More likely than not, your online 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.
In particular, 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:
Scroll down and watch the Ahrefs video - it explains the study in more detail
This is hugely important!
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:
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:
- Find closely related keywords that you already rank for and
- 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
Next, click on one of the page titles in the left-side column. You’ll now see the metrics for a single web page:
Next, click on ‘Queries’. You’ll now see all the queries that searchers used to find your page, listed in order of clicks:
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.
Because long-form content ranks higher in Google Search.
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.
This post was most recently updated on July 11th, 2020