How many SEO keywords should I use on a post or webpage, and is it important to get it right? Many businesses are asking the same question as the digital competition reaches new heights. The idea of optimization becomes even more relevant when companies rely on a website to reach customers.
In this post, we explore the role of SEO keywords in connecting with the right people and featuring on the most visible platforms, like search engines.
Understanding SEO Keywords
One aspect of search engine optimization or SEO relies on words or phrases to capture the attention of search engine algorithms. Keywords play a significant role in how platforms like Google rank a web page. It is only wise to keep asking, “How many SEO keywords should I use?” so that your site can feature at the top of that list.
SEO experts recommend focusing on only one primary keyword per web page. Once the main keyword is available to curate content, it becomes easier to answer subsequent questions like, “How many keywords should I use?” or “How can my business develop effective long-tail keywords?”
Effective website optimization starts with a clear understanding of what counts toward search ranking, including how SEO keywords work. For example, potential consumers must visit a website for any chance of a sale, so a site needs to be visible, easy to use, and fast enough to keep visitors clicking through the products and services.
Most web users favor reputable sites, which are those that rank well on various search engines like Google. However, there is no set list of SEO keywords that a business can select when creating a webpage. Instead, industry professionals like Connective use the words or phrases appearing in search engines as guidance.
These are the terms a potential customer actually types into a Google search box, like “flea shampoo for a small dog.” In this example, the Google platform reviews all websites that contain the relevant SEO keywords, like ‘dog flea shampoo.’ It generates a listing of search results that include this keyword, with the aim of helping the user find a solution that meets their needs.
If your site is visible, you do not need to worry about asking, “How many SEO keywords should I use?” Instead, you might want to focus on widening your site’s visibility by including secondary keywords, long-tail keywords, and semantic terms that may alert relevant customers to the value your website can offer them.
The Ideal Number of Keywords for SEO
How many SEO keywords should I use to improve a search engine ranking? The approach our web professionals recommend is to use one primary keyword and focus on using it to create value. However, weaving in a secondary keyword may help boost that ranking further as the search engine recognizes your site for useful or engaging content.
A single keyword is an effective digital marketing strategy, and other keywords should develop organically to keep the page in the spotlight. Are there different rules for sitewide keywords compared to those on one web page? We discuss more details below.
Keyword Usage: Site vs. Page
In Connective’s line of work, our professionals do emphasize the importance of not overloading the number of keywords on a page. But, should you only focus on one keyword for an entire website? The answer is complicated.
Ideally, a website should utilize multiple keywords throughout the content without an upper limit. If you focus on creating one page per primary keyword, you can optimize the search parameters. However, there is no reason you cannot set up hundreds of pages as you gain momentum with a talented web design crew like ours.
Remember Keywords For The Homepage
A homepage is not the first point of contact anymore, as many people click onto blog posts, service pages, or ad links from various channels. However, it is still important to optimize keywords on this landing page, which represents the brand as a whole. Connective recommends continuing to add relevant keywords to the homepage to help potential customers find the company more easily.
How many SEO keywords should I use on the homepage? Generally, more keywords will feature on the homepage than on specific pages for products or services. Connective’s professionals would be happy to discuss the possibilities with you at our next consultation.
Does a Page Rank for More Than One Keyword?
As discussed, web design professionals like us recommend optimizing a page towards a single keyword. Each page ranks higher with a primary keyword focus on search engine results, but it is also true that these pages rank for hundreds and thousands of keywords where an algorithm recognizes this potential.
The difference comes in the ranking position for each of these keywords. By focusing on a single keyword and pushing it to rank as highly as possible on the listings, a website can make its way to the top (or the first page of results) more effectively. In our flea shampoo example, the page might rank for other terms, like “pet care” or “dog baths,” but the aim would be to feature as highly as possible for the primary keyword as one of the first results customers see for “dog flea shampoo.”
Statistics on Keyword Ranking
Quantitative rankings show the effectiveness of multiple SEO keywords. For example, the page with a #1 ranking for a keyword typically achieves a Top 10 rank for close to 1,000 relevant keywords on average. That’s an astounding number of hits online, and it is encouraging to see that even sites that do not secure a #1 rating can rank well with other keywords.
Sites with a median ranking may show up in search results for up to 400 additional keywords, which SEO experts call long-tail keywords.
Facts About Long-Tail Keywords
The unique searches that web users perform generate long-tail keywords around your primary choice. These terms often contain the website’s root keyword. If we continue with the ‘dog flea shampoo’ example as a primary keyword, long-tail keywords might include:
- “The best dog flea shampoo”
- “The most effective dog flea shampoo for grooming professionals”
- “The best dog flea shampoo for puppies” and so on
How many SEO keywords should I use when it comes to creating hits on long-tail keywords? Thankfully, long-tail keywords arise organically. The web design team has little influence over these search terms, and any website might rank well for several long-tail keywords, depending on the content.
Keyword Frequency for Optimized Pages
Once you decide on the keyword for a certain page, the next decision might be “How many keywords should I use?” Optimized keywords influence your search engine ranking, but the number of appearances depends largely on the length of your text.
For this information, experts like Connective use a keyword density ideal of between 1 to 2% (of the total word count on the page). So, one thousand words about flea shampoo might need to include the primary keyword at least ten times for the best SEO results. However, assessment standards for the value of keywords change frequently, which is why working with SEO experts like Connective helps a website keep up.
A Keyword Balance
Is it possible to use too many keywords? Yes and no. The same keyword appearing too many times in a single article might have unwanted effects on your page’s ranking unless it is subtle. This ‘keyword stuffing’ often affects the readability of the text and alerts search engines that you might be trying to manipulate your rankings.
So, how many SEO keywords should I use to avoid a red flag on Google’s keyword stuffing alerts? Stick with one to two percent of the total word count for that page or article, and be sure to use the keyword as naturally as possible.
Additional Issues with Keyword Stuffing
Keyword stuffing negatively impacts a Google ranking, but repetitive terms or phrases also feel awkward when potential customers are skipping through your content. Readers might feel that these unnatural-sounding texts feel computer-generated, like a poor direct translation feature. If customer engagement is the goal, keyword optimization (not overuse) is the best approach.
Using the Same Keyword on Multiple Pages
Many website designers wonder if they should reuse keywords for multiple pages on their sites, but experts recommend avoiding this practice. The concept is called keyword cannibalization, which occurs when the same keyword appears too much and causes pages on the same site to compete with each other for ranking on search engines. It is better to help these search engines avoid distractions and focus on one SEO ranking for a particular page with a dedicated keyword.
Search algorithms are not perfect and allowing the cannibalization of keywords detracts from the hard work you have put into optimization.
Three Simple Steps to Avoid Keyword Cannibalization
How can websites avoid cannibalizing keywords and lowering their search volume? Tracking the keywords is an easy way to start. Follow these steps to monitor your target keywords and where you use them:
- Create a basic spreadsheet in Excel
- List the website’s URLs in one column
- List the keyword associated with each URL in the second column
That’s all it takes to avoid cannibalization issues. As you work on the site, refer to your spreadsheet to ensure each page focuses on a unique keyword. The experts at Connective would be happy to tell you more about how to avoid these pitfalls of well-meaning SEO.
Picking Keywords for Your Website
So, what is the easiest way to select the right keyword? There are many tools you can use to assess this. At Connective, our experts focus each page on a single term or phrase and make it count. However, selecting the right keywords requires mastering two factors: search volume and competition rate.
How many SEO keywords should I use to optimize search volume? The term refers to how often people enter a specific word or phrase into a search engine box, and keywords with higher search volume feature more regularly on the lists. Rates vary, and it is best to consult with Connective’s SEO and web design experts about whether your niche should be targeting keywords with a 10,000-search volume or 100 searches in a month.
Being specific about your product or service can lower the competition on a keyword. Our previous example focused on ‘dog flea shampoo,’ but this keyword is popular in the industry. A specific keyword like ‘dog flea shampoo for puppies’ might fare better.
Assessing the Success of Your Keyword Usage
The final SEO task is to publish the content and wait to see if it reaches the intended audience effectively. As a word of caution, Connective’s experts recommend resisting the urge to track keyword ranking directly; instead, track the website’s traffic. If people are spending more time on your site after the optimization tweaks and conversion rates increase, the changes have been successful.
Let Connective Help with SEO Keyword Decisions
How many SEO keywords should I useon my new or redesigned website? Now, you know the answer—a unique, primary keyword per page that appears between 1 to 2% of the total word count.
Connective’s website design team can answer any other questions you have and help you set up optimized pages—call us at (888) 831-6095 today to find out more.