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One Keyword Per Page vs Multiple Keywords Per Page for SEO

The number of keywords to focus on for each page on a website has been a widely debated topic in search engine optimization for a number of years.

With the rise in popularity of content marketing, the debate has been revitalized as companies start to increase their investment in content for improved search engine ranking and online visibility.

According to leading SEO expert, Rand Fishkin, CEO and Co-Founder of SEOmoz, when trying to rank for highly desirable keywords, “It’s also likely that you’ll be competing against pages that are more highly targeted on that keyword phrase and could lose out if you don’t have that singular, pinpoint focus.” Rand suggests, “If a keyword is highly competitive, I suggest single page targeting.”

To better understanding how to choose between single or multiple keywords per page let’s examine the pros and cons of each strategy.

One Keyword Per Page

Using one keyword per page on a  webpage has many benefits for both readability, keyword ranking and improving conversion rates.

Pros – One Keyword Per Page

  • Easier to write natural sounding content and compelling headlines
  • Focus on content quality and user experience
  • Don’t need to worry about other keywords or variations
  • Content focused on a single keyword phrase will be more relevant and a better match for the visitors search intent

Cons – One Keyword Per Page

  • Missing out on ranking for other keywords, especially long tail keywords
  • Ranking for secondary keywords might be less competitive
  • Must build a larger amount of content to target multiple keywords
  • Keyword might not deliver the expected results

Multiple Keywords Per Page

Using multiple keywords per page can increase the number of search engine rankings and overall visibility of your website, while decreasing the amount of content that you need to develop.

Pros – Multiple Keywords Per Page

  • Rank for multiple keywords
  • Can target multiple long tail keywords
  • Secondary keywords help guide content development for the page
  • Less content needs to be developed to target a decent amount of keywords

Cons – Multiple Keywords Per Page

  • Page is not as optimized for the primary keyword
  • Readability can suffer by using lots of keyword variations and related phrases
  • Flow of content on a page might not make sense to visitors
  • Decreased relevance to the search intent of visitors

Our Take on Keywords Per Page

When deciding between one keyword per page and multiple, it is important to consider the amount of content that you plan to develop each month.

If you are investing a lot of time and energy into content marketing, and plan to write at least a couple pages of content per week, you might want to choose individual keywords. This can help ensure you create pages that are well optimized and match visitor search intent.

However, if you are not putting a lot of energy and time into developing new content each week, targeting multiple keywords might be a better strategy. This will enable you to focus on more long tail keywords with less competition.

Plus, you can always go back and optimize each page for the most valuable search rankings that the webpages achieve.

For more keyword and SEO advice, check out the Choosing Keywords for SEO series.

Author: Matt Fields

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I have been bootstrapping and investing in web/mobile startups for the last 7+ years. During this time I've done it all. I've built and led teams, driven sales, marketing, social media, product development, project management, and web development. View Profile

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  • [...] If you see these kinds of matches, start pairing them up and placing the pairs on a new list. You can optimize one page for multiple keywords, but you should do so carefully. Perhaps using one keyword as the primary keyword and having 1 – 2 additional keywords on the [...]

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