If you’ve ever done keyword research for content, you’ve probably come across this situation: you have a keyword list spreadsheet that tells you things like search volume and difficulty.
So, you may have asked, “How am I going to categorize these keywords?”
That has to do with content siloing and/or content clusters, which I wrote about in “What’s Google’s SEO Perspective On Content Silos?” A Googler Answers.
Another question you may have asked is, “Which keywords can I cover in one article, and which keywords should I dedicate a single article to?”
John’s response was that “Either way. It’s more of a strategic decision, I think.”
Competitive Keywords May Require More Comprehensive Content That Covers More Keywords
That is, if your main keyword for a given piece of content is competitive, then that piece of content should be more comprehensive–should cover more keywords. Hence, you’ll probably have fewer, stronger pages.
What John continued to say backs up what I just said: “In general, what you are balancing is making pages that are specific for individual topics and making pages that are more general but where you have fewer pages, so you’re kind of balancing many pages versus fewer pages, and if you have fewer pages, generally, those few pages tend to be a little bit stronger…”
Lower-Competition Keywords May Only Require Less Comprehensive That Covers Fewer Keywords
Conversely, if you’re creating content for a keyword that is relatively non-competitive, then that piece of content can focus exclusively on that keyword.
Hence, you’ll probably have a lot of pages that don’t need to be as strong.
John backs that: “…Whereas if you have a lot of pages, then it’s like the value is spread out a little bit more so if there are specific topics where the competition is stronger then you want to have very strong pages…”
So, Which Do You Start With (If Starting a New Site)?
“…So that’s kind of the balance that you would try to take there where, if you’re starting out, probably having fewer pages is a good idea so that you can be as strong as possible in that area, and then over time, as you see like ‘We’re very good here,’ you can split off individual pages for more niche topics…”
Intent: Another Thing to Consider
Something I haven’t yet mentioned (which was actually part of a follow-up question that you can hear in the video), is that of intent.
Actually, a few days ago, I published an appropriately-titled news item on intent, titled, Google Goes Beyond Keywords…Talks About Searcher Intent.
Basically, what I want to say here is that, regardless of the scope of your post (whether it covers one keyword or many), there should, ideally, be no conflict of intent. That is, informational content should be written for search queries (keywords) that have informational intent, transactional content for queries that have transactional intent, and so on.
(If you’re not sure what informational and transactional intent are, the news item I mentioned above mentions the 4 types of search intent. There, you’ll find a link to a Lazarina Stoy article that does a great job at establishing the conceptual foundation of search intent.)
If you came here looking for a simple solution, I’m sorry if I (seemingly) made things complicated, but at least you now have some insight to help you determine how large the scope of your content should be.