The Number of Keywords You Target MattersFebruary 4, 2017
The use of targeted keywords is obviously important to make the most of your SEO efforts. But the number of keywords that you target matters, too. Before we get further into this, you should understand that “keyword” and “keyword phrase” essentially mean the same thing. Whether it’s a single word or a phrase, you can refer to these either way and it will still mean the same thing.
If you choose the wrong keywords to target, you can completely throw off your SEO strategy. So your first step is to pick the right ones. However, it’s also critical to choose the appropriate number of keywords.
Targeting only one keyword is clearly not enough. That particular keyword would need to be one of the most heavily searched for term in order to justify limiting yourself to just the one. Otherwise, one keyword won’t be enough to bring in all that web traffic that you’re hoping to get.
But choosing dozens of them is also a no good. The more keywords you have on your list, the fewer resources you can dedicate to each. Not only that, it will be a lot more difficult to rank well for each individual keyword.
Here’s the million dollar question: How many keywords is ideal?
The answer to that will depend on how soon you need to see results, as well as your budget. However, a good rule of thumb is to target about 5 keywords.
What qualifies as good targeted keywords?
Ideally, each keyword on your list should have a minimum monthly search volume of 50-100 searches.
Keep in mind that just because you’ve limited yourself to 5 targeted keywords doesn’t mean that these are the only ones that your site will rank for. In fact, you may find that your website will rank for a number of long-tail keywords present through-out your web pages.
Perhaps a keyword phrase with the same words is there but in a different order, or has less “stop words” (a, the, for, and so on) in between keywords. For instance, if one of the keywords you have chosen is “dining room chairs” you could likely rank for “chairs for the dining room” etc…
Not only that, but if you ensure that the content you have created is of high quality to target, you will organically rank for plenty of long-tail keywords (which have at least 4 or more words). That means if you have the phrase “where can I get good quality dining room chairs,” your site can also rank organically for this particular long-tail keyword.
While highly specific long-tail keyword phrases might not necessarily come up in a keyword research tool and only get searched for once every couple of months, they are essential because approximately 40% of online searches include keyword phrases that consist of as many as 4 or more words.
Even though you might be starting off with 5 keywords, you can actually rank for many more keyword phrases. You’ll discover that a lot of your website’s traffic comes from online searches that you didn’t even think about or target. These highly specific searches often lead to greater sales because the people who are searching for these particular keywords have a concise understanding of exactly what they’re looking for.
Once you start seeing the results come in for these targeted keywords, you can start focusing on others.