According to Moz, a leading search engine optimization (SEO) firm, it’s no longer good enough to focus most of your web pages’ keyword optimization efforts on one keyword alone. It’s all about multiple keywords.

Here’s why:

  • Focusing on one keyword per page will often lead to weak, surface-level content. You, or your marketing team, will likely be tempted to stick to using that one word, meaning you won’t expand enough on the topic to make it valuable or interesting.
  • If you’re only using one keyword per page, you may end up developing a new page for each and every topic you want to cover. This means your site will likely become large and disorganized.
  • Keyword rankings are becoming more and more competitive. So focusing on one, short tail keyword isn’t going to cut it anymore.

But finding two or three keywords to incorporate into your page (or pages) shouldn’t feel like a guessing game OR an overly complicated riddle either. Here’s how the pros do it.

The Trick to Incorporating Multiple Keywords

The newest tool in our do-it-yourself SEO toolbox, thanks to Google, is the “People also ask” box. In an attempt to provide more value to its search features, Google has worked to make search results smarter than the actual words input by the consumer. (That’s right, their algorithms are going all “Miss Cleo” on us.) Google will use its crystal ball to estimate the original intent of the search and provide what it deems the most meaningful and relevant results in a featured snippet. Here’s the cool part. It goes a step further. Google then lists additional questions often asked related to the user’s search topic.

Here’s a quick example. Let’s say you want to rank for local lawn care services. Brainstorm a couple questions your target customer may search related to your business. For example, if someone types “How often should I mow my lawn?” into a Google search, let’s see what shows up.

First, you’ll see the featured snippet at the top that attempts to answer the question outright. (We dove into featured snippets and more SEO tips in a recent blog, here.) Below the featured snippet, you’ll see a “People also ask” section with popularly searched related questions. This is where the magic is hidden, because it’s basically free insight into Google’s algorithms. It’s a sneak peek into what Google deems relevant and valuable in relation to your search terms.

Taking Advantage of this Insight

See for yourself. Think about your business. Come up with a question your customers commonly ask you that contains a keyword for which you want to rank. (In the example above, that keyword would have likely been “lawn.”) Input your question into a Google search. Try to make it as general as possible until Google recommends the “People also ask” section with other popularly asked questions.

Now what? Examine the results under “People also ask.” Which of the results are relevant to your initial search term? Which are your target customers also likely to be searching? This is where your multiple target keywords are hidden – within these questions/searches. You can hand-pick additional keywords from these results, and add them to your list of potential multiple keywords to target together.

Taking it One Step Further

Once you’ve chosen the multiple keywords you want to rank for, you’re not quite ready to go. It’s time to do a little more research. Poke around the web for keyword research tools, or other top SEO tools that will help you get analytics on your keywords of choice. Here are some that are pretty popular.

Also consider taking a harder look at your competitors’ content. What keywords do you think they’re trying to rank for? When you search the multiple keywords you’re targeting, do they also show up? This will give you an idea of how competitive the keywords you’re trying to rank for actually are. If many of your competitors are showing up when you search for your multiple keywords of choice, try adjusting the keywords you’d like to rank for, and search again until you find a niche. Pro tip: The more specific and unique the keywords you choose are, the higher the likelihood you’ll rank locally.