FAQs About the Keyword Golden Ratio

Is there a tool to automate finding KGR terms?

No. Part of the reason it works is that this is a manual process. The “allintitle” search is throttled down by Google.

People are lazy so if you put in the work, then you can come out ahead.

People want to find a faster, automated way to find a huge number of KGR terms. Am I right? That’s what you’re thinking.

My guess is that Google doesn’t want bots or other automated tools to pull the data so you can only do so many searches in a given amount of time.

But the way I see it, if you use my KGR spreadsheet, you can find more than you need. You’ll get better at it.

Think about it this way:

If you can find 1 or 2 keyword golden ratio compliant terms per day for a few weeks, you’ll have more than enough content ideas than you use. You’re limiting factor will be hiring writers or writing the content yourself.

You don’t need 50 or 100 keywords, you need about 5 or 10 to get started.

Disclosure: Some of these are affiliate links so I earn a commission if you buy. Thank You!

But if you insist on finding more keywords, here are 2 recommendations:

  1. Use a paid keyword research tool to save time and filter out the noise. Two great tools:
  2. Hire a service like Human Proof Designs. I’d stay away from low price providers on Fiver. HPD is the service I use for the Aged Site Case Study. They deliver fast and the data is accurate.

I found a term with a KGR under 0.25, but the search volume is over 250. Now what?

The KGR formula isn’t designed to work with search volumes greater than 250. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad idea to target this term.

You’ve found a keyword with a lower degree of competition, which is still a good thing.

You may not rank as quickly, or at all for this term. But that’s a risk with any keyword.

Think about these two things:

  1. Let’s say the search volume for the term is 10,000. If the KGR is 0.25, that means 2,500 other sites have the keyword phrase in the title and are likely targeting it.
  2. Compare that to targeting a KGR term with a search volume of under 250, where you’ll only be competing with a maximum of 62.5 other sites.

Simply put: more competition makes it hard to rank — but not impossible.

👉 Higher search volume keywords take longer to rank than low search volumes, regardless of the competition numbers.

If you want to target a high search volume term, you’ll need to create outstanding content — and be patient while Google decides where to rank your content.

Click to read another article all about this topic.

What if keyword research tools show different search volumes?

That’s fine — the KGR still works fine. You should pick one tool and stick with it.

It’s likely that keyword research tools will deliver different search volumes for the same keyword phrase. That’s fine because the KGR is a very aggressive formula, taking that fact into account.

The keyword search tools all use different algorithms for the data, sometimes it’s a proprietary algorithm with some mystery factors.

The easiest example is that “Tool 1” uses 12 months to calculate the average monthly search volume, and “Tool 2” uses 24 months to calculate the average.

It can make a big impact on the stated search volume, then throw off the KGR value significantly.

If you stick to one tool, the specific search volumes might be different but the relative search volume compared to other keywords should hold up.

Keyword Research tools aren’t accurate so how can the KGR work?

Keyword research tools show averages of the search volume based on historical data so the exact search volume aren’t going to be accurate.

That’s confusing since many tools show very specific stats, like 42 searches per month for “keyword A.”

Or 157 searches per month for “keyword B,” and if you’re like me when I first started learning about keyword research, you might think it’s totally accurate.

Why would the tool give specific numbers if they aren’t significant…? I can’t answer that but here’s the important idea.

The keyword research tools give you a good idea about one keyword compared to another.

So in a relative sense, you can assume that “keyword B” gets about four times as many searches as “keyword A.”

It’s not important to know the exact searches per month that a keyword will get in the future. That’s good since you can’t know that information — it’s in the future.

The KGR works fine since it’s an aggressive formula and we are dealing with lower search volume terms.

What if 2 KGR terms are similar? Should I target both?

Don’t be surprised if you find a lot of related KGR terms.

For example, all of these phrases might return a KGR result below 0.25:

  • Surround Air XJ-3800
  • Surround Air XJ-3800 Review
  • Surround Air XJ-3800 Intelli-Pro
  • Surround Air XJ-3800 Intelli-Pro Air Purifier
  • Surround Air XJ-3800 Intelli-Pro Air Purifier Review
  • Surround Air XJ-3800 Intelli Pro HEPA Air Purifier

Does that mean you should write a separate blog post for each of them?

Maybe, maybe not. Consider:

  • It’s hard to write unique, high-quality content on super similar topics.
  • Slight variations of the same word may not warrant long enough blog content to make it worth separating them.
  • Google view your articles as duplicate content and punish you in the search results.

If you’re not sure what to do, here’s my rule of thumb:

  • If the content is super similar, combine the KGR keywords into a single post.
  • If the content is similar, but the content of the articles is different, then combine the KGR keywords into a single post.

Click to read another article all about this topic.

Are there exceptions to the KGR?

It depends on what you’re asking. If you’re just starting a new site and want to target low competition, long tail keywords, then you should follow the keyword golden ratio exactly.

If you have an established site, over 6 or 12 months, then you can try to use the KGR as a guide but go past the recommended thresholds.

E.g.

  • Higher search volumes, maybe up to 800 searches per month.
  • Ratios greater than 0.25.

So if you have a site that is out of the sandbox and has some backlinks from relevant sites, then you could test higher search volume terms and ratios.

The problem is when you start changing the formula and expect the same results.

The most common issue is when someone forgets that the search volume needs to be under 250.

How can I improve the ranking for a KGR post?

Here’s my advice:

Be Patient: Ranking new content takes time, and every search term is different. As time passes, good content should be rewarded with higher rankings, even if you don’t do anything to it (e.g. build links to it from other sites).

Engage With the Community: Engaging with the broader community is a proven way to build site traffic and, by extension, profits.Finding blogs that are in your niche, but that aren’t direct competition, are a great place to start.

👍 Add or Improve Content: This is the MOST effective way to drive more short-term traffic and improve your rankings. Try using the RPM or FAQ Methods to get your creative juices flowing.

👍 Promote Your Content: Quality backlinks can send positive ranking signs to Google so you can rank faster.

Click to read another article all about this topic.

Can I substitute Global Monthly Searches (GMS) for Local Monthly Searches (LMS)?

Depending on the keyword research tools you use, you might also see data for something called Global Monthly Searches (GMS).

GMS is the volume of searches from all over the world using Google.com and international versions of Google.

By contrast, Local Monthly Searches (LMS) includes the volume of searches from a specific location (e.g. United States).

For the KGR method, I use the Local Monthly Searches (LMS).

Note: My advanced keyword research technique is also most accurate for the U.S.

Should singular and plural versions of the same search term be treated differently? (e.g. “best DSLR camera” vs. “best DSLR cameras”)

Google typically treats singular and plural versions of a keyword the same, so you should do a single blog post on the topic.

Otherwise, you risk angering the Google gods with what they may deem duplicate content.

Should you ever target terms with more than 250 LMS? If so, when?

YES, definitely. People mistakenly think that I advise to stick to very low search volumes.

For a young niche site, it’s best to target low-competition keywords with local monthly search volumes less than 250. You’ll get early traffic faster!

That doesn’t mean you can’t go back later, once you’ve targeted that low-hanging fruit, and write for keywords with higher search volumes.

Once your site is more established and your domain has some authority, you can start writing for more competitive keywords. After 6 months, your site should be out of the sandbox, so that’s a great time to start if not sooner.

Just remember, you’ll need to create excellent content — and be more patient while you wait for it to rank on Google. Plus, backlinks will help tremendously…more on that in a moment.

If you have an established site, then targeting lower search volumes can be a great way to pull in low competition traffic and rank almost immediately.

And when can I stop using the KGR?

Anytime you want. In fact, once you’re out of the Google sandbox (after 6 months and 12 months), then you should be targeting higher search volume terms.

However, you need to promote content that has more competition, with a higher search volume. That means:

Or, conversely, you can keep using the KGR forever.

If I use KGR, should I still bother with backlinks and blog commenting?

Yes, you promoting your site and earning backlinks is very important.

Niche sites take time and effort, and a lot of people don’t want to put in the sweat equity to make it work. (That’s great for those of us who ARE willing to do it!)

Doing outreach for your site takes time, and that’s time you aren’t spending creating new content. Is it really worth it?

You may be wondering if KGR posts can still rank well if you DON’T do any sort of outreach (e.g. link building, blog commenting, guest posts) to support them.

The answer is yes — with a caveat.

Outreach is like adding fuel to a fire. You may have a little heat going on your post already, but a shot of outreach gasoline helps it grow a lot faster.

If LMS = 0, when should you write for the term vs. not?

Many people get confused when inputting an LMS of zero into the KGR formula.

The result is undefined since you can’t divide by 0. But should you actually write for such a search term?

Typically, I say go for it — especially if the term was a Google Autosuggest.

Even if keyword tools say no one is looking for your term, autosuggest results tell another story. If a phrase shows up there, you can assume plenty of folks actually are searching it.

Your competitors likely won’t target an LMS zero term, so this is a great opportunity for you.

How do I add a long-tail keyword to my blog post copy without it seeming forced?

Cramming a zillion instances of your long-tail keyword into the blog copy is a bad idea.

It’ll be awkward to read, and Google won’t like it either.

Instead, use your long-tail keyword once in the title of your blog post and once in the body copy.

Should I target geographic KGR terms like “where to buy X product near Y place”?

No, I don’t recommend it for affiliates.

However, if you’re an ecommerce shop or a brick and mortar store, then you should go for it.

People using geographic search terms like this are clearly looking for a local place to buy vs. an online source like your niche site.

Does KGR formula also work with LMS >250 terms?

The KGR formula is only designed to work with search terms that have less than 250 local monthly searches.

That doesn’t mean you can’t target keywords with higher search volumes, but they are not KGR terms.

Be prepared for it to take longer to rank well (if at all) if you go after high-volume keywords.

What about NON-KGR keywords?

You should publish content that targets higher search volume keywords with greater competition.

When (not if) you target higher competition keywords, you should remember:

  1. It will normally take longer to rank high in Google.
  2. You will have to promote the content and get some back links.
  3. If you’re site is under 6 months old, be patient until you’re out of the sandbox.

The KGR concept is a tool to help you get traffic to:

  • Your young website.
  • Bring more traffic to an older website that will rank without backlinks.

Some people have the impression that I don’t publish any content that doesn’t meet the KGR. It’s because I talk about all the success of publishing large amounts of content that targets these long tail keywords.

I developed the KGR when I needed more traffic to my website and the keyword difficulty scores in the research tools were not accurate. So when I targeted keywords that should be very easy to rank in Google, no one showed up on my site.

Can I combine multiple KGR terms into one blog post if the terms are related?

Typically, I recommend targeting a single KGR term per blog post.

If you have related KGR terms that don’t warrant their own posts, though, try adding an FAQ section at the end of your main blog post. This is a great way to add other search terms while creating value for the reader.

Click to read another article all about this topic.

How many times should I include my keyword phrase in the article?

About two times:

  1. Once in the title.
  2. Once in the copy.

I don’t put much stake in “keyword density” recommendations from things like the Yoast SEO plugin.

Keyword stuffing creates a poor reader experience, and Google hates it.

Here are the maximum number of places I’d use a keyword phrase (if you have a longer piece of content):

  • Page title
  • Somewhere in the first paragraph
  • Once in a subheading (H2, H3, etc.)
  • Once in an image alt tag

The most important thing is to keep your copy sounding natural — not forced. You can and should use partial match keyword phrases and related terms throughout your content.

What is Keyword Golden Ratio in SEO terms?

The KGR is a way to find keyword phrases that have very few competitors vying for the first page of Google results.

Basically, if you find a KGR compliant keyword, you know that there will be a relatively small number of webpages that you need to beat.

That means you can rank within 24 to 48 hours.

How do you find the perfect keywords?

There’s no perfect keyword — that’s a fool’s errand. You should keep a few things in mind when you’re searching for keywords:

👉 What kind of traffic do you want to attract? If you want people to buy something on Amazon after visiting your site, then you need buyer-type keywords.

If you make money by showing display ads, then you need high traffic numbers and you really don’t care if they buy anything.

If you’re a service provider, then you probably want visitors that are likely to sign up with your service. So I hope you know what would-be clients search for to find you.

👉 Keep your goal in mind when you’re trying to find the perfect keyword.

Remember, you can adapt in the future so it’s better to find a keyword that is good enough for now, then take action. You’ll learn valuable information once you publish content — from Google Analytics and Google Search Console.

Have questions? Ask in the comments below.

About the author: Doug Cunnington is the founder of Niche Site Project. He shows people how to create Affiliate Sites using project management and a proven, repeatable framework. Doug loves creating systems, using templates, and brewing beer (but usually not at the same time).