In the world of desktop and mobile marketing, few issues are as hotly debated as the ‘right’ number of keywords to put on a page. As content marketing has grown in popularity, and companies increase their investment in generating original material to expand their web presence, the importance of getting keyword volume and placement right has grown with it.
For desktop campaigns, there is no ‘right’ number. It varies according to a variety of factors, such as industry, search volumes, brand objectives – what works for one company will be completely inappropriate for another. Generally speaking, one main keyword and up to five variations will allow room for creating compelling content that isn’t stuffed full of terms, whilst targeting those all important SERPS.
Let’s say you run a footwear business, and your keyword research suggests you need a bunch of brand pages and some category pages covering things like sportswear, running shoes, hiking boots, dress shoes, light-weight etc. The first three of those keywords could easily be targeted within one category page relating to sport and fitness. It makes sense to target them on the same page, along with variations on each one, so you could easily end up having 25 keywords on the page without it looking weird. For highly competitive terms, you don’t want to spread them too thinly, so you’re better off dedicating individual pages to them.
As a rule of thumb, one or two keywords per page facilitates more natural-sounding content and a more relevant user experience – but you will have to create a much higher volume of content if you want to target multiple keywords. A good strategy in the long-run, but not necessarily in the budget range of a small company’s marketing purse. If you are planning to create at least a couple of pages per week, you might want to generate pages based on individual keywords, which over time will let you cover many longtail keywords.
Your mobile marketing campaign will have a different relationship to keywords. In the world of text marketing, keywords are associated with short codes, those five or six digit numbers used by businesses to communicate with customers. Clearly, with SMS messaging, the number of keywords to use is less of an issue (to find out more about short codes, click here).
Of course, your mobile marketing strategy also needs to take into account browser search terms pertinent to that channel, but ultimately users will end up viewing the same content as they would on a desktop browser. Which brings us full circle to the question, how many keywords should you target on a single page? Answer: it depends.