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How Many SEO Keywords Should I Use?

Most know that the goal of SEO (search engine optimization) is to rank highly in search engines for relevant keywords. However, if you have a lot of possibilities for your product or service, you’ll soon wonder how many SEO keywords you should aim for. If you go for too many, the power of your efforts may end up too diluted to make an impact. Yet if you go for too few, you’ll be leaving opportunities on the table.

Are SEO Keywords Calculated by Site or by Page?

Google considers each web page as a separate entity. Since this is the search engine almost everyone optimizes for, we should do the same. Therefore, when discussing how many keywords to aim for, we mean the number on any one page of your site.

How Many Targeted Keywords Should Be on a Page?

SEO agencies have slightly varying recommendations for this. Some say there should only be one primary keyword and one or two “secondary” ones, while others make no distinction between “primary” and “secondary.” The latter suggests between two and four keywords in total.

Some note that the length of your page’s content can influence how many keywords it can rank for. For long-form content, the number of targeted keywords can be higher. We believe that it’s best to analyze various factors before recommending a specific number. Your desired SEO keywords, their competitiveness, your site, and more all go into determining the best possible number of targets for each of your pages.

Why the Number of SEO Keywords Is Limited

There are several reasons that the number of targeted keywords should be limited in order to increase the chance of success. One is that each keyword needs to be in the content at a rate of around 1-2%. If you have a list of 20 keywords, that doesn’t leave enough space for other words, and the content won’t make much sense to a human reader.

Another limiting factor is the length of a good title, meta description, and meta title. Putting a keyword or two in the title gives those words a boost in ranking power. However, these page elements aren’t long enough to hold too many keywords. Often, only one keyword or phrase can fit nicely into a title.

What About Using Related Keyword Terms?

Many SEO professionals advocate the use of words that are related to your main keywords. These words, often referred to as “LSI keywords” (Latent Semantic Indexing keywords), are believed to help convince Google that your page is really about the keywords that you’re aiming for. They can also be good for helping to keep your page focused on the topic covered by your main keyword without making the page look “keyword-stuffed.”

Notably, Google itself says that it does not look for the presence of specific LSI keywords. However, it does try to determine the overall topic of your page. Words used to try to provide these clues are still called “LSI keywords” by many in the industry, regardless of the technical accuracy of the term. Others, like SEMRush, prefer to call them by titles like “semantically related words.”

What if I Have More SEO Keywords that I Want to Target?

We suggest making more webpages in order to create space for more SEO keywords. This has several benefits.

  • You end up with more content. With more content, your site can attract more viewers. 
  • You can attract repeat visitors. If you don’t put all of your new content out at once, some people will return later to see what’s new. Companies that rely on repeat business will find this strategy helpful because it keeps their site in mind. 
  • Each page is more relevant to a specific topic. When viewers click through to your listed page, they want to instantly find the information, product, or service that they were looking for. Keeping each page tightly relevant to a topic makes this possible. No one wants to read through a load of unrelated text to get to what they seek, and many won’t bother to try. 
  • Multiple pages make things easier for search engines. When a search spider comes to your site, it sends the information back to a ranking system that tries to make sense of it. If there are too many conflicting signals, the system (or algorithm) will get confused. You may not rank at all, or your page might end up ranking under something completely unhelpful.

Why Hire Us for Your SEO Keywords?

When you hire Actuate Media, you gain access to an experienced team of SEO experts. We keep up with the latest changes in Google’s algorithms, not only for its main index but also for the local results relevant to your business. Local results are the ones that come up in a special block when someone searches for a type of service + a location, and they are very important for businesses with physical stores or services.

We do more than just give you tips for ranking under SEO keywords too. We can generate the content you need for your efforts, take care of off-site SEO activities, do reputation management, and much more. To get started on ranking for your dream keywords, just contact us or fill out our form for a quote. We’ll be glad to consult with you and suggest the best path forward.

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