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Understanding Volume, Difficulty & Authority Metrics in Your “Ideas” Tab

Koala Rank follows a structured approach to identify the best opportunities for ranking on queries that fit your business model best, and this method includes volume, difficulty, and authority metrics.

For each content idea we strategize, you will find these metrics in the “Ideas” tab of your client area (or, in case you’re using the older version, the “Dashboard” tab).

Here’s what they mean:

  1. Volume is a monthly estimate of how many people are searching for the primary keyword that’s connected to your content idea. Secondary keywords aren’t currently counted but may in the future. Please note that a lot of content ideas may seem to have low volume (10-100) but in reality searches will be a lot higher due to the estimates being pulled from either Ahrefs or UberSuggest which provide best guesses, not actual volumes.
  2. Difficulty is a number from 1 to 100 which is created based on Ahrefs’ or UberSuggest’s algorithm to give a rough idea of how competitive a certain query is. The more content there is that replies to a specific query, the higher the difficulty. Domain Authority is also a key factor in determining difficulty as we’ll see in a moment. Difficulty is an unreliable metric to base a content strategy off of and must be double-checked manually.
  3. Authority showcases the minimum Domain Authority that appears on page #1 of Google when typing in your primary keyword. Grabbing this piece of information is a manual process where the 1st page of Google is checked for each primary keyword to understand whether it’s possible to rank for or not. Whether you have a chance or not depends on how high your Domain Authority is against other competing domains.

For a quick explanation of Domain Authority, check Moz’s post.

Finding the minimum Domain Authority on page #1 of Google is a key part of creating an effective content strategy as relying solely on difficulty makes it impossible to tell whether you’ll actually rank or not.

An example is the following:

  • Volume on a keyword is 90 (low to medium)
  • Your primary keyword has 35/100 difficulty (medium to high)
  • The minimum Domain Authority on page #1 of Google for that keyword is 9 (very low)

If we see multiple instances of domains with low Domain Authority and the keyword is relevant to your business model, the keyword becomes a no-brainer, even if difficulty algorithms say it’s hard to rank for.

Practically any website will be able to compete with a minimum Domain Authority of 9. However, there are a variety of other factors that will contribute to a piece of content achieving the first spots on Google.

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