How many keywords should I target per page?
What should my keyword density be?
What if I told you that these are the wrong
questions to ask when it comes to getting
more organic traffic from Google?
Now, 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 in this video.
What's up SEOs?
Sam Oh here with Ahrefs, the SEO tool that
helps you grow your search traffic, research
your competitors and dominate your niche.
Now, last year, we conducted a study on 3
million random search queries to find out
how many keywords a top ranking page can also
So for each of the 3 million keywords, we
took the top 20 organic search results 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
With that said, let's dive into the data.
How many keywords does the top-ranking page rank for?
If you look at this graph, you'll see that
on average a number one ranking page also
ranks for nearly 1,000 additional relevant
keywords in the Top 10.
And as you're further down in Google's search results, the fewer keywords you'll also rank for.
We also wanted to find out if a more popular
keyword would result in more relevant Top
10 keyword rankings.
So we separated this into keywords with over
1,000 searches per month.
And then one final group of search queries
with over 10,000 monthly searches.
And you'll see that the more popular the term,
the more relevant Top 10 keyword rankings
the page ranks for.
But we also studied the median of these Top 20 ranking pages and you'll see that the data
follows the same pattern, but the median number of the keywords that these pages also rank for
in the Top 10 are about half of the average.
Alright, so there's nothing revolutionary
about a single page ranking for a ton of long-tail
keywords, but wait for it.
If a single page can rank for a bunch of high-volume keywords?
We took this study one step further and checked if a single page can rank for a bunch of high-volume
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.
And here are the results.
As you can see, 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.
And 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.
Now here's the remarkable thing about this
We know that in general, high volume search
terms are usually hard to rank for.
Also, they don't always produce the most clicks.
So let me show you an example.
If you were able to rank for a head term like
"health," that would be awesome, right?
Well first of all, with a keyword difficulty
score of 96, an average site's chances of
ranking for this term is slim to none.
But what's even worse is if we scroll down
to the Top 10 SERP, you'll see that the actual
search traffic the pages get across all keywords
is way lower than the suggested search volume.
And 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
Now, compare that to the keyword phrase "bumps
on 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.
Also, take note that the top ranking page
here ranks for around 7,500 other relevant keywords.
Clicking through to the organic keywords report,
you can see all of the keywords that this
page ranks for.
And to confirm our data I'll set the position
filter to only number one rankings, and the
volume filter to at least 1,000 monthly searches.
They rank for 31 keywords with over 1,000
monthly searches in position 1 and I'm only
talking about from US SERPs.
Now that's absolutely bananas to me!
So now the question boils down to this:
How to find topics where content can get traffic from thousands of keywords?
how can you find topics where your content
can get organic traffic from hundreds or even
thousands of keywords?
I've already covered a lot of research tactics
in our long-tail keyword research video, so
I'll leave links to those in the cards and
But there's another very cool way to find
high traffic opportunities, even if the search
demand curve is relatively small.
First, we'll need to choose a competitor's
site to research.
And by competitor, I highly 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 I'll enter that into Ahrefs' Site Explorer
Next, I'll 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 our data
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.
First, I'll set the Position filter from position
one and I'll actually 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.
Now, before I actually apply the filter, I
want you to pay attention to this row's traffic
and organic keywords numbers.
Once I 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 position 1-3.
Now, for the recalculated traffic numbers,
these are the sum of the total traffic that
these filtered keywords account for.
Make sense? Good.
Next, I'll set the Volumes filter to show
only keywords that have more than 1,000 searches
And you could obviously change this number
to something else if you're in a smaller niche.
Now, the four columns that I'm looking at here
are Traffic, Keywords, Top keyword, and Its volume.
And in general, if you see higher numbers
in the Keywords column, then you may have
found yourself one of those high-traffic topics
that you can go after.
How to analyze the keywords that you found?
So let's run through a couple of examples
You'll see that these 2 pages rank for 13 keywords with search volumes of over 1,000
which all rank in positions 1,2 and 3.
Looking at the first one with a top keyword
of "random number generator," you'll see that
the top keyword has a search volume of 8,700,
and the page generates around 14,000 search
visitors from just 13 keywords!
You can get a quick view of the total traffic
by clicking on the caret beside the URL. And
you'll see that the page actually generates
40,000 search visitors each month across all
keywords, which is significantly higher.
So I'll click through to the Top keyword,
which will open up Keywords Explorer tool.
And I would just quickly look at the keyword
difficulty score, which in this case is low-ish
to medium level.
Then I'll quickly scan the Search volume and
Clicks data graphs to get basic trend data.
Everything looks ok to me, so I'll scroll
to the bottom to look at the Top 10 SERP.
And you'll see that almost all of the top-ranking pages get over 10,000 search visitors per
month. The search intent seems pretty clear
since these serve informational intent, and
a number of referring domains isn't crazy.
In fact, one of the pages has zero links pointing
Alright, one topic ready to go.
Let's go back to our set of filtered Top Pages
and analyze this one with the Top keyword
"java array length" which has a search volume
of 6,600, 13 keyword rankings that match our
filter, and clicking on the caret, it gets
around 26,000 search visitors.
So let's click the Top keyword and you'll
see that it has a Keyword difficulty score of three,
and again, the search volume and clicks data look fine to me.
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
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.
Now, I've tested this exact research technique
on numerous websites and found that you'll
need to adjust your Search volume filter accordingly
with industry averages.
And 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
How to increase your chances to rank higher for more keywords?
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 equals 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
Our study showed a high correlation between
the backlink factors of a page and its Google rankings.
To measure this, we created 5 buckets and
sorted them by URL Rating, which represents
the overall strength of a page's backlink
And as you can see, there's a clear correlation
that pages with a stronger backlink profile
rank for way more keywords.
With the way that Google is growing through
their AI and improving their algorithms to
serve search intent, you need to start thinking
And the examples from Stackoverflow should
have shown you that getting a ton of traffic,
it doesn't necessarily require a huge set of
So rather than focusing on aspects that are
difficult to measure, focus on covering a
topic the best that you can.
Now, if you found this video helpful or insightful,
make sure to like, share, and subscribe, and
if you have any questions, feel free to leave
a comment and I'd be happy to jump in.
So keep grinding away, go and get higher Google
rankings for more keywords, and I'll see you
in the next tutorial.