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Is Bidding on Low Search Volume Keywords a Good Strategy in 2023 for Colleges?

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Marketing campaigns for educational institutions can become quite expensive; quite complicated too. In this age of automation where everything is at our fingertips, keeping track of all those trends that make for high SERP (Search Engine Results Page) ranking can still require a lot of research. And even that might not be enough.

Ranking on Google’s search pages is all about finding the right keywords for your content or ad, as any SEO executive worth their ‘executieness’ will tell you. The gold standard for keyword targeting has been, of course, finding high-volume, low-competition, and high-converting keywords.

Is that the best approach? It is the most popular approach that almost always brings in results. Note that almost always. Hyper-focused businesses like universities can benefit from low search volume keywords too and with fewer risks! Read on to understand why, how, and when this alternative strategy can sneak into the top of the SERPs with much lower investment.

Why Targeting Low-Volume Keywords Works

As the name implies, a low-volume keyword is a keyword that ranks very low on the search volume in keyword planners. How little counts as low? We’d say a term with less than 100 monthly searches in your location. Why’ll that work to bring in more customers, you might be wondering.

These “low-hanging fruit”… as they are often referred to in the SEO world, use metrics as a selection criterion, not a qualifying criteria. What does that mean? And how will that benefit you? Let us explain.

  • Your keyword/s, if it has a low volume in the search results, will also have low competition in the SERPs.
  • Since a low-traffic keyword is usually going to be a long-tailed one, they might have a laser-focused target audience. At least that’s what you should aim for. These can bring in extremely targeted traffic that results in high conversion rates.

Targeting the Low-Hanging Fruits

Let us now look at a few types of low-volume keywords that our SEO executives at Mobisaturn often utilize to effectively utilize your marketing budget.

Intercept Keyword

This type of keyword is usually a hyper-focused term, with a minimum of 4 words in the search phrase. An intercept keyword can be tailored to target core issues that your customer base is concerned with, or even address questions about your competitors’ services. In your case, it could be creating a keyword like “[Name of competition college] alternative for Btech”, for example.

Tip: Make sure your claims are accurate. To err on the side of caution, play up good things about your college, instead of a direct good vs bad competition with your competition. Google prides itself on giving accurate information, and in this way, you can deliver that easily.

Piggyback Keyword

A piggyback keyword also operates under the same tactic as an intercept keyword. They have the ability to facilitate a marriage between two types of users – those searching for an established product or service; and those who are searching for yours. The established product/service doesn’t even have to be competitive in this case, most are usually complementary.

The low to nil competition that these will bring also generally translates to low to zero costs incurred in bidding for these search terms. For example, let’s take the IELTS exam that students need to clear to study MBA in foreign countries. Not a direct competitor to your college but established enough to draw search volume. You could point out that the undergraduate Commerce courses in your university have elective English modules in their syllabus designed to help with IELTS preparation.

How Even Zero Search Volume Keywords Can Work

A zero search volume keyword also falls in both the low-volume and long-tailed categories. These can also work to get you lots of traffic because of the few reasons mentioned below.

  • Literally, NO competition: While many SEO people will disregard a keyword with zero search volume; if the content is unique, optimized, and thoughtful it stands a fair chance at ranking if we go by Google’s directives for a good quality score.
  • Hyper-focused audience: Highly relevant content might not bring in lots of views, but will still bring in an audience that is searching for the exact thing you are trying to rank for. So your customers will be more inclined to convert.

When to Target Low-Volume Keywords

Finally, let us talk about some of the conditions that need to be met that’ll make using low search volume keywords a winning strategy for expanding the outreach of your business. You can successfully pull off this strategy when:

  • User intent is high
  • If the search difficulty is low
  • If it is a long-tailed keyword containing a high-volume keyword
  • If your content covers a niche topic
  • If your keyword has a low CPC

Climb the SERP with Mobisaturn

An online marketing campaign can be very expensive in terms of both money and time that you need to expend regularly in 2023. As you might have heard, even just having a winning keyword targeting strategy is not enough to guarantee you a spot toward the top of a SERP, as SEO requires other stuff too (like acquiring backlinks). The team at Mobisaturn can take care of all the requirements that can help your content rank, using a combination of niche and popular strategies. From using ‘buying keywords’ to utilizing a best-of-both-worlds approach targeting both high-volume and low-volume keywords, we make sure that your marketing budget is utilized in the best way possible.


1. What are long-tailed keywords?

Long tail keywords are usually more search terms or phrases that include 4 or more words. These are usually highly focused and have lower competition.

2. What is SEO?

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the process of making your content more attractive to search engines like Google.

3. How can I determine the cost of keywords?

Tools like Google’s Ads platform can help you determine the cost of keywords you want to choose, along with other parameters like competition, search volume, etc.

4. How does keyword bidding work?

Whenever someone searches for a term on Google, an auction happens. If your keyword matches the search term, you are entered into an auction with other competitors who have targeted the same keyword. The one with the highest bid usually wins.