SEO: What Does Google Really Look For in Keyword Density

SEO Keyword DensityKeyword density is not the only thing that Google looks at when it ranks websites. The density and the relevancy of the keywords throughout the site contribute to ranking and search results. Google does like to make changes and the algorithms used are a tightly kept secret. Even so, there are steps you, and your copywriter, can take to keep your content on the good side of the Google experience.

The best copywriter does not really have to understand every nuance of Google’s formulas. The writer needs to understand the keyword and how to incorporate that word and variations into your copy.

Understanding Keyword Placement

Moz is dedicated to continuous research of optimizing web content. The placement of your keywords is just as important as the density. Spread out the keywords; sprinkle them throughout the page. Google does not want to see them bunched together in one group, this looks like gibberish. Do try to use one keyword or phrase in the opening paragraph and in the ending.

Your primary keyword should appear two or more times in the body of the content. However, using it in every third sentence is over-kill; this is where you want to sprinkle a secondary word or alternative phrase. Where appropriate, using a keyword in bold or italics can increase rankings. Using a keyword in a sub-heading may also be beneficial, but only if it works in the context of the copy.

Using the Right Keywords

Moz reports that keywords account for just less than 15% of Google’s ranking factors. The uniqueness and readability account for almost 10%. What you need to do is use the right keyword and variations to get the traffic you desire. Google offers an easy to use program, Keyword Planner, to find the keywords with the highest rankings.

For example, the keyword “car repair” rates high in competition with an average of 12,100 searches per month. The phrase “auto repair” is also highly competitive and generates 40,500 searches per month. Unfortunately, “automobile repair” get only 480 searches a month. You will need to research your choices; in this case, using the first two phrases on a page could generate solid traffic.

Understanding Density Programs

Many content creators make mistakes when using a program to check the density of keywords on a page. Using several keywords will increase the total density; look at the density per word, not just the total. You also need to choose the correct words; any word can be considered a keyword in a density program. For example, if you use the word “the”, you would have a super high density but that is not what Google is looking at.

Ranking is not just based on how many times the keyword or keyword phrase is used. A good copywriter will help you get your keyword density to a level that works. The best copywriter will let you know when things are not right. To get the highest rankings and placement, use quality content with unique value with less focus on hitting an ever-changing sweet spot.

Barbara B is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.


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