How To Rank for Multiple Keywords and Triple Your Traffic

Did you know your content already ranks for multiple keywords?

The evidence is buried deep within your Google Search Console account (more about that in a minute).

In this article, you'll discover how to use that information to rank even higher for those secondary keywords.

rank for multiple keywords

I'll show you how to:

  • expand your articles by adding new content that targets closely related keywords
  • create multiple streams of traffic from a single piece of content
  • boost your ranking for your main keyword by increasing the topical authority of your article

But before we get started, how many keywords can one piece of content rank for?

1. How Many Keywords Can It Rank For?

Ahrefs analyzed 3 million random search queries.

And this is what they found: the average #1 ranking page will also rank for about 1000 other relevant keywords:

how to rank for multiple keywords

Scroll down and watch the Ahrefs video - it explains the study in more detail

This is hugely important!

Why?

Because it means one of the vital metrics you use in your keyword research is wrong.

2. Your Search Volume Metrics Are Wrong!

Let’s say you do keyword research on a long-tail keyword and you find that the estimated monthly search volume for that keyword, even in Position #1, is less than 20:

how to rank for multiple keywords

You think to yourself: “I can rank for that keyword quite easily – the metrics are good. But the search volume is awful”.

And so you decide to pass on that keyword.

But what your keyword tool didn’t tell you is this: if you write an article on that long-tail keyword, your page is going to also rank on Page #1 for 50 other closely related keywords.

The total monthly searches that page would have brought in is not 17 or 10 or 6 but somewhere between 500 and 1000.

3. Separate Pages for Closely Related Keywords?

At this point, you may be thinking: isn’t it better to create separate pages for these closely related keywords?

That’s a good question.

And I’ve seen respected SEO experts suggesting you do precisely that.

Their reasoning is this: if you already rank for the keyword ‘web hosting’ (for example) Google will most likely also rank you for the keyword ‘WordPress hosting’.

But here are some good reasons not to create separate pages for these closely related keywords:

  • A single page with your main keyword and several variations is likely to perform better in the search results than multiple pages targeting closely related variants
  • Every time you expand your blog post to include a new section that targets a closely related keyword, your word count increases by about 500 words. Long-form content ranks higher in the search results.

  • A page that deals with your main keyword as well as numerous closely-related keywords is going to act as a “one-stop-shop” – searchers will not have to click around between different pages. Google favors pages that give searchers all the information they need on one page model. So your page will rank higher in the search results.
  • A page that focusses on your main keyword but also has sections targeting closely related keywords will score highly for latent semantic indexing (LSI) words. And that means your page will get a boost from the RankBrain algorithm

So the answer is no: you’re better off creating a single page that targets your main keyword and closely related keywords.

In this article I’m going to show you how to:

  1. Find closely related keywords that you already rank for and
  2. Optimize your content for those secondary keywords.
Watch This Video: 'How to Rank on Google for THOUSANDS of Keywords (With One Page) - Data Study' (9 mins 33 secs)

4. Find Your “Also Ranked For” Keywords

So how do you find these secondary keywords that your articles also rank for?

First of all, log in to your Google Search Console (GSC) account and go to Performance > Search Results > Pages

how to rank for multiple keywords

Next, click on one of the page titles in the left-side column. You’ll now see the metrics for a single web page:

how to rank for multiple keywords

Next, click on ‘Queries’. You’ll now see all the queries that searchers used to find your page, listed in order of clicks:

google search console

Now, cast your eye down the ‘queries’ column and look for related keywords.

Here’s an example.

Let’s say you’ve written a 2000-word article on about ‘web hosting’.

You look up the page in GSC (using the procedure outlined above) and you discover that a lot of people are finding your article under the related keyword: “wordpress hosting”.

But your article doesn’t talk about wordpress hosting. In fact, your article doesn’t even contain the term ‘wordpress’.

The reason your content is being found for keywords that it doesn’t even contain is that Google understands keyword intent. Or, to put it another way: Google understands that someone searching for ‘wordpress hosting’ is also going to be interested in ‘web hosting’.

5. How To Leverage Your Secondary Keywords

Here’s how to leverage that information and increase your traffic:

Go to Google and do some research on ‘WordPress Hosting’. Write about 500 words on this sub-topic. Then add a section to your article titled ‘WordPress Hosting’.

Before, your article might have been appearing in Position #7 or #8 for the query ‘WordPress Hosting’.

But now, because you added a section on that sub-topic, your article appears in Position #2 or #3 for that keyword. It’s getting three or four times as much traffic for the keyword ‘wordpress hosting’ as it was before. Of course, your article still ranks the same for the search query ‘web hosting’.

Next, scroll down through the list of search queries and look for more related keywords.

Let’s say you notice that a sizeable chunk of your traffic comes from people who type in the related keyword ‘dedicated web hosting’.

Now go through the same process again.

Do some research on the topic of ‘dedicated web hosting’ and add that as a new section to your ‘web hosting’ article.

Before, you might have ranked in Position #6 or #7 for ‘dedicated web hosting’. But now you rank in Position #2 or #3 for that search term.

Bingo! Your traffic for that keyword just tripled.

Keep repeating this process:

  • Look for related keywords that people are using when they find your web page.
  • Do some research on that related keyword
  • Then add a new section to your article that deals with that secondary keyword.

Every time you do this, your web page is going to rank higher for that related keyword.

6. Extra Benefit: Increase Your Word Count

But it doesn’t stop there…

Let’s say your word count increases by 500 words every time you add a new section that targets a related keyword. Pretty soon, your 2000-word article will become a 5000-word article.

And that’s going to push your article even higher up the search results.

Why?

Because long-form content ranks higher in Google Search.

7. Conclusion

In this article I’ve shown you how to expand your articles using secondary keywords that Google considers relevant to your content.

Here’s a summary of how to rank for multiple keywords:

  • Identify secondary keywords that your article is ranking for in Google
  • Do research on those secondary keywords
  • Add new content to your article that deals with those secondary keywords

Here’s a summary of the benefits of ranking for multiple keywords:

  • Increase the word count of your article
  • Increase the LSI keyword content of your article
  • Make your article a one-stop-shop that answers all of the searcher’s queries
  • Increase the topical authority of your article
  • Rank higher for secondary keywords
  • Rank higher for your main keyword

The beauty of this technique is that it’s based on information that Google is giving you. Your content is already being found for those secondary keywords. So if you expand your post around those secondary keywords, you know for sure that Google will send you more traffic.

Rob Powell
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17 thoughts on “How To Rank for Multiple Keywords and Triple Your Traffic”

  1. Once again, an excellent article, dear Rob. I will definitely try to implement these techniques in my articles. One question: do you think that after updating the content of a post with new keywords, is it okay to also change the date of the article to the current one? I mean, since the article will probably feel somehow “renewed,” is it okay to mark it with a more current date of publication? Or will it affect SEO and it’s better to keep the old date? I’m always unsure about the maturity of content and its connection to SEO, but since we’re somehow talking about adding new material in a past article, I thought of asking.
    Keep up the good work.
    George

  2. Hi George, great to hear from you again!

    When you change the date of publication to the current date, you get an SEO boost because people scanning the search results will click on the most recent search snippets. However, I make it a rule to never ‘refresh’ the publication date unless I have added at least 10% of new content to the article. Otherwise, it could be regarded by Google as a bit ‘spammy’ (i.e. just changing the date without changing the content).

    But to answer your question: Google has a bias towards fresh content, so a more recent publication date will always be better than an older one (as long as the content has also been updated).

    Hope this helps,
    Rob.

  3. Hello Rob,

    Great and very informative post. Keywords play a great role in ranking a site in search engines for a particular phrase. LSI keywords play a great role and I am also using some long-tail keywords to rank well by reducing the competition and get targeted visitors. Thanks for sharing these helpful tips here.

    Regards,
    Vishwajeet

  4. Thanks for your feedback, Vishwajeet. I’m glad the post was useful. Best regards, Rob.

  5. Hi Rob Powell, Thanks for the detail information on LSI keywords need to implement in this way. Can u help me with do LSI keywords affect ranking? Thanks.

  6. Hi Mercy,

    Thanks for your question. The best way to incorporate LSI keywords into your article is to type your main keyword into Google Search and then look at the variations that Google Auto Suggest comes up with. Make a list of those keyword variations and then add those as topics or sub-topics to your article. This way, you’ll end up with a longer article (which will improve your ranking) and you’ll end up adding a lot of LSI keywords to your article (which will also help you rank higher).

    Hope this helps,
    Rob.

  7. I think that, increasing the word count and adding content on same page instead of new pages can be really helpful for ranking more keywords form same post.

  8. Hi Elena, yes: increasing word count and adding more content is a good strategy for getting your page to rank for more keywords. This is especially so if the new content covers subtopics that target related keywords or LSI keywords. A good way to find these related topics is Google Auto Suggest. All the best, Rob.

  9. Hi Rob
    I was thinking about it a year ago but I really scared about the word count. But I will do it now.
    Thanks for your valuable information.

  10. Hey there, can you suggest me some more off page seo techniques for ranking multiple keywords. Your blog post idea was really very interesting. Thank You :))

  11. Hi Vicky, the only techniques for ranking multiple keywords that I can think of would be ‘On-Page’. However, I may not have understood your question. Best, Rob.

Comments are closed.

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