How Many SEO Keywords Should I Target on One Webpage? Is there a Limit?

March 8, 2011 SEO Questions

This post is meant to be helpful for those new to SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and looking to learn more about fundamental best practices that will help your Website generate more qualified traffic from search engines. (By the way, if you’re interested in improving your site’s SEO, local optimization, or social media optimization, consider using our free website grader or subscribing to our daily inbound marketing newsletter.)

Your customers have questions that they want answered.  Very often, they will use a search engine to try to find the answers to their questions (aka keywords, search queries, search terms, user queries).  Your website has (or should have) these answers on its various webpages.  Not only is it your job to find out which questions are being asked by your potential customers (keyword research), but also you need to provide the best answers (pages) for your prospects.

Furthermore, to give your company a competitive edge in the online market, you have to optimize your website to help your customer find answers on your website, instead of on your competitors’ websites.

One way that you can optimize your website is by building separate webpages that each focus on particular keywords.  How many SEO keywords can you target on a single webpage?  Well, that depends—usually you should be able to target at least 5 different variations of your main keyword (sometimes as many as 20), and other times, it’s in your company’s best interest to focus on only one keyword on a webpage.  There are a couple of important questions you need to ask in order to make the best decision about how many SEO terms you should have on one page:

  1. How many questions can be sufficiently answered on a single page?
  2. How competitive are the SEO terms/phrases you are targeting?

In most cases, a webpage should target a group of similar keywords

When you have a list of thousands of keywords that are relevant to your business it’s difficult to make sure you are going to show up as an answer for all of them.  You’ve got limited resources, and in most cases, you don’t need to write a page for every keyword.  Instead, you should group your keywords intelligently.

For example, let’s assume you sell running shoes, and your keyword research indicates that you need lots of brand pages, as well as some category pages such as: stability, cushioning, high-arch, supinator, under-pronator, over-pronator, flat-feet, motion-control, arch-support, light-weight, reviews, etc.

Because you are a running shoe expert, you know that questions about “over-pronation shoes” and “shoes for flat feet” are related and could be answered similarly.  The answer that these searchers are looking for is “motion-control shoes.”

Therefore, it makes sense to target both keywords about “over-pronation” and “flat feet” on the same page, and it won’t be hard to come up with 5-20 variations.  The only time it won’t make sense, is if these keywords are highly-competitive.

Target one SEO keyword for highly competitive search terms

Let’s assume that “running shoes for flat feet” is a highly-competitive SEO keyword, and many of your competitors are out-ranking you for the term.  How can you improve your rank on SERP in this scenario? This is when a laser-like focus is needed, and you will need to write a page for a single keyword phrase.

You should provide a link to this much more focused, specific page—“running shoes for flat feet” on your more general page about “over-pronation” and “flat feet.”  All aspects (url, title, h1, h2’s, external links, internal links, etc.) of this specific page need to by hyper-focused on this one keyword phrase: “running shoes for flat feet.”

Of course, even when you are being hyper-focused you should always try to take advantage of SEO modifiers (the search terms that most naturally accompany your core term).  Some helpful modifiers for the “running shoes for flat feet” might be best, comfortable, affordable, good, etc.

So again–how many SEO keywords can you target on a single webpage?  Usually, you should be able to target at least 5 different variations of your main keyword by grouping together similar keywords on one page.  However, in cases when keywords are highly competitive, it can be a good decision to focus on only one keyword on a webpage.