How Many SEO Keywords Should I Use?

Keywords are undoubtedly one of the most important parts of any website and content. Even if you have the best strategies in place, without proper use of keywords, you might never reach your target audience. A good keyword strategy has many aspects. Besides knowing how you can choose the best keywords, you might also ask, how many to use?

It is a legitimate concern, indeed. Too much use of keywords can affect your content negatively. On the other hand, too little might not serve the purpose. However, there is also no hard and fast rule that tells you the exact number.

How then can you determine? Let’s take a look.


Is One Keyword Enough?

No, one target keyword is definitely not enough. Even if you have a small niche, it is important to find at least four to five keywords related to your content.

Remember, the top keyword will be targeted by most websites in your niche, which means it has a lot of competition. Even if the competition is somehow less, one keyword might not get you a sufficient audience.


A variety is always better

A variety of different keywords will help you utilize every aspect of your business. Do not bet you are all on one point because it might not be successful. Look for unique keywords that define your target audience or your business. Use long-tail keywords to get a deeper understanding of what people are looking for in your content.


Relevancy is important

Keep your keywords relevant at all times. Highly-specific keywords also bring in a larger number of potential customers. More often than not, it is the casual phrases and the not-so-important keywords that bring in these customers. Only when someone knows what exactly what they are looking for, they will search for it more specifically.


This is why intensive keyword research is important. It gives you options to choose from and helps you understand your audience better. It is not a one-time thing either. Your keyword list must be updated regularly so that your content stays updated and relevant.


Use Different Types of Keywords

Now that you know that one keyword is not enough, you also have to consider how best you can incorporate several types of keywords into your content. The different types of keywords can help you with these. There are nine such types identified as of now.

If you use several different types, it will help you find variations for your main keyword. For example, your content is about books and stationery. While you will probably use “trending books” and “affordable stationary” as keywords, you can also use ones such as “top 10 books for winter afternoons”. This is an example of a long-tail keyword.

Long-tail keywords are great for long-term targeting too. They tend to draw in audiences for more time than other types.

Similarly, you can use the other types to come up with relevant keywords. This helps you make a non-exhaustive keyword list.


Do Not Use Too Many Keywords

Even though it is important to incorporate a variety of keywords, you must also remember not to use too many of them. It is very difficult to get high ranks on SERPs if you crowd your article with keywords.

Avoid keyword stuffing at all costs. Not only does it make your website seem distrustful to the user, but it might also get you blacklisted by search engines.

Your content will rank not only because of your target keywords but also their variations. Essentially, you do not even need to do keyword stuffing.

Some keyword strategies to avoid are as follows:

  • Do not repeat the same keyword frequently.
  • Do not use irrelevant keywords.
  • Do not bombard the content with keywords.
  • Do not use hidden keywords.

Strategically and naturally placed keywords lead to a better user experience. It also might keep them coming for more. This is also why variety in keywords is important. It makes the placement look more natural.

Make sure your content is informative and answers what your target audience might be looking for. Not only have search engines advanced their algorithms, but users have grown more attuned too. Good quality content will boost your rank on SERPs and also leave a good impression. 


How Many Keywords to Use Then?

The exact count of keywords largely depends on your content and your budget. If your content is good, it will naturally rank higher. The placement of relevant keywords will also look more natural. Quality content will always help you get more engagement.

As a thumb rule, Google sets optimal keyword usage at 1% to 2%. It can vary between search engines, but it is usually not by much.

It is not a stringent rule, but going over these densities might lead the search engine to perceive it as keyword stuffing—possibilities of this increase when your keyword placement is odd or unnatural.

The number of keywords can also depend on your overall campaign. Keywords become much more important if you are not using pay-per-click marketing. This is because your traffic becomes even more dependent on your keywords. However, natural placement is always important.

Also, try and change your target keywords once in a while. Other than the main keywords, you can shuffle around with the others, given that they are relevant, and the total count of keywords remains the same. Do not end up using too many keywords in the process of introducing variety in your content.


SEO keywords can make or break your content, and it is not just for the initial stages of your website. For longevity, you must revise your strategy from time to time. Do away with keywords that are not bringing in any traffic. Keep yourself as well as your content updated with the trends in your niche.

This will help you keep your keyword density within acceptable limits while using relevant keywords. Always remember that the number of keywords you can seamlessly include in your content are the ones that will work best.

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