How to use the Overview report

In this report, we show all the SEO metrics you need to make quick yet informed decisions about a keyword.

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Use the “country” dropdown to select the country you would like to see data for.

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Use the “search engine” dropdown to select the search engine you would like to see data for.

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Below are some actionable ways to use this report.

See keyword search volumes from 200+ countries

Search volume shows the number of times a keyword is searched per month.

For example, the query “how to lose weight” gets ~125,000 searches per month in the United States.

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See global search volume for any keyword

Global search volume is the sum of searches from all countries.

For example, the query “how to lose weight” has a global search volume of ~365,000 monthly searches.

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If your customer base is global, you might want to look at global volumes rather than country-specific search volumes.

Check the Keyword Difficulty of any keyword

Keyword Difficulty estimates how hard it will be to rank in the top 10 for a given keyword. It's scored on a scale from 0-100.

For example, the query “how to lose weight” has a Keyword Difficulty score of 83.

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To calculate it, we look at the number of referring domains pointing at the current top-ranking pages.

Under each KD score, you’ll see the estimated number of backlinks from different websites you need to rank on the first page for this keyword.

Learn more about the concept of Keyword Difficulty here.

Pro Tip

Keyword Difficulty isn’t meant to discourage you from ranking for a particular keyword. It’s intended to help you estimate the resources required to rank for it. If ranking for a keyword is vital for your business, you may still want to pursue it, even if the KD score is high.

Check the traffic potential for any keyword

A page can rank for hundreds of keywords and get traffic from all of them. Traffic potential shows the sum of organic traffic that the #1 ranking page for your target keyword receives from all the keywords that it ranks for.

For example, the keyword “submit website to search engines” has a traffic potential of 4,600, even though it only has a volume of 450.

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See the number of clicks on search results for a keyword

The Clicks metric shows the average number of clicks that happen on the search results page.

For example, the query “Google founders” gets ~600 searches per month, but the search results are only clicked ~154 times.

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The reason: not all searches result in clicks.

For example, if you search for “Google founders," you get an answer instantly, so there's no need to click on a result.

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In general, you can use the Clicks metric to decide if a keyword is worth targeting. If a keyword has a high search volume but a low number of clicks, you might not get much organic traffic, even if you rank well.

See the cost-per-click for any keyword

The Cost-Per-Click (CPC) metric shows the average cost of a click on the paid search results for a given keyword.

For example, the query “best CRM software” has a CPC of $40.

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Use this to gauge PPC competition, and decide if you want to compete.

You can also use the CPC metric to get a sense of whether a query has commercial value. Generally speaking, the higher the CPC, the more likely that is.

A high CPC keyword with lots of clicks may be worth ranking for in organic search as it could be very lucrative.

See the “Parent Topic” of any keyword

Parent Topic determines if you can rank for your target keyword while targeting a more general topic instead.

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To identify the Parent Topic, we take the #1 ranking page for your keyword and find the query responsible for sending the most search traffic to that page.

For example, let’s say you own a fitness site and you wish to teach people how to do lunges with weights. If you analyze the query “how to do lunges with weights," you’ll see that the search volume is 350. However, the Parent Topic is “lunges with weights.”

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Looks like the #1 result for this query gets an estimated 2,000 monthly search visits.

This is likely a better target.

See more keyword ideas

Keywords Explorer runs on a vast database of ~9.5 billion keywords for Google. For any keyword you enter, we’ll show you the top five keywords from our keyword ideas reports.

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This gives you some insight into other related queries people are making at a glance.

If you want more keyword ideas, you can choose from one of three different keyword ideas reports:

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  • Matching terms - keyword ideas that contain your target keyword or phrase
  • Related terms - keyword ideas that are related to your seed keywords or phrases
  • Search suggestions - 'autocomplete' suggestions for your target query and related terms

See the SERP position history for your target keyword

SERP (search engine results page) position history shows historic rankings for the current top-ranking pages.

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This is useful for checking SERP volatility—the fluctuations in ranking positions among top-ranking pages.

For example, the colorful graph for the keyword “football” indicates that the top-ranking pages are continually fluctuating. This may be a sign of unclear or varying search intent over time.

Some SEOs see this as an opportunity to rank, whereas others prefer predictability through stable SERPs. However, stability in the first page may also mean that the keyword is more challenging to crack.

See SEO metrics for the top-ranking pages

The SERP Overview shows the first page of the search results for your keyword, along with the most important SEO metrics.

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With this, you can see the following SEO metrics for each of the top 10 pages:

  • Number of backlinks
  • Number of referring domains;
  • Estimated monthly organic traffic in the target country;
  • Number of keywords it's ranking for in the target country;
  • The keyword that sends the most organic traffic in the target country;
  • Search volume for the “top keyword” in the target country.

This allows you to quickly assess the top-ranking pages and understand why these pages are ranking where they are.

Keep learning

Check out this video to learn how to do keyword research:

Or read some of the articles on the Ahrefs blog:



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