Keyword Difficulty Tool Opportunity Finder

by Jaco

A free Google keyword finder and ranking difficulty tool built in a Google Sheet!

RankTank’s keyword opportunity finder was initially built as an internal SEO keyword finder at CircleRank, Sean’s agency. The goal was to get a whole load of keyword suggestions, and at a glance be able to which ones would be easier to rank for based on competition. Luckily, mashing up SEMrush API with Google’s Autosuggest provided just such data!

We then took it a step further by crawling the top 10 results for any given keyword to see if the pages were optimized for said keyword. The less optimized the pages were, the easier it would be to rank! CircleRank uses this tool in house to find “sure things” that are relevant and on topic – in a super scaleable way!

Keyword finder and ranking difficulty tool

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You can also Make a Copy of this Google Sheet SEO tool, help fix and improve it for others.

It’s easy! Just enter your keyword in the “Starting Keyword” box and press enter! Let’s use screenshots to show off some of the deeper functionality:

Do I need access to SEMrush to use this?

No, but it sure helps! You can still get keyword suggestions in the first tab, and use the full features of the Advanced SERP Ranking Difficulty Analysis tab without ever having to enter an API key. However, using a SEMrush API in the Config tab GREATLY expands the first sheet! Using the key, you’ll be able to select your search volume, result number and keyword ranking difficulty parameters – and have the matching keywords automatically highlighted!

How do I choose parameters and select keywords?

It’s easy! If you have your SEMrush API key entered in the Config tab, you can use the “Define Ideal Keywords” box (highlighted in red) to set up your parameters. Keywords falling within the parameters you set will be automatically selected and highlighted! You can also use the “Choose Keyword” column (column C) to manually select keywords by changing the drop-down to “TRUE”, shown with an arrow in the screenshot. If you’re not using a SEMrush API key, this is how you will build your list!

Advanced SERP Ranking Difficulty Analysis

We’re really proud of this feature. The keyword drop-down is auto-populated from the keywords you’ve selected on the first sheet. Then, the Google Sheet crawls the top 10 Google results for the term, and looks for 11 on-page metrics to determine if that page has been specifically optimized for that keyword. The best part? It uses NO APIs whatsoever! It’s all done through formulas!

Tutorial Video

Know Issues

1. This tool needs to be updated to function correctly on all systems.

Leave a Comment


Usman Ghani 24 November 2018 - 4:56 pm

It’s a great tool, however, the problem is different tools show the different level of difficulty for a keyword , not sure which is accurate.

BaalVeer 8 November 2018 - 2:47 am

Really nice tool. Thanks for this

Martin 14 August 2018 - 8:37 pm

Unfortunataly not working. The first tab suggest me some keywords but the ranking difficulty stay N/A. I am doing something wrong?

Popular Quotes 7 May 2018 - 10:30 am

Is this tool show search volume also?

Setra 23 March 2017 - 8:16 am

how can we add other country in “search volume country” ? I need fr 🙂

Francisco 6 January 2017 - 1:02 am


I seems that semrush closed its API for $15 USD and now it’s only available for business accounts. Now what we would do?

(the sad part is that I’ve found this amazing tool today and noticed the api thing when I was about to buy one 🙁

Jaco 8 January 2017 - 4:50 am

Thanks for letting me know, still definitely worth the business account for all the additional value you’re getting. Perhaps try our special free month of SEMrush Guru and see if you agree.

Jaco 24 January 2017 - 9:00 am

Hi Francisco, we negotiated with SEMrush to keep providing the account to our users. Please go to SEMrush Free API Trial to get access.

cenk 4 November 2017 - 10:07 pm

It looks like a seven days trial. Does this turn into a full paid Membership after the seven days?What have you exactly negotiated with semrush? one Time payment 15 dollar api access?

Jaco 6 November 2017 - 7:58 am

Hi, yes that is a seven day trial. You can also use this link to get 30 day free Pro access.

anil 18 December 2016 - 3:32 pm

country data for India not found ???

Travis Tallent 30 September 2016 - 9:33 pm

Is there anything like this for local searches?

Jose 12 September 2016 - 6:18 pm

The sheet stopped working after the first try. It just hangs on semrush loading… and doesnt populate the cells below. Any idea how to fix ? I’ve tried logging in and out of the account.

Caterine 9 July 2016 - 1:25 pm


difficulty calculation is not working. Semrush API is ok.

Any advice?



Javier Revuelta 11 May 2016 - 2:18 pm

Great tool for my Marketing researches! I’m using it with Semrush api and it’s awesome. Thanks a lot!

Carlais 4 May 2016 - 9:26 pm

This isn’t working for me when I type the keyword and hit Enter. What should I do?

Simon 10 March 2016 - 11:41 am

Hi Love the tool! But the SERP analysis tab only works on very few occasions for me (when it does its great!!) and I can’t figure out what i’m doing wrong/different.

Can you give me any tips – advice on using it.

Thanks in advance

Juan Pastás 1 February 2016 - 7:15 pm


=query(‘Google Organic Results Helper’!F:F,”SELECT F LIMIT 10″)

Is throwing empty results in difficulty sheet. Any advice?

Do I need to download a sheet called ‘Google Organic Results Helper’ from somewhere else?


Tomislav 1 February 2016 - 5:01 pm

Is there a chance you might add hr in the dropdown list? I would add it myself but the “Data” Worksheet seems to be hidden somehow.

Natalie 2 November 2015 - 1:41 pm

Hi, is it possible to add Ukraine in drop-down list? Or you could you give me a hint how to make it by myself?

I would be really grateful for that! Thank you in advance.

John 18 October 2015 - 4:58 am

I want to clarify what I mean. I need to check the difficulty of the keywords I bulk import. because i see you have a bulk import excel doc but u cant check keyword difficulty. thankyou

John 18 October 2015 - 4:46 am

is there a way to upload a long list of keywords i have and get their rankings checked.

Tony 10 October 2015 - 8:14 pm

Hi Sean,

I am in Russia and SEM Rush also works for Russian. But in the drop down there is no option to select Ru as the country. Is these easy to add to the tool?

Sean Malseed 12 October 2015 - 12:31 am

Hi Tony, I just checked the current version of the sheet, and Ru is in the dropdown list. It’s 9th in the list.

RAED 26 August 2015 - 10:31 pm

That’s really a great tool…..
It’s the easiest I’ve ever used ….. it saved me time and money for what I used to do on my own.

Thanks RankTank

Sean Malseed 20 September 2015 - 9:17 pm

Thanks Raed!

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