Typically keywords should make up about 1% of the words on your page. So if you have a 1,000-word article then the keyword would be mentioned 10 times.
However, search engines are very good at working out the topical context of an article, so keyword mentions are not as important as they used to be.
Even if you don’t mention the keyword more than once on a page but are talking about the keyword-topic search engines will be able to work this out and rank you appropriately.
What Keyword Density Ratio Should You Use?
If you ask Google what keyword density ratio you should use you get this result (as of 09/11/21):
The ideal keyword density is roughly 1-2%.
This means that you mention the keyword once every 100 words.
Or 10 times in a 1,000-word article.
That said keyword mentions aren’t as important as they used to be as search engines are very good at understanding the topical context of an article and can recognize related words and synonyms too.
To work out how many keywords to use on a page follow these steps:
- Search for your keyword in Google.
- Open the top 5 ranking pages.
- On each page press ‘CTRL’ & ‘F’.
- Type your keyboard in the search box and press enter.
- You will then see a number telling you how many times the keyword is mentioned on the page.
- Work out the average keyword number of keywords mentions over the top 5 pages and go with that.
However, Google is far more advanced than it used to be. When it comes to keywords and keyword density you should really be thinking primarily about the user and writing for them.
If it makes sense to mention the keyword then mention it, but if not then don’t.
A more advanced way of approaching your keyword density is to use a tool like Surfer SEO (affiliate link).
Surfer gives keyword density ratios for all the keywords on a page and gives you a range of different keyword numbers to aim for allowing you to ensure that you have a better-balanced keyword ratio.
How Many Keywords Can One page Actually Rank For?
A single page can potentially rank for hundreds, even thousands, of keywords.
Ahrefs did a study where they looked into this and they found that the average no.1 ranking page will rank for as many as 1,000 other related keywords.
There’s really no limit to the number of keywords a page can rank for.
If you can rank well for a high volume keyword then there are likely to be many long-tail keywords that the page naturally ranks very well for too.
Can You Use Too Many Keywords?
Yes, overusing keywords on a page is called keyword stuffing.
Doing this will negatively impact your search ranking positions.
Search engines seek to give their users the more relevant results that give them what they’re looking for.
Pages that are poorly written and over-stuffed with keywords in every sentence are not a valuable or useful result for the user, therefore search engines will not rank sites that overuse keywords well.
How Many Keywords Should You target?
I typically focus on one primary keyword and then 3-8 secondary keywords.
I will include the primary keyword in the H1 and then the secondary keywords will be included in the subheadings.
However if you are going after a low volume, extremely long tail keyword then there may not be many related secondary keywords to talk about.
Should You Use The Same Keywords On Every Page?
This will confuse search engines.
Every page should target its own set of keywords, if you have multiple pages targeting the same keywords search engines will not know which page should be ranked and more often than not the overall ranking of all those articles will suffer.
That said it is a good idea to mention related keywords on your page where it makes sense to do so because this provides good internal linking opportunities.
For example, I could mention the fact that keyword targeting is something I look at in my SEO video audits.
This page won’t rank for video audits but it helps create a bit more context, and a valuable backlink, to the page I do want to rank for that keyword.
How Many Keywords Should You Include On Your Homepage?
There are different schools of thought on keyword targeting on your homepage.
Personally, I prefer to use my homepage as a brand-only landing page.
In the case of this site, I want it to rank for ‘Dan Rich’.
However I could also try and rank it for ‘SEO Consultant Liverpool‘, in which case I’d want to mention that specific keyword in the homepage H1 and at least once more in the body text.
Having content on your homepage is generally a good idea, as this is usually the first page that users land on so it helps give them some context about your business.
The same is true for search engine bots having content on your homepage helps bots understand the wider context and purpose of your site.
So if you’re adding content there you may as well target a keyword that is related to what your website is offering.