If you want to optimize your website or articles for the search engines you must know how many keywords to use on a page.
Knowing the appropriate use of keywords is very important when you write for the internet, be it an article, website content or blog. Two questions often come up. The first is, how many keywords you should use, and the second is, how often you should use them.
First, let us consider how often you should use your keywords. There is no straightforward answer to this question and the answer keeps changing, since the search engines update their algorithm often.
For example, during 2003-2004, Google preferred a keyword density as high as ten percent, and even higher. This is no longer valid, because, after 2005, Google has modified the number. Now, the optimal keyword density is 2 to 3 percent. People normally move to the extremes when it comes to the use of the keywords. Either they use it too much, or they use it too little. If you are not using your keyword often, you are not likely to come up on the first page of the search engines when people search for those particular words.
Again, if you are overdoing your keywords, then your content may look like a meaningless gibberish artificially created by a machine. Search engines are known to penalize for mindless stuffing of keywords.
Besides that, you risk your human readers clicking away from your article as they sense that it is written only with the aim of search engine optimization.
So, you have to strike a reasonable balance in using your keywords while writing for the internet. You have to use your own discretion. The keywords must be generously used throughout your content, so that your customers find your page.
At the same time, when you read your article aloud it should not sound ridiculous, as if, it was written just targeting the search engines. Your article should be written, keeping the human readers in mind, providing valuable information to them, as they are ultimately going to be your potential customers. The keywords should be used in such a manner so that the quality, readability and the flow of the text is not affected.
The number of words in your content is an important factor to decide how many keywords you should use in an article or web page. You should use the main keyword once in the first sentence of your article and once in the last paragraph, as these are good places to target the search engines, which often searches only these two places to locate the keywords.
Other secondary keywords may be inserted in appropriate places without disturbing the flow of the article. The keyword density should be not more than 2-3%.
You should not use the same keyword more than 3 times.
Here the question becomes pertinent again; how many keywords or key phrases should you use? You may choose a few long tail keywords related to your text, apart from the main keyword. Consider targeting not more than two to three related keywords or key phrases in your content.
More than that will defeat its purpose. According to the widely accepted guideline provided by the SEO experts, you should use each keyword not more than three to five times on a web content containing four hundred to five hundred words.