The more times you use a chosen set of keywords in an article or blog, the more the search engines will notice, right?
Well, no actually: that’s not how it works. Contrary to the urban myth perpetuated by some SEO practitioners, search engines don’t use keyword density to determine search engine ranking. Obviously they take account of the keywords you write about, but that’s simply to give an article context: in other words search engines focus of the chosen keyword so that their spiders can determine what the blog is about. So, is there such a thing as an optimum number of keywords for each article?
The short answer to that is no.
There’s no such thing as the ideal keyword density. Some content writers will often stuff a written piece full of keywords in the hope that these will make the search engines sit up and take notice: for some reason they see the practice as an integral part of the optimisation process. Sadly it has the opposite effect. Over-using keywords will kill any creative flow and make the written piece sound stilted and, dare I say it, spammy, and we all know what the search engines think about spam, don’t we? Google certainly takes exception to spam, and will go out of its way to penalise any site that it deems guilty of spam and black hat SEO. Google and the other search engines look for quality content that informs, advises and even entertains. Repeating keywords over and over again certainly won’t tick any boxes for Google, so the general advice is to steer clear of this practice.
Good writers do use keywords, but sparingly
Every SEO copywriter will use keywords, but they know that these have to be used in context: it’s part of the optimisation process. Yet all writers will also tell you it’s the content that matters, not which keywords you use and how often you shoehorn them in. Writers want to appeal to their readers, and persuade them to purchase whatever goods or services they’re writing about. No matter how hard some writers may try, they’ll never persuade anyone to purchase a product if the content they write is clumsy and reads poorly.
Is there a right way to use keywords?
The best way to use keywords is actually in moderation. You certainly don’t want too many, but you need to make sure that there are enough to register. It’s all about balance at the end of the day. The best advice any copywriter will give is:
Choose your topics carefully.
The more closely related your topic is to your keywords, the more frequently it makes sense to repeat them.
Make use of subheadings.
Not only are subheadings boldfaced, which is good for SEO in itself, but they also make it easier to accommodate clumsy phrasing.
Use variants and synonyms.
Search engines have very large vocabularies. They can make connections between related words so don’t be afraid to vary your usage and mix up your descriptions. Variation and the use of synonyms can be very helpful for writers with targeted subjects.
And remember, there is far more to SEO than just using keywords in your text. Writing clearly and creating useful content that readers will enjoy is the name of the game. If you do this, they’ll reward you by sharing your content with others, thereby generating the kind of inbound links that will help your search rankings soar.