Say What? Keyword Density, Frequency, Prominence, & Proximity?

digitalus_082On site optimization is an important factor affecting search engine rankings. It involves all of the changes and tweaks made to the code and content of a website, and tells Google exactly what the site is about.

This sounds like a no brainer, huh? Just a simple tweak here and there, and your site is search engine friendly and optimized. Well, it might not be that easy. In fact, there is significant strategy involved.

I would like to discuss a particular strategy that can make a big difference when it comes to showing up for your keywords. This strategy is known as keyword density, frequency, prominence, and proximity. I know it’s a little long, but don’t be afraid… It’s not that bad!

Keyword Density: Keyword density refers to the percentage of keywords that can be found in the indexable text on a web page. To be honest, I don’t believe there is a secret percentage or ratio. I will mention that a conservative percentage would be anywhere from 2-4% and not to exceed 10%.

Regarding keyword density, I recommend:

– Keyword in the title
– Keyword in the description
– Keyword in the H1 tag
– A few variations of keywords sprinkled throughout the text, where it sounds natural and makes sense

Keyword Frequency: Keyword frequency is the number of times a particular keyword appears on a website. Common sense may indicate the more times a keyword, or keyword phrase is found on a web page, the better the site will rank in Google.

WARNING! You can abuse the system by stuffing an exaggerated number of keywords or a plethora of keyword phrases into your site’s text. Google will penalize greatly for this because it looks like a spam site. Be sure to place your most important keyword or keywords throughout the page as recommended above and below.

Again, here is what you should focus on:

– Keyword in the title
– Keyword in the description
– Keyword in the H1 tag
– A few variations of keywords sprinkled throughout the text, where it sounds natural and makes sense

Get ready; this is where you set yourself apart from the competition!

When performing SEO on their websites, I would wager that most of your competitors don’t take the following two strategies into account. I do, and you should too!

Keyword Prominence: Keyword prominence refers to how prominent your keywords are within your web page. In simple English, this means how close to the beginning of the web page, sentence, title, h tag, or Meta description your keywords are placed.

If at all possible, place your most important keyword at the very beginning of the following:

– Title
– Description
– H1 Tag
– The body of the text

Keyword Proximity: Keyword proximity refers to how close two or more keywords are to each other. You will achieve higher rankings if you place your keywords close together.

For example, if you want to rank your website for used Jeep Cherokee parts, your text should read like this: “Joe’s scrap yard carries the best used Jeep Cherokee parts! Save money on repairs today!”

Another suggestion: “Looking for Jeep Cherokee parts? Joes’s scrap yard carries used parts that will save you money on repairs.”

In both examples, you receive value because your keywords are in the text. However, with the first example, you will receive more value because your keywords are right next to each other.

These strategies are gold… and they WORK! Building businesses online is tricky, and unless you have a competitive edge, you are just surviving, not thriving. Develop a strategy and implement these changes today, and they will help you increase your search engine rankings.

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8 Comments

  1. Jacob Stoops says

    I think you’re on the right track. Too many people get hung up on hitting their exact percentage of keywords.

    I am of the opinion that if you have valuable content, and write it with a user focus, then solid keyword density will come on its own.

  2. Jacob Brown says

    I like this a lot. One thing I can’t stand is a keyword stuffer. It just looks dumb and doesn’t make a whole lot of since.

    I agree with Agent SEO about solid keyword density and valuable content.

    I believe the spiders are advanced enough to recognize a websites most important keywords when they are placed grammatically correct, in the right places, and with taste.

  3. Daniel says

    Nice summary Greg, I’m going to examine my KW prominence tomorrow! :D

    Those of us with enough sites to experiment with know full well the power that keywords have. It cracks me up that the clowns in the following link (web guys? lol) claim keywords are irrelevant!

    Nice write-up, bro. Bookmarked ;-)

  4. Keeley says

    I’m really struggling with whether I am properly incorporating keywords or if I am actually “keyword stuffing.” At what point will you be penalized for keyword stuffing. For example, my company represents a lot of Ritz Carlton products in different locations. If I use Ritz Carlton Bachelor Gulch, Ritz Carlton St Thomas, Ritz Carlton Lake Tahoe, etc. Is this going to be considered keyword stuffing even though I am not repeating the exact full phrase? Each of these phrases ranks separately on the google keyword tool.

    • Vijay says

      Thanks for sharing this useful concepts of Keyword strategy. I am also agreeing with Agent SEO. Both the issues are important Strategy and Quality content keeps both aspects their own place.

  5. Jason Matthews says

    Greg, thanks for the tips. Since you didn’t include the URL in keyword prominence, I’d like to add that. I believe the most important element of SEO might be the right keywords in the URL. For example, I have an old website that I naively named even though I never once use the terms “cosmic force” in the page titles, H1, meta description, keywords, alt image text or even the text of the page body themselves, that site still comes up on Google’s front page with a search for those terms. Had I known back then the power of the URL, I would have thought much harder on that choice. Surprisingly 2,400 people search “cosmic force” every month.

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