How many times should my keyword appear on my page?

Keyword density, and keyword weighting are terms I don’t really understand.  I’m also worried about keyword stuffing though, which I gather is over using my keywords.  How many times should my keywords appear on my page?

There are lots of buzz terms relating to formula’s for constructing a highly optimised page for a given search engine.  Moreover, the formula for each search engine is different.  Makes you wonder how on earth your supposed to build a web page that can rank highly on all search engines?

Well, as with most SEO myths, it’s all non-sense as usual.

Keyword density is the proportion of times your keyword appears in your content, compared to the total number of words on the page.  So for example, if your page has 1,000 words and your keyword appears 10 times, then your keyword density is 1%.  Most advice in this area suggests a keyword density of anything from 4% – 7%.

Keyword weighting relates to the position of the keywords in key areas of the page, and the number of words or letters used in the key areas, such as the title.  For example, keywords at the beginning of a short title, is better than keywords at the end of a long title.

Whilst there is of course some truth to all this, it’s no way to write copy for the pages of your website, and doesn’t take into consideration related keywords (Latent Semantic Indexing – LSI).  Before writing the copy for your pages you should:

  1. Determine the subject of the page, or piece of copy.  This will likely become your primary keyword or phrase.
  2. Establish a selection of related words and phrases that are likely to come up whenever anyone discusses your the topic of your page

Then, when writing your copy, make every attempt to include not only your primary keywords, but also all the related words.  This will improve your chances of appearing well not only for your primary keywords, but the related ones too.  You’ll also find that you’ve probably written a more interesting and readable piece of copy than if you were merely trying to achieve a balanced formula for keyword density and weighting.

What this all means is that you should be optimising your website firstly for your users, and then for the search engines.

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