Search engine optimization is not a science; it is more of an art. While rigid mathematic equations and research methods are used to derive the formulas that rank web pages, the best path to getting your website ranked amongst the top few is still very subjective and controversial.

One ongoing debate considers how selective a page should be when you’re trying to stuff it with key words. Some SEO analysts believe that one page can be so tightly written that several key words can be incorporated–meaning that the page will come up first in organic listings for each key word. Others seem to think that having several key phrases will detract from the article, because the focus isn’t as exact.

For example, search engine optimization specialist Mike Moran recently stated that a page trying to promote more than one key word at a time will not only be less effective—it might actually confuse the search engine, and lead to lower ranking. For example, if we wanted to write this article about Mad 4 Marketing and M4M, then that would be okay because they’re essentially the same word and wouldn’t detract from each other. The same thing goes if we want readers to locate this page to learn about search engine optimization, but also used SEO. However, if we wanted this page to be optimized for Mad 4 Marketing and search engine optimization, therefore stuffing the text equally with both of these phrases, Moran believes that our primary message would be unclear, and this would make our page weak. In other words, having more than one key word would be like wearing a bright blouse with a colorful purse and a pair of patterned pumps: it’s just too much, and the objective eye (the search engine) doesn’t know where to look.

Moran’s argument makes sense; there’s no denying that a highly targeted one-key-word web page won’t do well. However, when you consolidate space and use several related key words throughout the same page, you’re also reducing the size of your website and the amount of work that goes into it (aka, saving time and money). Scripting a new page for each potential target key word is indeed a lot of work—but the real question is, will it pay off?

Some say it’s too hard to build a massive site with a page per key word. Others say it’s nearly impossible to get the rankings you want otherwise. Mad 4 Marketing would love to hear what you think is the best way to optimize your website. Are you all about single key words, or are you getting results with multiple-lead pages?