Learn how to target keywords with Ahrefs


When you're building a product or a service for an audience, I'm sure you want to reach as many people as possible either to have more revenue, to help more people, or both.

To achieve this, you need to grow organically and rank higher than other websites in search engines and you can do this by improving your SEO.

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.

How to improve your SEO to rank better

To rank better on search engines you can do many things like improve the internal linking, increase the backlinking, optimize the crawler budget, improve the web performance, choose the right keywords, etc.

Keywords are the words that your audience uses when searching for content.

To rank higher and better than other websites you need to know the words that your users use and include in the content you create.

To do that, you might need to identify what type of people is visiting your website to know where they are from, how old are they, etc because it says a lot about their habits and what kind of language and words they use.

What tool you should use to target keywords

There are many SEO tools in the market to know about how much traffic per month a certain search term has, keywords planners and suggestions, conversions, etc.

What tools I use to improve my SEO

To understand my audience and improve my SEO I use Google Trends to see how much traffic short search terms get monthly (single words or two-words-searches), Ahrefs to know how much traffic per month a long search term gets (known as long-tail keywords) and the conversion of these.

Lately, I discovered Exploiding Topics. They do really well with long-tail keywords too and the user interface is simple and beautiful.

Why I recommend you Ahrefs instead of Google Trends

I recommend you using Ahrefs rather than Google Trends because as we will see in a minute, Ahrefs gives you information that Google Trends doesn't:

  1. How difficult is to rank for that search term
  2. How much volume the search has per month
  3. How many clicks it has and its conversion
  4. Recommendations of keywords
  5. How much a click cost

Take into account that Google Trends is a free service and Ahref is not. So if you don't want to spend money, I recommend an article about how to use Google Trends to improve your SEO.

Example of how to use Ahrefs to know what keyword target

The majority of the audience of the worldwide community for people who love plants that I'm building are 25-35 years old people from the United States, in particular from California (San Francisco and Los Angeles), and Florida (Miami) that consume my content in smartphones.

Since the majority of the audience is from the United States, I will analyze the results of that country. You should do the same with the country where your users are from.

I wanted to write content for plants that are safe for cats, dogs and children but I didn't know how people from California were looking for these kinds of plants.

At first, I was going to use pet-friendly plants, because it sounds cute, "cool" and millennial, but would it be the best choice? Let's see!

Search the keywords that interest you in the "Keyword Explorer" section

At the top of the page, you can see many links. Keywords Explorer is a tool that allows you to research by many keywords (separate them by commas) at the same time which is good if you want to compare different keywords that are related or you want to compare them.

The home page of the Ahrefs' Keywords Searcher tool which allows you to choose what keywords you want to compare, in what countries and for what countries

As you can see in the image below, sometimes you will see that some keywords have no results. I've deduced that either is because they don't have enough traffic, or because no one searched for them on the platform before.

Message saying: "We couldn’t find data for keyword in our database. Most likely this is an unpopular keyword with low search volume." missing keyword:

What metrics you can see from each keyword

For each keyword you can see many metrics:

  1. Keyword difficulty (KD)
  2. Volume
  3. Clicks
  4. Cost per click
  5. Clicks Per Search (CPS)
  6. Return rate

A list of keywords with some metrics calculated for each one. Monthly volume, clicks, keyword difficulty, conversion, etc.

But I found the most relevant the following:

  1. Keyword difficulty (KD): How hard it will be to rank in the top 10 organic search results for a given keyword in a given location.
  2. Volume: How hard it will be to rank in the top 10 organic search results for a given keyword in a given location
  3. Clicks: Refers to the average monthly number of clicks on the search results that people make while searching for the target keyword
  4. Clicks Per Search (CPS): Ratio of Clicks to Keyword Search volume. It shows how many different search results get clicked, on average, when people search for the target keyword in a given country.

What metric should you pay attention to?

You know how popular and difficult a keyword is by combining the keyword difficulty and the volume metrics. The higher the volume and lower the keyword difficulty, the better.

The clicks metric is interesting as well, but it's better to see the ratio search/click to know how often a user after researching for a keyword, clicks on a result.

In my case, I had to decide on what keywords I had to target the audience that is looking for plants that work well with pets. I had to choose between:

  1. plants safe for cats
  2. pet friendly plants
  3. plants safe for dogs
  4. non toxic plants
  5. plants safe for pets

Finally, I decided to go for safe plants for cats and safe cats for dogs.

I chose safe plants for cats because it has a higher volume with a similar keyword difficulty than others.

Another benefit of choosing these keywords is that they cover 2 searches which are 2 potential niches. On the other hand, the keywords pet friendly plants, non toxic plants, or plants safe for pets only cover one search.


I like using Ahrefs when it comes to knowing exactly how much volume a keyword has, compare some keywords, or know the click ratio they have. On the other hand, Ahrefs is my preferred option when it comes to long-tail keywords because Google Trends is not good in these cases.