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How Many Keywords Should I Use for SEO Success?

By Snap Agency October 24, 2022


Keyword density is a strong indicator of relevance that search engines need in determining a page’s ranking. If you’re trying to reach page one on Google, you’ll need to know how many keywords to use and the best keyword density for your web pages. 

Are Keywords Still Relevant?

Keywords are one of website owners’ biggest tools to achieve SEO success. But it’s not about “how many” as much as how they are used and how they match a user’s intent. Keywords for the sake of keywords will not help your site and, if done poorly, will damage your visibility.

Keywords used to answer user questions and needs are the right keywords. You need a target keyword to stay on topic and to understand what your target audience is asking. 

Hence, if you don’t mention the target keyword at all or its various forms, how will your users know they are in the right place?

Like most things in the business world, it’s a matter of relevancy. You want to ensure you’re targeting the right keywords the correct number of times and have them mentioned at key points throughout your web pages. This is the best way to show search engines what your pages are about so they get put in front of users looking at relevant searches.

It’s also important to your users who want to know they came to the right place.

How Many Keywords Should I Use for SEO Success?

Each page of your website should have a cohesive content and keyword strategy. Your keyword should be relevant to your content and something that users search for on Google or Bing. Along with that seed keyword, include three related keywords throughout your page.

Many people try to get their page to rank for several keywords, hoping it will boost their SEO score, but it can actually do the opposite. 

Think of it from the perspective of a customer. If they’re searching for a specific product or service, they’ll want to land on a page dedicated to their inquiry. A page with information on other topics might be confusing or unhelpful, and the customer will leave to get their questions answered or their needs met elsewhere. 

What’s the Ideal Keyword Density?

Nowadays, the ideal keyword density is roughly 1-2%. That means your keyword should only appear once or twice for every 100 words of content on your site. 

Keyword density was a major factor in determining a site’s SEO score, but it doesn’t hold as much weight as it used to. More emphasis is placed on quality over quantity, so you want to avoid overusing your keywords throughout your content. 

Relying too heavily on your keyword can lead to awkwardly worded content. Plus, search engines are looking for sites that use keyword stuffing. Those sites are often penalized for it by ranking lower in SERPs.

However, it’s not just about the number of times you place your keywords on your web page–it’s also about where you place them.

You’ll want to include 2-3 strategic keyword placements on every website page. Include them in these three places at a minimum: 

  • In the title, tag, and meta description
  • Intro
  • Body of your content

Then, you can focus on organically sprinkling your secondary keywords throughout your page.

How Many Keywords Should I Use for 1000 Words?

The number of keywords you target will depend slightly on the length of your content. In general, you only want to target one main keyword per page and then include an additional three adjacent or long-tail keywords. 

Trying to rank for too many keywords at once is a quick way to get your site buried in SERPs. Use tools like Google AdWords Keyword Planner or Moz Keyword Explorer to find keywords that are relevant to your content and have a good search volume. Choose one strong main keyword to focus on and include it in the right spots. 

Adding a few secondary keywords can also help your page’s SEO score. It all depends on what’s relevant to your seed keyword. You could build on your keyword for local services, including the geographical location.

For a small crafts business, you could use synonyms of the product type you’re promoting or include “small business” in your long-tail keyword to target customers who prefer supporting small businesses. 

Again, it’s all about relevance! The first step is finding a main keyword your target audience is searching for, and the next step is understanding your target audience’s wants and needs to create adjacent secondary keywords that support your seed keyword.

Can I Use the Same Keyword On Different Pages?

You want to avoid using the same keyword on multiple pages. Each page of your site should have a dedicated seed keyword and related keywords that it focuses on. Trying to rank for the same keyword across multiple pages just creates more competition for that keyword. 

Search engines will have difficulty determining which of your pages is better related to that keyword, preventing either page from ranking as highly as you’d like.

There’s a real challenge to keeping track of your keywords and constantly monitoring their progress. It’s easy to repeat content and keywords if you don’t have a dedicated plan for your website. 

One of the best things website owners can do to track and improve their visibility is to create a keyword map. It’ll help you track which keywords you’ve used, which you plan on using next, and how well they rank.

How Many Keywords Are Too Many Keywords?

You know when people talk about the downsides of having too much of a good thing? Some of us love chocolate cake, but eating it for every meal for days will lead to serious problems!

The good thing becomes harmful when you have too much of it, and this applies to keywords as well. 

Using too many keywords on a single web page will make it difficult for search engines to determine what search phrase your page should rank for. 

It’d be like if you went into a shop looking for cell phones, but once you got there, you found rows of craft supplies, kitchen appliances, and other random housewares. You wouldn’t know what type of shop you were in, just like search engines won’t know what your page is trying to convey.

The best thing to do is choose a single main keyword and work in a few supporting long-tail keywords. 

To keep with our earlier example, a store might sell cell phones primarily and offer accessories like cases and charging cables. That would make it easy for customers to identify what type of store it is and what products it offers. 

Similarly, keeping with one keyword and relevant secondary ones allows search engines to determine what your page is about and put it in front of the right users. 

Whether you’re seeking help or a complete website overhaul to boost your SEO, Snap can help.