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Don't count keywords anymore...

Dont count keywords anymore... 1629-daily-golden-nugget-984

In my Nugget yesterday, I explained how you need to consider the longterm value of your SEO and SEM efforts to the overall process of building your brand.

That Nugget directly relates to today's topic of Keywords, specifically keyword density.

In yesterday's Nugget I explained how Google will penalize you if you try to game their search results. They are pretty strict about that now since working so hard to improve the way their algorithm ranks websites.

In years past, the typical SEO expert would figure out little tricks to help improve a website's ranking and then exploit those tricks. Fast link building is the most popular trick that's been mentioned in internet marketing news, and it's one of the main reasons Google's been penalizing websites lately.

Another strategy from years ago was to count the number of times a specific keyword would appear on your web page. The number of times the word appeared, in relation to the total number of words on that page, is called the "keyword density." An early SEO strategy was to use a keyword phrase a very specific number of times in order to achieve a specific keyword density.

This keyword density strategy seemed to work for a little while, but it's not an SEO method I give a lot of credibility to now. I find it better to use your important keywords as many number of times as needed on a page without making it sound forced.

There's a specific difference between how you use words when you know you have to maintain a specific count compared to how you would use them conversationally.

If you try to use the phrase "engagement ring" 7 times on a single page, the entire writing of that page starts to sound convoluted. As the writer, your thinking changes as you struggle to figure out what to say just so you can mention the phrase 7 times.

On the other hand, if you use a conversational dialog, just the same as if you are talking t someone in person, then you might naturally use the phrase "engagement ring" 3, 4, 5, or even 7 times without even trying.

The resulting copy you write for that page is more readable when you write for a conversational goal than for a content density goal. I have to assume that the readability of your web pages is one of the ranking factors Google uses now. There's no direct evidence to support that assumption, but I've seen the ranking of a few sites improve once older unnaturally written content was rewritten in a more conversational style.

Other than counting the number of times you use keywords within the copy of your pages, there are other places that your important keywords should be positioned... assuming they still sound natural.

Those places include:

* Main heading of the page
* Page title
* Meta description of the page
* URL for the page, either as a variable or part of the file name

Referring again back to yesterday's Nugget, I want to call attention to the strategies offered by some search engine marketing companies when they provide targeted keyword marketing services.

Over the last few years, I've seen several proposals that include long lists of keywords that these companies will target. Their targeting uses a mixture of specific keyword placement on landing pages in conjunction with the specific ads they write to target those keywords.

You have to monitor the landing pages they create for you and not simply trust them to do the right thing. Many of those marketing companies tell their content writers to write about a topic and include specific keywords. Those writers are given keyword goals which usually translate into poorly written copy that sounds cumbersome instead of conversational.

As it turns out, the best content writers are usually you or your own employees. You already know how to speak conversationally with your customers, and that's exactly what they want to read on your website without your words sounding forced.

AT: 05/01/2014 10:04:03 AM   LINK TO THIS GOLD NUGGET
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