SEO Basics: Keywords

Search Engine Optimization or SEO, is a marketing strategy used by websites to increase traffic. Like any other field, the SEO world is peppered with its own phrases and special lingo. Some examples of this are: keyword density, keyword prominence, and keyword frequency. Knowing what these phrases mean and how to manipulate them can help your SEO strategy succeed.

Keyword density

Key word density refers to the number of different keywords on a certain site. This does not always necessarily mean the frequency of one particular keyword, but the number of different key phrases or words occurring on the page. The greater the number of different keywords located on your site, the denser your keyword count is.

It may seem counter-intuitive to diversify your keywords instead of focusing on just one keyword, for example “cookbooks” if you are selling cookbooks. However, including keywords such as “recipes”, “cooking” and “cuisine” will help to attract additional traffic from different sources, as opposed to simply repeating the word “cookbooks” in every other sentence on your site.

Keyword prominence

This phrase refers to the prominence of one particular keyword. Not all SEO keywords are born equal; keywords placed prominently on a webpage are given more importance than those placed further down the page, or placed in the content. Keywords at, or near, the start of the website, at the beginning of a sentence, within the title or embedded within a metatag are given far more prominence than those elsewhere on the page.

To ensure keyword prominence, always place them in eye-catching areas, such as the title of a blog, in a tag or at the beginning of sentence. Search engines place more emphasis on keywords in these areas and better keyword prominence will propel your website to amongst the top ranked on a search engine result.

Keyword frequency

Keyword frequency relates to the number of times one particular keyword appears in your content. This differs from keyword density in that keyword density refers the number of different keywords, whereas keyword frequency focuses on how many times a keyword occurs on your website. A website can be both keyword dense and have a high keyword frequency, that is, have many different keywords within the content, and have one particular keyword recur often.

The more times a keyword is used on a page, the higher a search engine will rank it. However, don’t go overboard with too high a keyword frequency; this can cause your content to sound forced and awkward, which will ultimately drive traffic away from your site.