For anyone monitoring their traffic from Google, it’s not really a revelation that a single page can rank for hundreds (or even thousands) of relevant keywords.
But how many keywords exactly will an average page rank for?
That’s the question we wanted to answer (plus a few more), so we picked 3 million random search queries and looked at the top-ranking pages and how many other keywords they rank for.
Let’s dive right in!
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Beginner’s guide to keyword research
How many keywords do the top20 ranking pages “also rank for”?
Here are the average and median numbers of keywords that we saw top20 pages “also rank for” (studied across 3 million search queries):
SIDENOTE. By saying “also rank for,” I actually mean “also rank for in top10.” For if you’re not in the top10 search results for a given keyword, you’re hardly getting any traffic from it.
It looks like the average #1 ranking page will also rank in the top10 for nearly 1,000 other relevant keywords (while the median value is more than two times smaller - around 400 keywords).
And the lower ranking pages tend to rank for less keywords.
We have also studied three groups of keywords separately:
all keywords in our sample;
keywords with search volume over 1,000 searches per month;
keywords with search volume over 10,000 searches per month.
We wanted to know if ranking for a more popular keyword would result in ranking for a larger number of relevant keywords. Which appeared to be exactly the case.
It’s always fun to look at outliers, right?
SIDENOTE. Outliers are the actual reason why we study average and median numbers separately. Quite a few pages rank for an enormous amount of keywords, which drives the “average” numbers up. For the previous experiment, we removed the biggest outliers to make the data more representative, but even then, the gap between average and median values was quite substantial.
So let’s see which pages rank in Google for an enormous amount of keywords.
Top10 pages by the number of “also rank for in top100” keywords (across all countries):
Top10 pages by the number of “also rank for at #1” keywords (across all countries):
You can put any of these URLs into Ahrefs’ Site Explorer tool and navigate to the “Organic keywords” report to see all the keywords they rank for.
And based on these outlier URLs, it looks like downloading content from YouTube is one of the primary issues that bother humanity these days:
How many high-volume keywords can you “also rank for”?
There’s nothing surprising about ranking for thousands of long-tail keywords with a single page.
But what about the high-volume keywords? How many of them can a single page rank for?
To study this, we took all the pages from our sample that ranked #1 for a 10k+ keyword and looked at how many other 10k+ keywords these pages also ranked for (at position #1).
We then replicated a similar experiment for pages that ranked #1 for 1k+ keywords.
And here’s what we got:
Unsurprisingly, the majority of URLs have ranked #1 for a single high-volume keyword.
But the raw numbers on the above graph might seem a little bit misleading, because it’s hard to put them on the same scale.
So we have calculated what % of pages in our sample telemarketing list ranked at the top for one keyword, two keywords, three keywords, etc.
And got these cool pie charts:
It turns out that ranking for 2-3 keywords with over 1,000 searches per month is quite common. While ranking for more than one 10k+ keyword with a single page is very rare.
How can you rank for more keywords with your page?
As you can probably tell by looking at the above-mentioned outliers, the best way to rank for more keywords is to choose the right topic.
Certain topics tend to have a huge search demand and a ton of relevant search queries, while others simply aren’t popular enough to provide you with a variety of keyword searches.
We’ve covered this in our guide to long-tail keywords, but I guess it won’t hurt to mention it again.
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