I’ve been learning about SEO for over a decade now. I’m still far from being an expert. By its very nature, it’s hard to ever really master it. Indeed, Google and all the other search engines have to keep updating their algorithms so they can keep showing the most relevant listings to their audiences. Take your eye off the ball and you’ll find that your listings don’t get ranked or worse, disappear off search engines entirely.
One of the questions people ask when trying to rank their blogs or websites is “how many SEO keywords should I use“? It’s a good question. If you’re looking for a straight answer or hard and fast rule, you won’t find them in this post. However, if you want to hear my reasoning for when you can add more to increase the SERP footprint of your post, read on.
How many SEO keywords should you use? Start With 1
This seems obvious, but you’d be surprised how few people don’t even feature a main keyword in their post. They might accidentally snag some traffic by putting a keyword or phrase in their title that people are searching for and not know why.
If you have one keyword per post, you’re going to get some traffic. Not every single post will rank, of course. That’s down to the search engines to make that judgement call. I’ve seen posts of mine get indexed, then get deindexed, then indexed again. It’s frustrating but the name of the game.
Just make sure your website’s on-page experience (load speed, image caching, mobile experience) is optimized as best as it can, then let your posts do the rest. This keyword should feature in titles, subtitles and be emphasized appropriately where possible.
Writing a Pillar Post? Load Up On Keywords
So what if you’re writing a longer post that might be 1,000 or more words? Chances are, there will be sections that you have to break out to make the content more easy to consume. Each might link to a separate post in of themselves.
In this case, it makes sense that you have extra keywords, such as variations of a root keyword, in the subheading and/or hyperlinked. These are signs to Google and other search engines that your content has structure, which is inherently more useful to people than a bunch of disparate pages (also known as orphan pages, as they have no parent. :()
Now you’ve got to be sensible about this. You can’t just have a giant post cramming in two dozen keywords. Truth is, there is no upper limit, but I would be wary about just putting keywords in for the sake of it. The question to ask yourself is, “is it still useful if I have this section added to the pillar post? Or am I just adding more fluff?”
Be honest with yourself – the answer should be pretty obvious to you.
“Is it still useful if I have this section added to the pillar post? Or am I just adding more fluff?”Johnson K.
Long story short, if you want to be relevant, then add keywords where appropriate. But don’t just add them to flesh out a post and make it huge without any utility. Having one keyword is fine as well for smaller posts, but make sure that it’s highlighted in the right places for search engines to notice.