If you are creating web content, chances are you are interested in using keywords to help funnel traffic towards your content. Figuring out how many keywords you should use on a webpage will help you guide your content creation and optimize for search engines. It is no wonder that keywords are considered a core part of any online marketing strategy.
First, acquaint yourself with the two types of keywords that are important to consider when deciding how many keywords to use on a webpage. Knowing the difference between these keywords will help you organize your content and figure out which keywords deserve more focus.
Head keywords, or head terms, are large umbrella terms that can contain a large number of smaller categories. Because they are meant to be broad, these keywords are often shorter. Examples include “shoes” or “home decor.” It is likely that if you search either of these terms, you will end up with millions of results.
Head keywords are the more heavily searched terms on search engines. This is due to their brevity and potential access to the content the searcher is looking for. These keywords help draw in the initial interest. But their search volume comes with fierce competition and optimizing for these top spots takes a large amount of effort. Still, these keywords will land you in the ballpark of the search results you want to appear in.
Long Tail Keywords
Long tail keywords consist of specific phrases, often containing a head keyword. These searches yield more specific results and reflect greater intention. Compare “shoes” to “running shoes for girls” or “home decor” to “home decor store near me.” While these searches individually are not as popular as the head keyword searches, collectively, they make up 70% of all search engine queries.
Combined with their high potential for variability, long tail keywords are important in differentiating yourself and marketing your niche while also targeting searchers looking for something specific and with clear intention.
How Many Keywords to Use in a Blog
The general rule of thumb is to use three to four keywords per post. That should be one head or main keyword, and a few long tail keywords (or at least variations of the main keyword).
If your posts are long (especially if they’re over 1000 words), then it’s likely that you will have room to optimize and include more keywords naturally. However, this judgment will have to be at the discretion of the content writer. Ultimately, each article is different and it’s hard to find a one-size-fits-all solution for every single webpage. Just remember that the loose rules for how many keywords should be used per webpage is usually based on how many keywords can be optimized while retaining writing that feels natural.
It’s also important that each of your posts also focuses on a single topic. The focus will make your content more relevant to the reader, easier to follow. It will also make it easier to select relevant keywords.
Each page can also rank for multiple keywords. The good news is that if you rank #1 for a keyword, chances are that you’ll also rank in the top 10 results for related keywords. These cross rankings are often from effective use of long tail keywords.
Writing Using Keywords
When you’re writing using your selected keywords, it’s important to spread them out across the article. This spread is also why longer articles can contain more keywords. If you repeat a phrase three times in one paragraph, it is obvious you are trying to squeeze the keyword. But if the spread is over multiple paragraphs and distributed evenly across the post, then you’re optimizing your keyword while still producing cohesive writing.
In addition to knowing how many keywords to optimize for per webpage, it’s recommended that each of your posts has its own set of keywords. Having different keywords helps you spread your content and increases the number of pages you could potentially rank for. However, do your best to avoid using overlapping keywords, as your own pages may end up competing against each other. When this occurs, the search engine can have difficulty choosing which one your site should rank for.
There are also important parts of your post to include your keywords. Two of these places include your page titles and meta descriptions, for example. Google also tends to cut titles off past 60 characters when it displays search results. So, do your best to get your keyword in before that limit. Similarly, Google’s meta descriptions have a limit of approximately 300 characters. These appear beneath a title result and provide information on the content of the post. Google will even bold keywords that appear in the meta description. That’s why it’s a great place to let readers know what your webpage is about and catch their attention.
You should also include keywords in your headers to help readers know what subtopic of the keyword will be explored in a section. The goal is to market your keywords while also remaining reader-friendly. Don’t forget to put your keyword in your URL as well.
Using More Than Traditional Keywords
It is important to use more than your selected keywords in your content and also include words that are related to the subject of your topic. These related keywords, sometimes called Latent Semantic Indexing keywords (LSI), are important because search engines such as Google pay attention to them to gauge the relevancy of a webpage to a search. Because modern search engines rely more on the volume of a specific phrase and aim for deeper understanding of an article when bringing up results, these related keywords indicate the overall topic of a webpage.
For example, let’s look at “home decor” as an example. If that was your head keyword, then some possible related words would be “furniture,” “mirror,” “wood,” “frame,” “wall,” “decoration,” “style,” or “living.” Variations of words that mean the same thing would appear to search engines as complimentary terms in a search. These subject-specific keywords help indicate to search engines the exact content of your webpage. It makes you appear as a page that contains useful information and is not just made up of spread out keywords.
Maximum Number of Keywords for SEO
There is no hard answer for the maximum number of keywords you can optimize for, which makes identifying how many keywords to use per webpage slightly more complicated. The trick is to pay attention to what your content wants to say and the best keywords to boost it.
The difference between keyword frequency and keyword density can also help guide your writing. Keyword frequency refers to how many times your keyword appears in a post, but this metric cannot be scaled. A smaller piece may require only 5 repetitions, but a longer piece requires much more. Keyword density is the more useful measure, as it counts what percent of your writing includes the keyword. Most SEO experts recommend 1-2% keyword density, but always keep in mind that Google has no specific rule for keyword density and the length of your keyword matters. Once again, the best metric is your writing gut.
Knowing how many keywords you should use on a webpage is only half the battle. When optimizing online content, it is important to avoid keyword stuffing your blog. This is the practice of inputting your target keywords as many times as possible into the text. The idea behind this is that it will help you rank higher on search engines. In the early days of search engine optimization, the saturation of words was enough to tell search engines what a webpage was about. Today, search engine algorithms have come a long way, and keyword stuffing often makes the text feel awkward and unnatural. In fact, oversaturation will more likely actually cause search engines to rank your webpage lower.
Other types of keyword stuffing include adding irrelevant keywords, using keywords without context, and repeating a long chain of words. Do your best to avoid keyword stuffing. Instead, focus on writing engaging content that makes use of your keywords. That way, your reader will have a much more pleasant experience and could begin to see you as a valuable resource.
Optimizing Your Keywords
Using keywords can be overwhelming from research to implementation. If you are interested in finding that perfect balance between reader-friendliness and keyword optimization, SEO Design Chicago can help. We have all sorts of content creation services and optimization services to choose from. From blog writing to building your search engine optimization strategy, we are here to help you expand your reach and reach audiences.
- How do I know how many keywords to use?
- How many keywords is too many?
- What is keyword density?
- How many keywords should I target in a blog?
- Is there a maximum number of keywords?