My website's home page ranks #4 in 2 million results for my main keyword. This keyword is contained in the domain. I wish to optimize another page for my second best keyword.
The problem is, this keyword is only contained in the extension. If for example my KW1 is "widgets" and KW2 is "gadgets", this URL would read www:xxxwidgets.com/bluegadgets.htm. Can I successfully optimize this page for "gadgets" or would I be putting myself at a disadvantage?
Optimization for keywords is not dependant on the keywords being in the url. The most important factors with todays leading search engines are link texts, titles, headers. If you get those right, and you have a reasonable link popularity for your domain, you can optimize successfully for a whole load of keywords. The key is having lots of content and a good linkage, inbound and internal, plus a good solid onpage optimization.
A simple "off site" strategy can provide many possible keyword ranking improvements assuming your site has a top singular word.
If for example you have a number of common two word keyphrases where one word is always the same like "software" in custom software, tracking software, accounting software, database software, and/or multimedia software then your best off-site external link anchors would be "software".
This would be highly relevant to each of the above topics and all will improve as each new link is added.