One of the main targets of content marketing is increasing organic search traffic to the site and its subsequent conversion. Therefore, an important component of any content strategy is the correct analysis of the search queries of your potential customers and the selection of keywords for further optimization of the content.
Search queries are words or combinations of keywords that users enter into search engines to get a certain result. For example, if you need information about creating a website, you can type “how to create a website” as a search query.
The frequency of search queries (how often users search for this or that query) is largely explained by the topic and area of business, as well as by region, seasonality, and search engine your prospects use.
Types of the search queries according to their frequency
HF / MF / LF / mLF are abbreviations indicating the frequency of requests. Frequency is a measure of the popularity of a search query. Accordingly, HF means high-frequency requests, MF – mid-frequency, LF – low-frequency, mLF – micro-low frequency. The specific number of searches for each range will vary depending on the niche.
Search requests are divided into categories by frequency:
- Low-frequency (LF) – up to 100 searches per month;
- Mid-frequency (MF) – up to 1000 searches per month;
- High-frequency (HF) – from 1000 searches per month
For example, if we check the keyword “Internet marketing” through Ahrefs, we will get the following Volume indicators (in Ahrefs, this is a parameter responsible for frequency):
At the same time, the request “types of search queries” will have significantly lower indicator
These are high- and low-frequency requests.
Here is another interesting infographic from Ahrefs, where there are concepts:
- the fat head – high-frequency request;
- the chunky middle – medium frequency requests;
- the long tail – low-frequency requests.
Low-frequency requests, their concept, and features
Let’s start with LF: low-frequency requests – how many? Users rarely enter these queries into the search, less than 100 times a month.
Which queries are considered low-frequency? It is determined for each site separately. There are extremely popular queries, compared to which even 1000 searches is a low indicator. For instance:
Look at these huge numbers. Of course, requests with 500 searches per month for such a niche are trifles.
Low-frequency requests for the boost play one of the most important roles, they are the most specific and objective. That’s why it is more correct to start working on the internal optimization of the site with them. These requests are often called the long tail.
Long tail keywords are a type of low-frequency query that contains several additional clarifying words. The use of such keywords is recommended for many reasons: their conversion is higher, competition is lower, and they can be quickly promoted to the top with minimal financial investments. The main disadvantage of such requests is the small amount of traffic they bring, so you need to promote them by the hundreds and thousands. Also, long-tail queries are not suitable for landing pages and business card sites but are best suited for content.
How to choose low-frequency requests? Take and analyze everything that Ahrefs (or any other similar service) shows. For content marketing, the intention (purpose) of the user is also an extremely important characteristic. Therefore, when selecting requests that you plan to work with in the future, pay attention to user intention.
How to promote low-frequency requests?
Most often (but not always) they are the simplest and the most undemanding requests. Also, they don’t need to be supported by links – you just need to create relevant content: write articles, news, and product cards that will give the user the most meaningful and accurate answer to his question.
Traffic for such queries will begin to grow immediately, but perhaps slowly: low-frequency queries have little traffic potential. Therefore, the results may not be impressive at first, but the more such requests are implemented on the site, the higher its traffic will be later.
Highly competitive LF requests occur, but rarely – mainly in narrow commercial niches with high competition. That is, there are very few people who enter such requests, and it will not be easy to get the site to the top, but the conversion rate is quite high.
Medium-frequency requests, their concept, and features
Medium frequency requests – how much is it? MF are search queries that are slightly more popular than LF. Medium-frequency and low-frequency requests are the basis of site promotion because there are more of them. By using both groups of queries you can achieve optimal traffic with little effort.
It is more difficult to promote a site with commercial MF than with informational ones, and this must be taken into account. Commercial requests are those that sell, and the competition for them is higher. According to medium-frequency requests, the number of offers corresponds to the level of demand: there are really quite a few sites that are promoted mainly by MF.
High-frequency requests, their concept, and features
High-frequency queries are words and phrases that users type into the browser’s search bar most often. This category usually includes keywords that have more than 1-3 thousand searches per month.
Usually, high-frequency search phrases consist of 2 words, and sometimes only one. This is both their advantage and disadvantage. Promotion of HF requests has a key advantage – significant audience coverage and the ability to attract a large flow of visitors to the website. But from this point, a lot of shortcomings arise, which we can’t ignore.
High-frequency queries mean a wide variety and a lot of options: there are not only informational and commercial queries but also brand queries, which are followed by a lot of traffic. But such requests are extremely competitive, therefore the most high-frequency requests are the most expensive in all respects.
Another disadvantage of high-frequency queries in Google is that they don’t have the highest conversion rate. It is not clear what the user wants when typing “laptop screen” into the search bar. Does he/she need maintenance information, addresses of workshops where it can be repaired or replaced, or any technical specifications? Or the content of the page may not be what a person is looking for.
That is, with high-frequency queries, we do not always have the opportunity to understand the intention (target) of the user when he/she types a keyword in the search. But we can compete with it. Pay attention to the already existing search results for one or another keyword – what type of content is shown to you? Because the search engine has already analyzed the behavior of hundreds and thousands of customers who typed this search query and their reaction to the content they saw.
Google takes into account many indicators such as:
- Time spent by the user on the page
- Bounce rate
- Has the user returned to the issue page – to keep on looking for the content
Based on this data, Google forms an idea about the content that is on the page.
How to promote high-frequency requests?
It’s a long and expensive way. To get to the top of the search results, you will have to work long and hard on the site, investing, financially as well. You should consider that especially the most high-frequency Google queries are a huge flaw of the audience, in particular non-targeted ones, and extremely high competition.
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- 100,000+ media publications;
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Where to see the frequency of the request and its competitiveness
In order to determine high-frequency requests and unmistakably find out their frequency, you can use specialized services:
- Google Ads (Google keyword planner);
- Keyword Generator;
- Moz’s Keyword Explorer;
- Long Tail Pro
In my work, I most often use Ahrefs, where the KD indicator shows the competition, and the Volume – the frequency (popularity) of the keyword
Here we can see that the keyword content marketing is a high-frequency keyword, because volume = 103k, at the same time it is a highly competitive keyword because the KD coefficient is 89 and is in the super hard zone.
Disadvantages of promoting HF requests
There is a small target audience
If we compare high-frequency and low-frequency queries, it is worth noting that the first ones are much more vague and imprecise. And that’s why they often bring a non-target audience to the site. Let’s look at an example. A person types the query “iPhone 14 Pro”. How can a search engine understand what exactly interests her? Does this person want to buy a phone? Or to check its review? Or look at the photo? The lack of specificity means that HF queries will always lead to many non-targeted users. And those, not getting the desired result and quickly leaving the page, can worsen the behavioral factors of the web resource, which is quite capable of lowering the site’s ranking in search results. The result is a long chain in which the main advantage of HF requests actually turns into a serious disadvantage.
Conversion is the ratio of targeted actions to the total number of site visitors. As it becomes clear from the previous point, there will be very few targeted actions in this case against the background of large volumes of traffic. Again, the reason lies in untargeted impressions and conversions to the site.
Despite the obvious disadvantages, the competition in promoting HF requests is extremely high. Everyone wants to be in the top 3 for high-frequency keywords in order to attract maximum traffic to the site. Overtaking competitors, especially in popular niches, is an extremely difficult task. And staying at the top is even more difficult.
If the promotion with low-frequency keywords can give tangible results in 3-4 weeks, then the promotion with high-frequency phrases is a process that lasts months and even years. It is almost impossible to get into the top 3 in a highly competitive niche for HF requests in 2-3 months or more. Many companies have been engaged in promotion for years and invested serious amounts in promotion for high-frequency keywords, but still can’t enter the top 3, staying in the top 5 or top 10. These are also good positions, but still not the top.
Not every business can afford to boost the HF request to the top 3. Due to extremely high competition and high labor costs, it is really expensive, and often unjustifiably so. The same funds can be directed to the promotion of medium- and low-frequency keywords and phrases to attract more precisely targeted traffic.
What are the best search queries to promote?
What queries (low-frequency, medium-frequency, or high-frequency) to collect to create content for your site? The ideal search queries for promotion are high-frequency and low-competition, meaning you’ll get the most traffic with the least effort. But this is happening very rarely.
Therefore, which requests are better to choose for building the content plan, depends on the site itself, the business, and the available resources. You need to clearly understand why you are creating content and, depending on this, choose the types of requests you work with:
- if the site is developing for demand in general (you just need traffic volumes) – use HF;
- if you need to attract the target audience – use more MF;
- if you need high conversion and sales growth – look for LF.
If SEO has not before, the site is not optimized and you are just at the beginning of the journey, then you need to start with low-frequency and work on them, gradually connecting mid-range and high-frequency.
If the site is maximally optimized for LF and MF, go for HF. Creating content for HF requests is an opportunity to attract maximum traffic and make the company recognizable. But this traffic will not always be targeted, and getting into the top 3 or even the top 10 with high-frequency keywords is long, expensive, and sometimes impractical activity.
**** 60% low-frequency search queries
10% high-frequency search queries
30% mid-frequency search queries
This is the main conclusion of our today’s article: start creating content for low-frequency and medium-frequency keywords to reduce the budget for promotion, and attract targeted traffic faster and cheaper. And only after that, if necessary, guide your efforts and funds into high-frequency promotion.