How Many Keywords Should You Target?

Last updated: April 24, 2017

The term “keyword” and “keyword phrases” denote the same thing.

A single word or combination of two words or more is considerd keyword, an SEO expert will help you choose the profitable terms to target.

Selecting the right SEO keywords for your website is a vital part of the SEO workflow. If you choose the wrong ones then you SEO effort will be in vain, even if you get your off-site optimisation and on-site optimisation correct, you probably will not be successful in marketing your site.

It is important to know how competative a keyword is to rank for, as well as choosing good keywords.

It is not a viable option to target only one keyword, regardless of how much you have to spend on optimisation it is unlikely it defines your business and making your site rank in the top positions for a competitive keyword is very difficult and if it is not a popular keyword then ranking #1 for keyword wont drive enough traffic.

Focus on the correct amount of keywords

It is important not to target too many keywords as trying to target many keywords means you will have less money to designate to working on optimising for each one, thus making it harder to rank well for them.

It is your ultimate goal to rank for as many related keywords as possible it is important to keep in mind when you start that you should have sensible goals and expectations, especially if you do not have a lot of money to spend on SEO to enhance and market your site.

Working out how many keywords you can target is dependent on your SEO budget and your schedule to obtain results; I suggest you should concentrate your efforts on targeting five keywords that each has 100 or more searches per month.

This is a manageable target for small businesses, just because you are only trying to rank for five keywords it does not mean your website will only be found for those five keywords or that it will not get traffic from other search terms.

When people search for variations of the terms you are targeting it is very likely you will also show up for those keywords as well, Google does not count stop words in search phrases so keywords that contain for example “on, in, at, of, the, a” within the phrase will also match your phrase that does not contain these stop words.

When you write detailed content about the topic you are, targeting that contains lots of information with expert SEO advice you will naturally be targeting long-tail keywords that are covered by the concepts in your copy.

This means you will rank for lots of phrases that you have not specifically targeted (searches with four or more words in them so you can organically rank for these keyword phrases in Google too.

So by writing long form content with 1000 to 3000 words you will be able to cover in great detail the topic you are writing about, this means that you will also be targeting the estimated 40% of searches online that are made up of 4 or more words.

The combined total of this long-tail keyword search volume is significant and often consists of search terms that are used when potential customers are much deeper in the buying cycle.

So even though you are only starting out targeting 5 keywords you are actually going to be getting a lot of more searches fast the coverage from these terms will encompass keywords you had not specifically targeted.

Naturally ranking for related or derivative keyword phrases broadens your coverage of potential phrases that your site may be found for.

Once you have gained some traction with the keywords you are targeting you can start to focus on a wider set of keywords deepening your coverage of the keyword landscape that covers the topics related to your business services or products.

If you use free services like Google analytics or Google webmaster tools to monitor your progress you can assess your performance, improve upon it and then expand your keywords list.