The page title is by far the most important place to add the keyword for a page, so make sure, at the very least, you use the keyword there.

If you need to make it part of a phrase, change the order of the words, or add a divider or two, so as to make it look more professional or to target more keywords, then that’s fine – it won’t prevent you ranking 1st for that keyword.

In addition to using the keyword in the page title try to use it, or a variation of it, in at least 2 of these 3 places…

  • Url
  • H1 Tag
  • Body Content

…and at least 2 of these 5 places…

  • Site Navigation Link Text
  • In-Content Link Text
  • Image Tag
  • Meta Description

If you do that, then your keyword, or variations of it, will be in at least 5 of the 8 keyword placement options, and it should be clear to Google what keywords to rank that page for. You can safely use your keyword in all 8 places, however, if you do so, it’s essential that you use multiple variations of the keyword. If you list the exact keyword target (e.g. ‘Birmingham Accountants’) in each of those 8 places, then you’re really risking an over-optimisation penalty.

You don’t have to use a keyword, or variations of it, x amount of times to be able to rank a page for that keyword – there’s no magic number to aim for. What you should not do is let the quality or professionalism of a page suffer because you’re trying to force a keyword in a couple more times. You should always place the readability and usability of your site above keyword usage.

If, for whatever reason, you can only use a keyword in a couple of places on a page, that doesn’t necessarily mean that ranking well for that keyword is impossible – it just makes the process of ranking it a bit more more difficult.

You can still rank 1st in the search results for that keyword if you have better content and more high quality back-links than your competitors.