What do you know about keywords? They improve how the search engines perceive your content. But, too many can also get you a bad name. Learn about keyword density and how to mix and match for the perfect combination.
A Keyword Myth
Common sense is not always the best approach, especially when thinking about keyword use. Your mind says that if such and such keyword is the one you should be using to attract customers, then it should appear everywhere. So far, you are right.
This next part is where many veer off track.
Putting a keyword or specific keyword phrase everywhere doesn’t necessarily mean stuffing your content like a keyword burrito. At one time, you may have gotten away with that but search engines have evolved much like anything else. They are smart enough to know that a keyword is not going to appear in every third sentence as the normal course. This is called keyword stuffing – and is a big no-no. Not just because it makes your articles and posts read like a first grader wrote them, but because it can actually HURT you in the grander SEO scheme of things.
A search engine is a complicated mix of algorithms that the average person won’t ever hope to understand. All we know is that it tells the bots to do their thing and they do it, and that search engine companies change the algorithms when people have learned to “trick” them. The search engine robots search for keywords that are entered into the search box on thousands and thousands of sites, blogs and the lot indexed all over cyberspace.
Keyword density is a measure of how many of those particular words appear within text. For instance, if your article is around 500 words, bots will calculate how many times a certain word appears within that text. Internet gurus used to always say that a safe keyword density was anywhere from 3-10%.
But, search engines have their own ideas about what constitutes the proper density for their rankings. Now, it can be as low as 1-3%. For a 500 word article, that would be 5-15 occurrences for any keyword. Most err on the lower end just to be safe. Besides, in 500 words, encountering the same keyword fifteen times may seem a little banal depending on your subject matter.
Keyword density also takes into account the number of words in your target keyword. Long tail marketing has become popular and can further focus your content and website for a larger, well-defined market.
But keyword density also works for your website (blog site) in general. Using keywords in picture tags, as anchor text within content, as categories and tags, and as subheadings as well as headlines will also get you noticed. The content will get people to visit you over and over, but your entire website will be the linchpin that can help you gain and stay on the first page of search results.
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