Blog post

How to write about a subject with a low search volume 

Date of post

2 July 2024

Blog categories

Read time

6 mins
Josh and Mel sit on couch in Marketing Labs office chating

There are some things that people talk about a lot – football, the weather, politics, and, of course, what happened on Love Island last night. But if you work in an industry that’s not often spoken about – and therefore has little or no search volume, it can be hard to know what to write about.

How do you spark interest in spark plugs or turn heads with drill bits? It can leave you feeling lost (if not completely hopeless). But what if I told you that people are searching for content in your industry? You’ve just got to know how to approach it. 

This post examines how to write about a subject with a low search volume. 

Forget search volume (for a minute) 

There are 8.5 billion daily searches on Google (more than the number of people on Earth).  

Fifteen per cent (15%) of those daily searches are brand new. 

That equates to around 1,275,000,000 searches every day. So, if Ahrefs, SEMRush or whatever keyword research tool you’re using isn’t showing any search volume for the keywords/topic you’re interested in, then it might just be that the data isn’t there yet. 

When deciding what to write about, keyword research is just one piece of the puzzle. It’s important, but it’s not the only thing that matters. Consider other factors like industry trends and audience interests.

It might not be today, tomorrow, or next week, but at some point, your target market will come looking, and you need to be ready with a piece of content that answers their query. 

Look at longtail keywords 

Don’t assume that low search volume is a bad thing. Longtail keywords typically have lower search volume, but they also have higher conversion rates because they are more specific and targeted (compared to shorter, more general keywords).

The people using these search terms have a clearer idea of what they want and are more likely to be in the market to buy. Your blog content is an ideal place to cover these specific keyphrases. 

‘Brogue shoes vs. Oxford,’ for example, is only searched for a handful of times every month, but the likelihood is that people using this search term are further along in the buying cycle than someone searching for ‘Oxford shoes’. This is a valuable jumping-off point for creating an article on the same topic. 

Consider covering related topics 

Google, Bing, and other search engines have come a long way since they were launched in the 90s. The days of exactly matching a search query to a keyword on a page are long gone. Today’s search engines are sophisticated enough to understand the relationships between different topics. 

The ideal scenario is that you build up topical authority on a subject directly related to your industry. Once you’ve exhausted that area (and that might happen quickly if it’s a niche sector), you can move on to cover other related topics.

This is a great way to capture search volume for areas that exist in similar realms to your business. 

Imagine you work for a company that sells orthopaedic pillows, and you’ve written almost everything you can think of on the subject.

Related topics might include: 

  • Sleep (this is a huge area!)
  • Home decor and interior design in the bedroom 
  • Beds and bedding 
  • Allergies (pillows are a breeding ground for dust mites) 
  • Lifestyle and wellbeing 

You can apply this to any subject, from thermoplastic paints to boiler parts and pop-in flange protectors (yes, we’ve written about them all). 

Look at what’s up and coming 

Keep an eye on what’s happening in your industry – changes to the law, new releases, and emerging trends. It may not make the national news, but if it affects your customers, they’ll expect you to talk about it.

Case study: Gas boiler ban 2025 

In 2020, the UK government announced its plan to phase out gas boilers in new properties. At its peak, there were almost 8,000 monthly searches for the phrase: ‘gas boiler ban’. We capitalised on this interest to create several rankworthy blogs for our client, Arton Heating. 

Gas boiler ban – what homeowners need to know
The future of home heating
Heat pumps vs gas boiler – which is right for you? 

Arton now ranks for dozens of related keywords that total thousands in monthly search volume. They’ve repurposed this content across other platforms, attracting shares and backlinks to their site.

You can find opportunities like the gas boiler ban in every industry if you know where to look. Keep your ear to the ground. Industry publications and trade associations are a great place to start.

It doesn’t have to make headlines in The Daily Mail to be rankworthy! If your customers are talking about it, join them. 

Consider other audience segments 

Prospects shouldn’t be your only concern. Retention is just as important (if not more so) than acquisition. With this in mind, consider asking your existing customers what they want to see covered in your content.

There’s a good chance that it will also interest people in the market who are looking to buy the same product or service. 

You could add it to your email newsletter or start a poll on social media. If getting feedback from your customers is proving fruitless, ask your colleagues in sales and customer services for their input. 

They’ll be able to provide a list of your customers’ most frequently asked questions. By providing the answers to some of these questions online, you’ll help to solve their problems, standing you in good stead for future business. It will also help your customer service colleagues who are fielding these questions every day (they’ll be forever grateful!).

Create demand offline 

In some cases, offline activity can have a direct impact on search performance. Generating demand offline can enhance your online efforts. If you’re introducing a new product or service with little to no search volume, creating offline demand should go hand-in-hand with your SEO.

When Casper launched in 2014, the concept of a ‘mattress in a box’ was brand new. Using several offline strategies, including advertising, pop-up showrooms, event sponsorship, and influencer marketing, Casper increased the demand for its own brand and the concept of a mattress in a box.

The graph below shows the increase in the volume of searches for ‘mattress in a box’ as the concept became more widely known. 

Graph showing the increase in search volume for the keyphrase 'mattress in a box' over time

Consistency is key to content 

If content is king, consistency is the crown jewels. Whether your objectives are to increase your site’s visibility, move prospects along the buyer journey, or build a community of loyal subscribers, you must be consistent – even when there is little or no search volume in your industry. 

If you want to build topical authority (and you should), posting regularly and maintaining engagement are essential. They show that you are dedicated, reliable, and knowledgeable. 

Google rewards consistency, and so do your readers. 

The key takeaway 

Search volume does not necessarily reflect a topic’s level of interest or popularity. If you’re consistently writing helpful articles that inform, entertain or instruct, then you’re on the right track.  

Look to your colleagues, customers, and competitors for inspiration. Newsworthy stories and related topics outside your industry can also boost your content creation efforts for even greater visibility. 

Post author

Mel left university with a first-class degree in English Language and Linguistics and after more than ten years as a marketing manager working for organisations across various industries, she left employment behind and struck out on her own as a freelance writer.

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