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How Many SEO Keywords Should You Really Use in a Blog Post?

Are you stuck in a rut with your content marketing strategy?

If you’re running a blog for your business, it’s there to build traffic for your website, boost brand recognition, or convert customers. But sometimes, you’re just not getting the rankings you need to gain attention. When you’re spending time, effort, and even money on your business’s blog, it needs to have some ROI.

SEO is confusing, and the rules are constantly changing, but one place that you can make a difference today is in how many SEO keywords you use in your blog posts.

If you don’t think about your keywords, it’s too easy to underuse or overuse them, hurting your chances of making Google’s first page.

So, how many should you put in your blog? We’ll help you understand the right perspective on keyword usage in 2021 so you can start boosting your blog’s ranking.

How Many SEO Keywords Should I Use?

Keywords have come a long way from the original “the more the merrier” approach to keywords. Back in the day, when search algorithms were in their infancy, SEOs could help themselves by sacrificing content for more keywords, even hiding them in backgrounds to up their usage.

Fortunately, Google became more intelligent, and black hat SEO tactics like keyword stuffing are now a quick path to penalties. Blog posts need to be more purposeful, to provide value for users instead of tricking search engines.

That said, keywords are still critical because they are exactly what the user wants and still the best indicator that a post is relevant to a query. 

What you need now is a balance between using the right keywords and creating high-quality, engaging content. In truth, it’s more of an imbalance because you should be focused heavily on the latter.

The importance of the user experience makes the question of keyword density hazier. You need to use them, but there are no hard rules on how often they should show up. If it doesn’t disrupt the natural readability, you’ll be able to add more keywords in some posts than in others.

Some SEOs swear by restricting the keyword density of their blog posts to between 1-2%. It’s not a bad rule to follow, and it does help you stay aware while you’re writing your posts. But while it can still help SEO, keyword density is a malleable concept that should be thought of as relative to your industry and your competition.

Choose a Long Tail Keyword

So, if keyword density is up in the air, what can you do every time to give your blog posts an SEO boost?

The rule of thumb here is to start with one topic or long-tail keyword to drive the content of your post. A long-tail keyword is based on answering a specific question.

With a limited focus on long-tail keywords, you can devote your time to making a well-written post. When you produce high-quality content, you’ll supply Google with some much-needed context around your long-tail keyword. That gives them an even better understanding of what your post is about and who it can serve.

Within the context, you’ll likely have additional relevant keywords that you may want to rank for as well. Don’t feel like you only have to rank for your main long-tail keyword. Although you don’t want to shoot for too many ranked keywords, you can capitalize on opportunities when they present themselves.

How you approach the context and additional keywords in your blog posts is something of a debate by itself. You may want to fill in your post with some strategic LSI keywords right off the bat. Or, you could focus on creating great content and optimize it after the fact.

If you write an information-rich article, you’re going to naturally put in organic keywords that could rank. After you post and promote your article for a couple of months, you can go back to a keyword analyzer like Ahrefs to see if you have any other organic keywords that started to gain steam. But the focus remains on getting the first long-tail keyword to a good ranking before looking at the residual keywords.

Where to Use Keywords in a Blog Post

Since you don’t want to overload your post with your keywords, you have to make the most out of every place they’re used. Although you need to stay natural, make sure you include your keyword in these critical places:

  • Title tag
  • Meta description
  • URL
  • Headings
  • Body content

It’s generally a good idea to answer the inherent question containing your keyword in the first 100 words. Like the meta description, it’s an efficient way of saying, “This is what this blog post is about.”

What Is Important

Keyword research is more important than how many keywords to use in your blog posts. Keywords need to be practical to pursue. Even with valuable content and sound SEO, a small business can’t often compete with huge brands.

Your keyword research should center on search terms with the right amount of competition and a good search volume. While you might rely on keyword tools, you can find great insights right from the source.

Know Your Customers and Competition

You can find some great topics with a Google search for short-tail keywords and see what questions users are asking around it.

User submission-based sites like Quora and forums can show you trending questions that may gain traction with effective promotion. If you can capture a trend, your followers will be more likely to engage with and share your content.

You should look at your competition as well, finding what’s working for them in terms of topics and posting habits. They’re relevant to what you need because they likely produce the types of blog content that you can compete with. If you can borrow their keywords and post structure but make the content better, you’ll see SEO benefits in your rankings.

Quality Over Quantity

If you’re investing time in your blog posts, you need to make them thorough and appropriate. The focus isn’t on how many SEO keywords you use. The focus is on the audience, answering their pressing questions, building your value, and putting keyword usage to the side.

Do you want to start getting better rankings with high-quality blog content? Contact our SEO experts at for information on how we can help your business get the visibility it deserves.

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