SEO is something that’s continuously evolving and something that applies today might not apply one year from now. A commonly asked question people ask is how many keywords they should target per page. Is there a golden rule for how many you can target or can you target as many as you like?
In this post, we’re going to cover in detail how many keywords you should target, how many keywords a single page can rank for, and everything in between so be sure to keep reading.
How Many Keywords Should You Target?
It’s recommended you focus on one primary keyword per page. On this page, you can also try to rank for a few more related keywords but your main goal should be to rank for one keyword per page.
As you try to rank for this keyword, you’ll find that you will rank for other long-tail versions of it without even trying.
If you try to rank for too many keywords there’s a good chance you’ll end up ranking for none of them as Google will have a hard time trying to figure out what your page is about due to it not being clear.
How Many Keywords Can One Page Rank For?
The amount of keywords a single page can rank for is determined by the total search volume of the keyword, along with the quality of SEO optimization that page has.
Ahrefs performed a study regarding how many keywords one page can rank, which conducted over 3 million searches. The results of this study showed that the #1 ranking page for a keyword, also ranked for a further 1000 other relevant keyword variations.
There were three different study groups :
- All of the keywords in their sample
- Keywords with an estimated search volume of over 1,000
- Keywords with an estimated search volume of over 10,000
Their goal was to figure out if a keyword with a higher search volume ranked for more keywords, and it turned out that’s what happened.
The study went on to discover if articles with a longer word count ranked for more keywords, which they do which makes sense as a higher word count means more keywords to rank.
So to answer, a single page with a search volume of over 10,000 is able to rank for 1000 different keyword variations.
How many Keywords Is Too Many For SEO?
There is such thing as trying to rank for too many keywords on a single page. This is called keyword stuffing and it’s usually done in an attempt to manipulate Google in order to rank higher. However, as Google becomes more advanced it knows when someone is keyword stuffing and ends up penalizing that page instead.
Keyword stuffing also tends to make the page sound very unnatural, which decreases the user experience and further harms that page.
An example of keyword stuffing would be :
Are you looking for the best lawn mower? Well, you’ve come to the right place to find the best lawn mower. Here at the garden hub, we sell the best lawn mowers and other essential garden equipment.
As you can see it’s obvious they are trying to rank for the keyword ‘best lawn mower’ which makes it sound very unnatural to the reader.
The amount of keywords you should try to rank for depends on what kind of page it is and how long the word count is. For example, a 1000 word article is going to be able to rank for fewer keywords than a 5000 word article.
What Is The Ideal Keyword Density?
Keyword density is an aspect of on-page SEO. It refers to the number of times a specific keyword appears on one page. Keyword density isn’t the biggest factor when it comes to SEO but it’s good to get it right.
I like to determine keyword density by noting how many times websites on the first page of Google use the targeted keyword. This gives you a clear indication of what Google likes to see, so you should follow it.
Enter your keyword into Google and figure out how many times the websites on page #1 mention that specific keyword.
Then you can take all of the websites to find your average, this would be the ideal keyword density for that keyword. As you can imagine this would vary from keyword to keyword so there is no specific ideal keyword density, it depends on the keyword itself.
Where your keyword first appears on a page is also quite important when it comes to doing on-page SEO. You want Google to quickly understand what keyword you’re trying to target so it’s best to put the keyword within the first 100-150 words.
How Many Keywords Should You Target On Your Homepage?
Your homepage should only be trying to rank for your brand URL. You don’t want to use your website’s landing page to try and rank for various different keywords, that what your inner pages are for.
Primarily you should focus on making your homepage visually appealing to visitors, as a poorly designed website can make a user run the opposite way even before reading a single word.
Homepage SEO should tell Google and visitors what your website is about. You can optimize your homepage by doing the following :
- Center your page title around your brand name or main product
- Use an interesting meta description
- Use appropriate headings in the right order
- Add a logo for branding
- Increase the speed to decrease the bounce rate
Remember, your homepage isn’t just an opportunity to rank for more keywords. It should be where you build that trust with your visitors in order to keep them returning as potential customers.
To finish off, you should aim to focus on one main keyword per page for SEO. Depending on the length of the content you can then add in more secondary related keywords if necessary. This allows you to rank for other related keywords and gain more traffic from keywords that aren’t the main subject of the article.
It’s possible to rank for 1000s of other related keywords even when focusing on one keyword, however, you should avoid trying to stuff too many different keywords into one post as Google can get confused as to what the main keyword of your article is.
Remember to avoid keyword stuffing, try to make your content sound natural to the reader as Google rewards a positive user experience.