Don’t focus on Keywords, focus on your readers!
A number of years ago having a keyword density (KD%) of 3% WAS GOSPEL. It was a given. Because the search engines USED TO take it into account to help identify the subject matter of a page. But a lot has changed in the last few years. Search engines are closing in on the ability to read a page like a human so the frequency of keywords, their appearance in the H1, h2 and h3 tags, in bold and in pictures and all the other old school on page SEO stuff, isn’t used much by search engines anymore. And actually, if you do it too much you will get slapped by an “over optimization” penalty b y Google!
Must Know Summary:
KD% represents what percentage of your articles or web pages total word count contains your keyword phrase. But advances in search engine capabilities and things like Latent Semantics indexing has eliminated any value in KD%. The new mantra is focus on the reader. Make the article readable,. Give them content first and advertisements second. Natural linking only.
What is good on page SEO in 2012?
What is more important then KD%? Well here is my short list and then we will list an analysis done by Dr. E. Garcia on the topic of “Is Keyword Density” a good measure? But first here is my list of the first 3 things that come to mind in what is more important then Keyword density:
1) Doing hi quality keyword research is far more important.
- Identify those Keywords that are relevant to your Niche, to your Website, to your current page and to your readers.
- Identify the subset of those keywords that you have an opportunity to rank on based upon competition
- Use a quality Keyword Software tool to help you do all of this. They are automated, holistic and give you a competitive edge over people using just the Google keyword tool.Your traffic depends on it.
- Then write a quality article that focuses on that subject giving the reader everything they need to know.
2) Keyword Placement is not as important anymore either. As a matter of fact a lot of SEO sure fire tricks don’t work anymore. Click here to read our article on the top 5 SEO myths!
3) Quality of articles and readability and navigation of the website is far more important then is keyword density (UNLESS your website is a 1 page sales letter / splash page aimed at affiliate marketing. Then 1 and 2 above still apply as king of the hill).
4) Having a web page or post that:
- IS the subject of one consistent holistic keyword phrase. Google is good enough now to analyze the content and determine the keyword phrase.If your content doesn’t logically align with the title and header then its not going to fool Google even if you stuff it full of keywords.
- HAS the on page SEO WITHOUT over stuffing the keyword, or using it in every tag and title. You can click on this link to read our article on the Clickbump SEO on page SEO tool to help with this critical task.
- Has backlinks to the page with a normal mixture of anchor text. Meaning if it only has the keyword phrase as the anchor text for the back links Google is going to say its not natural. You can click on this link to read our review of what the difference is between “White Hat” and “Black Hat” SEO.
Dr. E. Garcia explained why keyword density was a bad measure of relevancy in The Keyword Density of Non Sense.
- Search engines may place significant weight on domain age, site authority, link anchor text and usage data.
- The page title is typically weighted more than most any other text on the page.
- The meta keywords tags, comments tags, and other somewhat hidden inputs may be given less weight than page copy.
- Page copy which is bolded, linked, or in a heading tag is likely given greater weighting than normal text.
- Weights are relative. If your whole page is in an H1 tag that looks shady, and it does not place more weight on any of the text since all the page copy is in it.
- You probably want to avoid doing things like bolding H1 text as it is doubtful it will make a page seem any more relevant.
- Lots are queries are a bit random in nature. When people tweak up page copy for an arbitrarily higher keyword density they typically end up removing some of the modifier terms that were helping the page appear relevant for many 3 and 4 word search queries.
- Semantic related algorithms, may look at supporting vocabulary when determining the relevancy of a page. If you pulled the keyword phrase you were targeting out of your page copy would it still be easy for a search engine to mathematically model what that phrase was and what your page is about given the supporting text?
- When people focus too much on keyword density they tend to write content which people would not be interested in reading or linking at.
OK thats it for this On page SEO article!