How Many Keywords for SEO Should I Use in My Article?

Published On
September 1, 2023

How many keywords to use for SEO is a common concern when creating web content. Clearly, keywords play a fundamental role in the ranking of a web page, but simple repetition is insufficient. Below you will find out how to use keywords effectively to improve your ranking.

What is a keyword?

Keywords are the words or phrases that search engines identify in web pages and use to index the contents. Therefore, they must correspond to the theme or topic of the publication. The ranking order is determined by their level of correlation with the users’ search terms.

So, it becomes important that you should pay particular attention to the selection of keywords as well as how many keywords to use for SEO.

How to choose keywords

It seems logical that using the most popular keyword will increase your organic traffic. However, the use of keywords is more nuanced than that. The most frequently used keywords are usually very competitive. No doubt your competitors also use them which makes overtaking them in the first ranking nearly impossible, particularly if there already are well-established leaders for your chosen topic.

But don’t give up. You can still obtain good results with lower search volume keywords, if used wisely. This means focusing on the user’s intent, i.e., the reason for their search. So, beyond calculating how many keywords to use for SEO, focus on identifying effective keywords. A competitive SEO strategy allows you to rank above other more well-known brands.

Long-tail keywords

Long-tail keywords are compound phrases that appeal more precisely to the subject and target of the content. As such, they are often longer than standard keywords and are more specific. For example, it may be difficult to rank high with the keyword “educational toys.” However, “educational toys for children 0-2 years old” is a narrower search term.

A long-tail keyword targets a specific niche market. Its use may result in less organic traffic, but you will get higher quality visits. Users visiting your page will be genuinely interested in that content, leading to a higher probability of conversion. From this stance, it matters less how many keywords you use for SEO than the precision of the chosen keywords.

How many keywords to use for SEO

One of the main decisions to make about content creation is how many keywords to use for SEO and whether to repeat it or use several. It is often a good idea to combine two or more keywords that complement each other in the same content. This can be achieved with long-tail keywords or additional phrases with semantic relevance. Although it has been proven that Google has no parameters for LSI keywords, semantic indexing is a relevant criterion.

When a topic is discussed in depth, reference is generally made to related concepts. It is not a matter of using synonyms but of adding terms closely linked to the main keyword.

A simple approach to this technique is to write content focused on a single keyword. After a certain period of time, review the ranking obtained and analyze for other keywords are related to your page. Optimize these to improve your search engine rankings.

When broadening the focus, be sure to choose keywords that are naturally related to the topic, otherwise you will lose traction.

How often should keywords be used for SEO?

It is best to avoid indiscriminate use of keywords. The number of times a keyword is used does not necessary correlate to how high the ranking is. Repetition appears to defeat the aim. Likewise, you should avoid using keyword stuffing, as it will affect your ranking.

Search engines penalize the practice of redundancy. It can be considered a black hat SEO tactic. Moreover, paraphrasing your content does not add value. On the contrary, this also deceases its relevance. Remember that how well you respond to the user’s search intent is a stronger criterion for ranking in the top positions.

In determining how many keywords to use for SEO or how many times they are repeated, we must differentiate the concepts of frequency and density. The former refers to the absolute number of times a keyword is written. In other words, this is the number of occurrences of the keyword.

Density, on the other hand, is calculated according to the length of the content. For example, in a 500-word text, you should use fewer repetitions of the keyword than in a 1,000-word text. Because the shorter text necessitates a more superficial and concise approach, it is not necessary to use the keyword several times.

There is, however, no universal consensus on density. Some experts advocate using one keyword for every 100 words of content. This is equivalent to a density of 1%. Some extend the optimum range to 2% of the entire text.

Rather than arbitrarily deciding how many keywords to use for SEO, it is preferable that you strive to insert them naturally. Make sure that each occurrence makes sense and facilitates rather than hinders the reading and understanding of the text. Currently, search engine algorithms are able to detect the misuse of keywords. Forcing the wording to add these terms can detract from the authenticity and value of your content.

In short, do not focus on how many keywords to use for SEO, but try to create captivating and precise content. Effective wording guides the user to understand the purpose or benefit of your offer.

How to use keywords

Finally, be aware that the placement of your keywords is much more important than the density or frequency. Include them in the meta title and meta description and, obviously, in the body text. They should also appear in the title as well as some of the subtitles. Finally, use them in image file names and alternative texts.

As you can see, the question to ask yourself is not how many keywords to use for SEO, but how to use them effectively.