Search Engine Optimization

How Many SEO Keywords Should I Use?

how many keywords to use

Updated on May 11, 2021

You already know you need to do keyword research to ensure you’re writing about topics people are searching for. But how many SEO keywords should you use on each page? Here are five tips to help you determine the right keywords for each page on your site.

Assign Keywords to Pages—Not Sites

When determining how many keywords to use, focus on assigning keywords to a particular page. There is no maximum or minimum number of keywords that will be ideal for the site as a whole. Instead, you want to make sure each page on your site focuses on a unique topic and that you have a clear understanding of any keywords you are targeting on that page.

Focus on High Search Volume and Low Competition

When choosing which keywords to assign to pages and ultimately optimize for, go for keywords with high search volume and low competition.

Now, what does high search volume mean? Well, it should be a metric specific to you, your keywords, and your industry. It could as easily be 15,000 as 50 searches a month. Use the search volumes as a comparative metric, and don’t get too worried about the exact numbers. The tools used to gather those metrics aren’t perfect. So, instead, use the metrics to compare your keywords to each other. If the tool reports any search volume for a word, it could still be worth focusing on for you.

Looking at the keyword difficulty or competition metric can also help you determine which keywords to focus on. Often, terms with the highest search volumes are also the most competitive. Therefore, they are the most difficult to achieve a good rank with. Find a good balance between terms that people search for but for which the competition is not intense.

Choose One Primary Keyword

For each page, you want to target one primary keyword. It’s okay to try and target three or even five keywords on one page, but choose one to be the primary.

Any secondary keywords can help shape your content. You can use them to create sections in your content by inserting the secondary keyword in a subheading and then in the paragraphs directly below it. The rest of the article, however, would be optimized for the primary keyword.

You’ll Rank for More than You Target

Each page will end up ranking for many more keywords than just the one primary keyword you targeted for it. But that helps you keep your page focused on a specific topic.

Typically, the keyword you focus on will be a broader term. It could be something such as Google Analytics events, which is a broad term. Concentrating on that one term will not only help increase the rank for that broad term but also increase the rank on hundreds, if not thousands, of related long-tail terms. These are longer, more specific queries. Some of those long-tail terms could be how to set up Google Analytics event tracking, tracking button clicks with Google Analytics, or how to add event tracking in Google Analytics.

Any single long-tail term has a lower search volume than a broad term, but there are many more long-tail terms than broad terms. So, what happens is that you focus on a broad term, but you end up getting your traffic from the long-tail terms.

So, you don’t need to worry about only choosing one keyword for your page. It simply determines your focus and gives you clear direction. You won’t be missing out by not targeting every variation. Those variations will naturally appear when you write a high-quality article with a specific focus.

Don’t Worry About Tracking the Rank

Don’t worry too much about tracking the rank for each keyword. Just use the keyword as your guide when you’re creating content to make sure you’re focusing on topics people are looking for.

It’s fun to see if the keyword you targeted ends up ranking on the first page, but it isn’t all that helpful to track it. Search rankings can vary greatly depending on location and personalization.

Instead of getting too carried away with trying to track keyword rankings, monitor the traffic your content receives. You can view this in Google Analytics under Behavior. If your content is receiving views, if people are spending time on the page, and if that’s generating conversions, you know the topic resonates well with your audience, and you should create more content like it.


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About the Author

Jennifer Rogina is the Co-Founder & Lead Marketer of ClearPath Online, a DIY SEO tool for entrepreneurs to grow their own website traffic. Jennifer has been a digital marketing specialist since 2008. In that time she has focused on search engine optimization, digital analytics, and conversion optimization.

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