Most people are still looking for the best ways to rank on search engines. Some of the most common questions they ask are-
- How many keywords should I target per page?
- What should my keyword density be?
What if these are the wrong questions to ask when it comes to getting more organic traffic from Google?
It's not exactly breaking news that a page can rank for hundreds or even tens of thousands of keywords. But the question is, how many keywords do top-ranking pages rank for, and how can you get your pages to rank for more keywords?
You're about to find out all of that in this blog. Now let's dive into the data.
A study was conducted on 3 million random search queries to determine how many keywords a top-ranking page can also rank for. So for each of the 3 million keywords, the top 20 organic search results were taken and pulled the number of keywords that these pages ranked for on the first page of Google. And that's because if you're not ranking in the Top 10, you're probably not getting much search traffic.
There's nothing revolutionary about a single-page ranking for a ton of long-tail keywords but wait for it.
This study was later taken one step further to check if a single page can rank for a bunch of high-volume keywords. To study this, we took all of the pages from our sample that ranked #1 for a 10K+ volume keyword and looked at how many other 10K+ keywords these pages also ranked for in position one.
Then the results came in- 84.4% of the top-ranking pages didn't rank for additional 10K+ volume keywords in position one.
So let's compare this to keywords with at least 1,000 searches per month. There, you'll see quite a different effect. Only 35.6% of the top-ranking pages ranked for a single keyword with at least 1,000 monthly searches, while around 64% of pages ranked for numerous 1K+ volume keywords in position one.
The remarkable thing about this data is that we know that high-volume search terms are usually hard to rank for. Also, they don't always produce the most clicks. For example, if you were able to rank for a head term like "health," wouldn't that be awesome?
Well, first of all, with a keyword difficulty score of 96, an average site's chances of ranking for this term are slim to none. But what's even worse is if we scroll down to the Top 10 SERPs, you'll see that the actual search traffic the pages get across all keywords is way lower than the suggested search volume.
A big part of this is that broad terms like this lack a clear search intent, which means a divided audience and likely high SERP volatility. Now, compare that to the keyword phrase "bumps on the skin," which has a search volume of 9,600 and a keyword difficulty score of 30. Scrolling to the Top 10 search results, you'll see that the top-ranking page gets over 90,000 organic visits from search each month, and the other top-ranking pages are all significantly above the suggested search volume too.
Now, the question boils down to this: how can you find topics where your content can get organic traffic from hundreds or even thousands of keywords?
There's a cool way to find high-traffic opportunities, even if the search demands curve is relatively small. First, you need to choose a competitor's site to research. And by a competitor, we recommend starting with one of the bigger players in your niche that appear to be ranking for every keyword under the sun.
So in the health niche, that might be a site like Healthline, or for programming sites, that might be Stackoverflow.
So go to the Top pages report, which ranks the pages of a target website based on how much organic search traffic they get.
Now, let's apply our knowledge from the above-mentioned data study. Since we know that a page can potentially rank for over 100 keywords with search volumes of more than 1,000 in position one, we can set some filters to find these pages. Then start with setting up the
Position filter from position one. Set the maximum keyword ranking to three because you don't need to go as narrow as only first-ranking keywords to
get useful data.
Once you apply the filter, you'll see that these numbers change quite dramatically. And that's because all of the traffic and keyword metrics will change to reflect your filters. So the keywords numbers are the total number of keywords that each page ranks for in positions 1-3.
Now, for the recalculated traffic numbers, these are the sum of the total traffic that these filtered keywords account for.
Next, set the Volumes filter to show only keywords that have more than 1,000 searches per month. And you could obviously change this number to something else if you're in a smaller niche.
Now, the four columns you have to look at here are
- Top keyword
In general, if you see higher numbers in the Keywords column, you may have found yourself one of those high-traffic topics you can go after.
So let's run through a couple of examples here. You'll see that these two pages rank for 13 keywords with search volumes of over 1,000, ranking in positions 1,2 and 3.
Scrolling down to the Top 10 results, you'll see again that the top-ranking page doesn't rank for a particularly large number of keywords, but it gets a lot more traffic than the suggested search volume.
This tells us that even though a parent topic may not be super popular, there can still be an overall high cumulative search volume on the topic despite the number of keyword rankings.
So it's always worth looking at the SERP overview chart before choosing your topics. Switching over to Healthline's Top Pages report with the same filters set, you'll see that pages rank for significantly more 1K+ keywords.
If you're in a smaller niche, don't ignore pages that only have 2 or 3 keyword phrases that fall into this filter.
So finding high-traffic topics, using this method or different tactics taught in the long-tail keywords tutorial, will put you on the right track. But how can you increase your chances of ranking for more keywords and actually rank high for these so-called "also-rank for" keywords?
According to our study, long-form content appears to rank for more keywords. But this isn't exactly surprising because more words equal more related terms, which equals more keywords and traffic. Now, this isn't a call to start throwing in random keywords to make your content longer.
Instead, think about how you can best serve search intent and then aim to answer the next few questions a reader might have. And the final thing that's going to help you rank for more keywords and get more traffic is links.
Our study showed a high correlation between the backlink factors of a page and its Google rankings. With the way that Google is growing through its AI and improving its algorithms to serve search intent, you need to start thinking topically.
Hence, rather than focusing on aspects that are difficult to measure, focus on covering the topic the best that you can. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment, and we'd be happy to assist.
So keep grinding away, and go and get higher Google rankings for more keywords.