Understanding Google Keyword Competition: an Effective Guide

Keywords are the cornerstone of every Google Ads strategy. A significant criterion to consider when selecting keywords for your paid campaign is its competitiveness. Google keyword competition refers to how difficult it will be to win a bid for a specific keyword on Google’s paid search results. It relates to the number of advertisers bidding for a particular keyword. If a keyword has high competition, you’ll need to bid higher to win better ad positions. Generally, higher competition keywords will cost more to make ad placements in Google’s paid search results. 

Understanding keyword competition is crucial for deciding which keywords to target for an ad campaign. Knowing how many advertisers are bidding on a keyword will help you determine the budget to allocate to your campaign. This guide discusses Google keyword competition. It also highlights some tips for ranking well on Google SERPs.

What Is Google Keyword Competition?

Google Keyword competition measures the number of advertisers bidding on a particular keyword. It reveals how competitive ad placement is for a keyword. Keyword competition can either be high, medium, or low, determined by the number of advertisers bidding on a particular keyword across Google. 

If a keyword has low competition, it means that fewer advertisers are bidding on the keyword. You might only need to spend a little to get clicks for that keyword. 

Keyword competition data is used mainly for ad campaign purposes. However, they can help you determine how difficult it will be to rank on organic search results for specific keywords.

Why Is Keyword Competition Important?

Google keyword competition refers to how challenging it will be to win a bid for a specific keyword. Knowing how many advertisers are currently bidding for a keyword will help you determine whether bidding higher is worthwhile. Or focusing on a less-competitive keyword is better.

If a keyword has a high competition score, more advertisers are bidding on that specific keyword. You will have to outbid these bidders to earn a top ad position. A less-competitive keyword has a limited number of bidders, so you won’t have to bid as high to outrank the existing competition. 

Analyzing keyword competition helps you determine which keywords are worth investing time and money into and which are not. This saves you from lost leads and enables you to make the best ad placement decisions.

Typically, a keyword with a low competition level is a good choice. You’ll need to bid less to rank for such keywords in Google’s paid results. 

Considering other keyword metrics like the search volumes and how much advertisers pay for clicks from related ad placements is also essential. You need sufficient and accurate keyword data to determine which keywords are worth targeting.

If a keyword has a low competition level but a low search volume, it may not be worthwhile to bid for it. You must ensure that your target keywords are those your audience is searching for. 

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How to Check Keyword Competition

After compiling a list of relevant keywords for your paid campaign, you will want to check the competition level of these keywords. The good thing is you don’t have to crack your brain to achieve this. There are several tools for checking keyword competition.

Here are some of the best tools.

1. Google Keyword Planner

Google Keyword Planner is a free tool offered by Google to assist in keyword research. The reports generated from this tool allow for insights into the popularity of various phrases, their cost-per-click ratio, and search volume. 

Google keyword planner is easy-to-use. Upload your keyword list, and you’ll receive data on the average monthly searchescompetition level, and top-of-page bids for your keyword. The top-of-the-page bid refers to the bid required for your ad to appear at the top of search results. With this information, you can decide which keywords to bid on.

Google Keyword Planner also suggests related keywords that you might want to target. You can access the tool for free with your Google Ads account.

2. SEMrush

SEMrush is a paid keyword tool that offers a free search with limited functionality. Enter a keyword into the tool, and you’ll receive data on the search volume, paid search CPC, and competition level. You’ll also get a list of keywords related to your searched term alongside their search volumes and CPC. 

You’re limited to 10 searches per day and have limited access to advanced tools. You’ll need to upgrade to the Premium package to get the most out of this tool.

3. Moz Keyword Explorer

Moz Keyword Explorer is a great keyword tool that provides valuable keyword data. The free version of the tool allows up to two daily searches with limited data. If you need more information, you can upgrade to the paid version of the tool, which offers users unlimited searches and detailed keyword data. 

Enter a keyword into the tool, and you’ll get keyword volume, difficulty, and SERP analysis data. Moz also offers keyword suggestions based on your search term.

4. Keyword Finder

Keyword Finder is another great tool for checking keyword competition. It is a paid tool but offers limited free searches. 

The free version of the tool gives you the search volume, CPC, and difficulty estimate of a specific keyword. It also provides you with keyword suggestions. For detailed keyword information, you’ll need to upgrade to the premium version of the tool.

5. SEOBook

SEOBook is a free tool that allows you access to a handful of keyword tools. When you upload a keyword list, it generates valuable metrics, including the keyword’s monthly search volume, daily search volume, and CPC. It also lets you generate relevant keywords for your campaigns.

SEOBook allows you to export reports of your keywords as a CSV file. 

SEO wooden scrabble blocks placed on a brown table
Photo by NisonCo PR and SEO on Unsplash

Tips for Attaining High Ranking on Google SERPs

1. Improve Your on-Page SEO

One of the ways to rank high on Google SERPs is to improve your search engine optimization. To achieve this, use the proper title and description meta tags. Ensure that your keywords are used properly in these tags.

2. Watch Out for Your Technical SEO

Technical SEO problems can cause issues on your SEO site, so it is advised that you pay close attention to them. Here are some things you should consider:

  • Ensure that your website is optimized for mobile devices.
  • Look out for updates.
  • Ensure that your website is always improved to fit Google’s algorithm.

3. Consider Search Intent

If the people who visit your site get what they are looking for, your website ranking will improve. Otherwise, Google will make your content rank very low. If your page content is related to the searcher’s intent, it will generate more organic traffic. Ensure that your content is relevant to your audience.

4. Aim for High-Quality Content

Another way to rank higher on Google is to publish high-quality content. Google considers the relevance of content when ranking web pages. If your content is relevant and of high quality, Google will rank you higher.


Keyword competition refers to the competitiveness of an ad placement over a keyword. A keyword’s level of competition (low, medium, or high) indicates the number of advertisers bidding for that keyword. 

A keyword with high competition suggests that many advertisers are bidding on that keyword. You’ll need to bid higher to win better ad positions for such keywords. A low-competition keyword has fewer advertisers bidding on it. 

Understanding the competition level of your keywords helps you determine which keywords are best to bid on. It also allows you to set a realistic budget for your advertising campaign. This guide listed some of the best tools you could use to check the competition level of your keyword. 

Co-Founder of INK, Alexander crafts magical tools for web marketing. SEO and AI expert. He is a smart creative, a builder of amazing things. He loves to study “how” and “why” humans and AI make decisions.

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