When it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), many website owners wonder “how many keywords should I use for SEO?”. The answer is not always straightforward, as there are many factors to consider. However, by understanding the importance of keywords in SEO, how to find them, and the optimal keyword density, you can create impactful content. In this article, we’ll explore the ins and outs of keyword optimization to help you optimize your content.
Why Keywords Matter for SEO
Keywords are an essential component of SEO. That’s because they help search engines like Google understand what your website is about. When someone searches for a particular term or phrase, search engines use algorithms to analyze and match the search query to relevant websites. By including relevant keywords on your website, you increase the chances that search engines will view your site as relevant to the search query.
However, it’s important to use keywords strategically and not overdo it. Search engines are designed to detect keyword stuffing, which is when websites use an excessive number of keywords in an attempt to manipulate search results. Keyword stuffing can result in penalties and negatively affect your website’s ranking.
Primary vs Secondary Keywords
Primary keywords are the main keywords that describe your website’s overall topic or theme. For example, if your website is about fitness, your primary keywords might include “fitness,” “exercise,” or “health.” Secondary keywords are related to your primary keywords but are more specific. Continuing with the fitness example, some secondary keywords might include “yoga,” “strength training,” or “cardio workouts.”
It’s essential to use both primary and secondary keywords in your content if you want to have a high-performing website. Primary keywords help search engines understand the overall theme of your website, while secondary keywords provide additional context and specificity. By using a mix of primary and secondary keywords, you can help your website rank for a variety of relevant search terms.
How Many Keywords Should I Use for SEO?
There is no hard and fast rule for how many keywords you should use for SEO. The optimal number of keywords depends on several factors, including the length of your content, the overall topic, and your competition. However, as a general guideline, aim to use your primary keyword at least once per 100 words of content, and secondary keywords once every 200-300 words.
Remember, the focus should always be on creating high-quality, valuable content for your audience. Instead of trying to cram in as many keywords as possible, focus on creating content that is informative, engaging, and relevant to your target audience. By doing so, you can naturally include keywords without seeming spammy.
What is the Best Keyword Density?
Keyword density refers to the percentage of keywords on a page compared to the total number of words. While there is no one-size-fits-all answer to what the best keyword density is, aim for a density of 1-2% for your primary keyword and 0.5-1% for your secondary keywords.
Don’t forget, keyword density is just one factor to consider when optimizing your website for search engines. Other important factors include the quality of your content, the relevance of your keywords, and the user experience of your website.
How Many Keywords Can a Page Rank For?
While there is no limit to how many keywords a page can rank for, it’s important to prioritize your efforts. Rather than trying to rank for every possible keyword related to your topic, focus on a few primary keywords and a handful of secondary keywords.
By prioritizing your efforts, you can create content that targets specific keywords and provides value to your audience. Over time, as your website gains authority and relevance, you can expand your focus and target additional keywords.
Why Less Keywords is More
You may be tempted to stuff your content with as many keywords as possible to rank higher on search engines, but this is not an effective strategy. In fact, using too many keywords can actually harm your SEO efforts. Here are some tips on how to optimize your use of keywords:
Use a more targeted approach to your keyword strategy. Using a smaller number of highly targeted keywords will help you reach the right audience for your content. By focusing on a few specific keywords that are highly relevant to your topic, you’ll be more likely to rank high in search engine results pages (SERPs) for those keywords. This will lead to more traffic to your website and higher conversion rates.
Reduce Keyword Dilution
When you use too many keywords, you can dilute the effectiveness of your content. If your content is scattered with too many keywords, it can make it difficult for search engines to understand what your content is really about. As a result, your content may not be ranked highly for any particular keyword, making it less effective overall. That’s why we recommend reducing your overall keyword density.
One main reason why using too many keywords can have a negative impact on your results is search engine penalties. Search engines view keyword stuffing as a black-hat SEO tactic that attempts to manipulate search engine results. If your content is deemed to be stuffed with keywords, search engines may penalize your website by lowering your SEO ranking or even removing your website from search results altogether.
How to Find Keywords
Now that you know why keywords are important and how many to use, you might be wondering how to come up with keywords for research. Generating keywords is easier than you think. Here are 5 powerful strategies to find the best keywords for your SEO strategy:
Use a Keyword Research Tool
Using a keyword research tool like Semrush is the best way to conduct advance keyword research. Tools like Semrush help you identify the most relevant and popular keywords in your niche. When using a keyword research tool, we recommend choosing a low keyword difficulty with a decent enough volume. That’s because the lower the keyword difficulty is, the easier it will be for your website to rank.
Find Relevant Topics
You may find it difficult to find keywords for niche content. If this is the case, finding relevant topics is a must. Related topics can include questions that your audience may be searching for. These topics should be relevant but not directly related to what your business offers. Using a tool like Semrush’s Topic Research Tool can help you easily find relevant topics and keywords to create content about. It can also help your business be seen by potential customers who otherwise wouldn’t visit your website.
Analyze Your Competitors
A useful question to ask yourself during the research process is “how does my website rank against competitors?”. By analyzing your competitors and the keywords they rank for, you can get a sense of what keywords are effective in your niche. You can use tools such as Ahrefs, Semrush, and SpyFu to help you analyze your competitors’ keywords.
Check Top Ranking Pages
High-ranking pages are a fantastic resource for keyword research. Checking the top-ranking pages in your niche can help you find relevant keywords. By analyzing the content of these pages and the keywords they’re using, you can get a sense of what keywords are going to be effective for your SEO strategy.
Identify Content Gaps
Identifying content gaps is another powerful way to find the right keywords. Content gaps refer to topics or keywords that are not currently being addressed in your niche. By identifying these gaps, you can create content that fills these gaps and targets keywords that your competitors may not be targeting. This is a great way to increase traffic to your website efficiently and effectively.
How to Optimize Content With Keywords
Now that you’ve found the perfect keywords for your content, it’s time to optimize your content to improve your SEO! Here are a few tips to help you optimize your content using keywords:
Don’t Stuff Your Keywords
As we previously mentioned, stuffing your content with keywords is a bad practice that can have a negative impact on your website’s rank. This can lead to penalties and a decrease in rankings. Instead, use your keywords naturally throughout your content.
Avoid Too Many Synonyms
Using too many synonyms for your primary keyword can confuse search engines and dilute the relevance of your content. That’s why we recommend using synonyms only where appropriate and necessary. However, it’s still important to use secondary keywords which are relevant to your primary keyword.
Use the Primary Keyword in the URL
Using your primary keyword in the URL of your content can help search engines understand what your page is about. This is an easy way to include your primary keyword first thing in your content. Still, try to keep your URL for SEO relatively short and descriptive.
Use the Primary Keyword in the Title
Another way to include your primary keyword is in the title of your content. It’s considered one of the most important on-page SEO basics. Including your primary keyword in the title helps search engines understand what your content is about. If you need help creating a compelling title, check this out!
Use Keywords in Heading Tags
Lastly, you want to use heading tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.) in your content to help organize your content and make it easier for readers to scan. Including your primary keyword in these tags can also help search engines understand the structure and content of your page.
Final Thoughts: How Many Keywords Should I Use for SEO
So, how many keywords should you use for SEO? There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The number of keywords you should use depends on your specific content and goals. However, as a general rule of thumb, it’s best to focus on using one or two primary keywords per piece of content.
By using a limited number of primary keywords, you can create more targeted content that is more likely to rank well in SERPs. Remember to avoid keyword stuffing, use relevant primary and secondary keywords, and optimize your content with SEO best practices.
If you want to learn more about SEO, keyword research, or digital marketing, check out the rest of our blog or contact us today.