Keyword Placement and Density (2 Simple Rules)
Keywords and their placement are one of the most written about aspects of search engine optimization,
but the reality is that for modern day SEO there are only two things to think about:
1. Am I using too many keywords?
2. Am I using too few keywords?
The rule for post titles is easy. Use keyword phrases only once.
For the actual content, it’s a little more complicated.
Keyword density is the percentage of words in your content that form a keyword phrase.
Most SEO experts agree that the best keyword density is between a and 2 percent.
That means that in an article of 600 words, somewhere between 6 and 12 words should be part of a keyword phrase.
More than that makes content appear spammy; less and it may be difficult for search engines to accurately pick up what the content is about and you may not rank for some phrases.
In most cases, just writing in a natural way will give you the kind of keyword density you need. That said, it’s a good idea to check your keyword density falls within the range above.
There are a number of online tools for doing this, one of the best lets you either paste in text or load a URL:
If you’re a WordPress user, take a look at this plugin which checks content before publishing:
Internal and External Linking Strategies
When it comes to SEO, there are two types of links:
internal and external.
Any link to another part of the same site is called an internal link.
As well as links you’d expect to find (within a site menu bar, for
example) you can also create internal links by linking to past posts
within newer ones.
This is known to be a thing Google likes, so get into the habit of including links to related content. This also has the bonus of drawing readers deeper into your site by showing them links to pages they wouldn’t otherwise have seen.
Don’t go overboard with your internal linking or you risk overwhelming the reader. One or two relevant links per post is usually a good maximum, with more in longer posts.
Good loves good quality content that links to other good quality content,
so don’t be afraid to include a link to another site if:
– It’s a post that inspired you to write yours
– It’s an authority post or blog in your niche
– It’s a post you think deserves to be read and relates to your topic
Linking out to other reputable sites in your niche is a strategy that pay off.
And not just because Google likes it.
Most bloggers check their site stats regularly and notice when a new site
starts sending them traffic. Often, they’ll pay a visit out of curiosity and
will try to find a way to repay you either by leaving a comment or by
linking back to you.
This happens a lot more than you might imagine, especially if you link to
more than just the big sites in your niche. so it’s much easier to come to the attention
of the content writer and get yourself a mention, a link and hopefully an ongoing relationship
with a like-minded blogger.
Using “nofollow” correctly
Originally devised as a way to combat comment spam, when a nofollow attribute is added to a link it
necessarily a “vote of confidence”. Situations where you’d want to use nofollow include:
– Affiliate, banner and other paid links
– Links where you can’t vouch for the content, like links in user comments
– Pages on your own site that have no useful content like registration or login pages
Link with the nofollow attribute follow this format:
<a href=”login/” rel=”nofollow”>Login<a>
Too many nofollow links can be interpreted as an attempt to manipulate rankings (an outdated tactic
called “link sculpting”), so be careful not to overdo it.
SEO-friendly URLs: Fixing Common Problems
A well-optimized URL is one that isn’t too long and contains 2-5 words describing the content. It looks something like this:
Search engines (and users) prefer URLs like that to those that look like this:
An unoptimized URL can be off-putting to users because it’s not clear where it leads and looks untrustworthy. It’s also not good
for SEO because it has no keywords and doesn’t describe the content.
You may find your content publissing system creates optimized URLs out-of-the-box, otherwise you’ll need to change it.
WordPress, for example, uses this type of permalink format by default:
To change it, go to Settings > Permalinks, select Post name and click Save changes. This will give your posts and pages SEO-friendly URLs like the
first example above.
It’s best to set your permalinks to this format when start publishing. That said, if you make the change later WordPress automatically
redirects old URLs to the new ones, meaning there’s no loss of visitors or search engine traffic.
Sometimes websites are accessible with both www.yoursite.com and just yoursite.com. In other words, there are two URLs leading to
the same homepage and every other page on the site. That could cause what’s called a duplicate content penalty in search engine
because it’s a technique used by spammers to rank multiple times with the same pages.
To test whether you have this problem, type your domain name in a browser address bar and hit the Enter key. Do this once using
www. before your domain and once without. Watch the browser address bar carefully both times.
No matter which version is used, you should be redirected to the same URL.
If not, and your homepage is visible both with and without the www prefix, you’ll need to fix the problem. Look in your web hosting
control panel for an option that allows you to specify that only the www verson is used. If you can’t find an option to do that, contact
your hosting support.
If you’re using an up-to-date version of Worpress, this feature is built-in so there’s no need for you to do anything.