The number of keywords to use per page depends on how well the page is optimised for SEO. If your page targets one single topic then you should focus on using one main important keyword per page. You can add two or three SEO keyword variations in it.
If you use only one keyword then your content may not get noticed by the search engines. If you use only one keyword and it is a highly searched keyword then you will get a lot of competition. This strategy will not work if you want to get ranked.
If you use too many keywords on one single page then you will have less resources for each keyword. It will become too difficult to rank for each of them.Therefore you should focus on using a few core keywords. There is no hard-and-fast rule as to how many keywords to use on a page.
These are the guidelines to follow while deciding the number of SEO keywords per page:
1. A single page that ranks on the first page for a main keyword will also rank in the top 10 search results for the related keywords. These related keywords are long form keywords and are called ‘long tail’ keywords. You can optimise your page for long tail keywords.
2. You should use only two to three keywords per page. Use one main keyword and two related keywords. If you can use more keywords naturally in your content then you can optimise for SEO keyword variations.
3. The number of keywords to be used also depends on the length of the content. For example, you can create content of 500 words and for this you can use two to three keywords. If you use five to six keywords in the same content then it may appear unnatural.
If you create content 2000 words long then using five to six keywords will look natural.
4. The more keywords you target, the more the chances of your pages ranking in the search engine’s results. Therefore keyword research is important to improve your SEO. Use tools like Google Keyword Planner to generate keyword lists.
5. You should not use the same keyword on every page otherwise the pages will end up competing with each other. This is called ‘keyword cannibalization’. This can harm your rankings as Google will not understand which page to rank the highest for a particular query. You should use a different set of keywords for each page. You should not repeat keywords on another page.
6. Treat your ‘Home Page’ like any other page and use a minimum of three to four keywords on the homepage. This will give you maximum SEO benefit. You can create long content so that you can use more keywords on the homepage.
Some owners sell their homepage with more visual elements and less words. This may make it appear good but it can harm your rankings as the search engine will not be able to find enough words to associate with the content. Increasing the number of words on the homepage can help to improve your SEO and rankings.
7. You should not use too many keywords on the same page as it will lead to ‘keyword stuffing’. Keyword stuffing can lead to a penalty. Using too many keywords on a page can make it unreadable. Repeating the same keyword again and again will look unnatural.
Google calls the practice of keyword stuffing as an attempt to manipulate a site’s ranking in the search results. If Google detects keyword stuffing then it might penalise the content and cause it to drop in the rankings and the content will not rank high at all.
8. According to the SEO experts the ideal keyword density is 1 - 2%. This means you should use 1 or 2 keywords per 100 words of the content. The longer the content the lower the keyword density should be as you want to avoid keyword stuffing. This will also lead to good SEO. There is no hard-and-fast rule for keyword density.
You can check the keyword density for the top ranking pages for your targeted keyword to get an idea about what keyword density to use. The best way is to use keywords naturally in the content and as necessary.
9. You should put the keywords in the right places on the page to send the right signal to the search engines that your content should be ranked. Keywords must also be used in title tags, meta descriptions, heading tags, page URLs, internal links, lists, image names and alt text.