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There are times when we want to rank a single page for multiple similar keywords. For example, take the following page:

https://example.com/organic-apples-benefits

This page would discuss the benefits of organic apples over conventional apples.

Some of the keywords we might want to rank for include, in priority order:

  1. Organic Apple Benefits
  2. Are There Any Benefits To Organic Apples
  3. Cost Benefit Organic Apples

All of these terms would be relevant to this page but we can only have one title tag and one h1 tag and we can only optimize those tags for just one of the terms.

In this case, should we create 3 different pages each focusing on a specific term? We are hesitant to do this as this will make our content light or worst, a duplicate of the other pages.

Or should we optimize the title and h1 tags for the first term since it's the most important, then use the other terms in h2 tags and body copy? I realize that there are many factors to consider, especially related to competition, but assuming all these keywords have low competition, is this a sound strategy vs splitting the terms into multiple landing pages?

  • We get questions like this a lot. I have posted an answer. I hope it helps. – closetnoc Oct 20 '17 at 15:31
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You shouldn't rely on headings alone, your content is your biggest value. But yes you should structure your pages with appropriate h1, h2's, h3's.

Structure your page for ease reading for the user, include long tail versions of your target keywords where possible and research LSI usage to enhance the natural feel without it looking repetitive and unnatural.

Have a read of this article for inspiration : http://seopressor.com/learn-seopressor/lsi-keywords-and-keyword-density/

And this is a nice little generator tool to help gather potential matches :https://lsigraph.com/

  • Thanks, your answer is helpful but doesn't directly answer my question. When is it appropriate to split your page vs keeping a single page and use secondary keywords in subheadings (h2)? – Swisher Sweet Oct 19 '17 at 21:31
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    You've answered the question your self. By separating the them into 3 different pages you are producing half baked, thin content pages. It's only really appropriate to split pages if there is worthy differential subject matters to cover in depth. Your target keywords are pretty much identical and should be covered in the same informative page of nicely formatted, exceptional content with relevant h1, h2 headings. – Randomer11 Oct 19 '17 at 22:42
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Search has not been about keywords for a very long time.

From the original Google research paper in 1997 by Page and Brin:

Automated search engines that rely on keyword matching usually return too many low quality matches.

Search is about whole language. Semantics is used to evaluate your content and understand what it is about.

Looking at your examples:

  • Organic Apple Benefits
  • Are There Any Benefits To Organic Apples
  • Cost Benefit Organic Apples

I like to ask the question "What about...?" What about Organic Apples? Okay Benefits. What benefits? Health? Cost?

You will notice that many blog posts will either offer a list such as a top ten list, or a question for a title. There is a good reason for this. One follows a fact model and the other follows a answer model.

Most searches are either looking for specific information or to answer a question. You must decide what information people are looking for or what questions they are looking to have answered when they search. It is not about keywords, it is about topics.

  • What are the health benefits of Organic Apples?
  • Do Organic Apples Cost more?
  • How do I find Organic Apples?

When you look over your original list, you will not see much distinction between the list items. In my list, you will see that each one is a topic unto itself. This is what you need to pursue.

Think in terms of whole sentences. Semantics evaluates, among many things, Subject, Predicate, and Object. Sally has a red car. In this sentence, Sally is the subject, has is the predicate, and car is the object. Red is a modifier of the object car. It answers the question "What about...?" The car is red. You can also say red sports car. The more specific you can be while being natural the better any search engine can understand what your content is about. This is not restricted to the title tag of course. All content is evaluated. Use the header tags to establish the topic of the content blocks that follow it. Make sure your description meta-tag is semantically clear and detailed. While search query matches are not made against the description meta-tag or header tags, these are still vitally important. Why? Because semantic topical analysis uses these to weigh the topic strength of the content and to better understand what the content is about. Without getting into detail, content is broken down into content blocks and weighted. The title, description, headers and so forth have hierarchical significance in evaluating content meaning. These are critical and cannot be ignored.

Also think in terms of topical strength. Keep your content focused on the topic defined in the title tag. Do not wander off into another topic space. Cover the topic completely in a highly focused way.

While I have not covered semantics in detail, I have done so in other answers and I invite you to explore some of my answers for more details. Hopefully I have covered it enough to make my point. You are focused on keywords and ranking keywords when this is an SEO industry lie. This is not how search works. Search is about content. Period. Most SEOs are not technical people and have little understanding of how search engines work or the technologies used. Most are guessing based upon black box testing. There are far too many variables in the process of search to black box a search engine. It is a fools game. Add to this, most SEOs are just parroting what they have read elsewhere and trying to carve out a niche for themselves. The SEO industry generates far more revenue than search itself. That does not make sense at all. The goal of SEO is to keep you hooked. SEO is not necessarily difficult. Just create good content that people want and be a smart writer. That is it. That is SEO 101 in a nutshell. Think about topics and what topics people are searching for. Focus on that.

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In the example you cited, the main subject of the content are organic apples. Therefore, you can create one webpage dedicated to organic apples. For meta title and element h1, you can set the content of "Organic Apples", or something similar. Next, you can apply elements h2, h3, h4 etc., to your content, in order of priority. There is no need to create three separate webpages, since your example has the main subject of the content are organic apples. And your content is associated with organic apples. Also you can create a separate webpage for conventional apples. You can check the structure of your webpages with these tools: Nu Html Checker - select filter outline + HTML 5 Outliner + check Document Object Model of your webpage with DOM Visualizer . General recommendation: choose the main subject of the content of your webpages and apply to it meta title and element h1.

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