I know, this is a well-discussed topic but believe it or not I have to deal with this misconception daily. People still try to repeat the keyword phrase a set number of times to make sure a search bot will understand it. Here’s the news, search engines have become much smarter now – they don’t need that much effort from your part to understand you.
Why is the concept of keyword density so dangerous?
First of all, it prevents people from creating quality content for their websites making them stuff their pages with key terms.
Then, it creates an illusion that web content is meant primarily for search engines and only then for people.
What to focus on instead?
Naturally, on unique quality content. But in order not to sound too general here are a few tips for you to optimize your pages for search engines (and still appeal to people):
- Include your key phrase in the page title and H1 tag (headline);
- Add the page text summary (or introduction) in the very beginning of the web page mentioning your key phrase;
- Use only grammatically correct phrases (we know people tend to use short phrases that are not always correct and you can come across such word combinations while doing your keyword research but don’t use them, don’t make your pages look too “seoish”);
- Use your keyword synonyms (If I were a search engine, I’d include synonyms as one of the parameter of the natural and useful content);
- Use your keyword derived terms (that might mean more long-tail referral traffic and also make your content richer and more varied).
- Make sure your page is “scannable” – the visitor will immediately get an idea what it is about (add bold fonts, lists and headlines). And yes, you should use your key phrase (or related terms) in headlines and bolded text (so that both people and bots could quickly associate the page with them).
Any other tips? Share your opinion on keyword density and content optimization.