Ranked for both "best acne treatment" and "acne treatment" by rotating your anchor texts when you do your link building.
Most people who advocate the strategy will say that it saves you time because you don't have to create so many pages of content and you don't have to spend time getting each individual page ranked on it's own.
But it's easy to take this idea too far and do yourself a disservice. Not a disservice in your ability to rank, but a disservice in your ability to CONVERT.
The thing is, each keyword you are targeting represents a group of people. And as the keyword changes, so does what that group of people is REALLY looking for, and what you need to say to that group of people to convert them into a lead, a click, or a sale.
Here's an example:
Two targeted buying keywords: "buy XXXX" and "where to buy XXXX", where you have a site promoting XXXX as an affiliate and you are trying to have your "buy XXXX" page rank for both terms.
If you're looking deeply into the minds of these two groups of people, trying to figure out what info you need to provide each of them in order to make the sale, you might guess that:
1. People searching "buy XXXX" are looking for information regarding the purchase of the product. Maybe they want to know if there are discounts, how much the shipping is, whether other buyers have been happy with it, and where they can buy it from.
2. People searching "where to buy XXXX" are looking for something far more specific - only WHERE they can buy it, at what sites or stores is it available.
If you had your page "buy XXXX" ranking for both those terms, so the people searching "where to buy XXXX" were landing on your "buy XXXX" page - it's conceivable that they, looking only for where to buy, would hit your page, not see the "WHERE" part right up front (or at all), and bounce. You just lost the affiliate sale.
Or even before that, how do you get both of those groups of people to click your listing in the search engines? I mean, what do you write in your meta description that appeals to both of those groups of people perfectly so they click on you? How do you write one description that speaks perfectly to one group AND perfectly to another.
In this example it's possible, but in a lot of cases it's certainly not.
The point is that you have to speak to each group of people who see your listing and hit your site (each keyword group) differently. You have to speak exactly to them and their thoughts if you want to convert them to leads or buyers at the highest possible rate - that's just marketing 101.
Unfortunately, ranking the same page for multiple keywords, despite being less effort can harm you in that effort.
If you ARE doing it, you just need to make sure that you're completely conscious of it, and perhaps adjust your content or your meta data to make sure you're speaking as clearly as possible to each of the keyword groups of people you are targeting.
Something to think about.