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Density Of Key Phrases In Text


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15 replies to this topic

#1 RisaBB

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Posted 04 August 2003 - 07:40 AM

Hello,

I am re-writing my client's content and optimizing with three keyword phrases. Since I am making the conscientious effort to use these words as often as possible without the text sounding contrived, I am wondering what is a good amount to aim for for each phrase. 5X? 4X? 8X?

Thanks for any advice.

Risa

#2 Jill

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Posted 04 August 2003 - 07:54 AM

There's no set amount. How many words are you using altogether?

I recommend using at least 250 words of copy as it's a good length to be able to say what you need and also use your keyword phrases a decent amount of times.

How many times also depends on the keyword phrases themselves. How competitive are they? If they're reall not words that have tons of other optimized sites, you can get away with using them only 3 times. However, most phrases that have some competition, you'll definitely need to use more times than that.

It also depends on whether you're using them in your Title tag, and in links pointing to that particular page.

My rule of thumb is to use them as many times as you can and still have it make sense. You don't want to read it and know that you added the keyword phrases in there as much as you could. It should read just like any page on the Web. If someone who doesn't know anything about SEO can tell the phrases are there and awful lot, then you've probably overused them.

Read it out loud also. What seems to read okay in your head, may start to sound really dumb and repetitive when you read it out loud.

Hope this helps!

Jill

#3 RisaBB

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Posted 04 August 2003 - 08:46 AM

Thanks, Jill. You're a gem.

Risa

#4 Peter

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Posted 04 August 2003 - 02:40 PM

Hi Risa,

Based on a discussion I had on another form, I have to say that the number of words in the copy is also based on what is mostly used in your market.

For instance, a web site about cats probably has many more words in its copy than a site that sells web hosting.

If all your competitors use about 500 words in their copy, you may want to consider doing that too, and experiment a bit on if more words or less words will work best.

It still has to make sense of course, but definitely I would investigate what is the standard in the market you are in.

Best regards,

Peter

#5 copywriter

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Posted 04 August 2003 - 04:23 PM

Hi Risa,

Jill is right. There's no hard and fast rule. One thing I do just to give me a visual of how many times the keyphrase appears is to change the color of the text on the keyphrases. That way, at a glance, I can see how often they occur.

Also, in regard to your note about not having your copy sound stiff, you can almost always use keywords in the headers of columns, in bulleted lists, and in headlines - in addition to the copy itself.

Then there's the ALT tags, the title and description tag and many other "legal" places in the code you can put them, too.

Good luck!

Karon

#6 Amit

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Posted 17 August 2003 - 10:54 PM

Hi,

For checking keyword density and related parameters there are various free as well as paid sites are available. There are softwares also like Web Position etc. I wanna know on which guidelines they are based and are they apply to all search engines.

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#7 copywriter

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Posted 18 August 2003 - 07:03 AM

Hi Admin. Welcome :aloha:

I don't use Web Position Gold or other types of software, but from what I've been told by those who do, they are based on the "3% Rule." Basically, this guideline says that 3% of your viable words should be keywords/phrases. Others in the forum who actually use the software may be able to answer more accurately.

However, this "rule" is really just a guideline. Something to give you a bearing. This is not a hard and fast law that must be followed.

When I write copy, I normally just highlight the keyphrases on the page to give me a visual picture of how many times each one has been used. I don't count each keyphrase and then do the math to be sure I'm within the 3% parameter.

Depending on the competitiveness of the keyphrases, I may choose to use them more frequently than 3% or less frequently.

Karon

#8 mcanerin

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Posted 18 August 2003 - 10:11 AM

I've used a rule of thumb for a while to optimise first for Google, then MSN, under the theory that I can't please everyone and getting those two will probably get me the others without me having to pull my hair out. I use WebPosition Pros Page Critic function for this.

Imagine my surprise and annoyance the first time I did this, when the set for Google told me to decrease certain keyword frequencies, and then the set for MSN told me to *increase* them! <sigh> Confused, I finally split the difference.

Then I looked at the bottom of the report where it compares my page to the competitions. I was way above them. I published, crossed my fingers, and waited.

Chaa-ching! Number one position across the board. The moral of this story is to write great content, use the keyword densities as a guidline when they make sense for the page, and remember that you are not trying to hit some magical rating inside a SE algo, you are simply trying to do better than your competition.

"You don't have to run faster than the bear, you just have to run faster than your friends" :aloha:

Ian

#9 copywriter

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Posted 18 August 2003 - 10:18 AM

Thanks for the insights, Ian. Yes, it IS impossible to please all the engines all the time. But as you stated, you can do a darn fine job if you use common sense :aloha:

#10 Paul J

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Posted 18 August 2003 - 07:18 PM

I've been lurking for a bit and will try to give my 2 cents whenever I think I can help. Nice and informative forum you have!

I recently took a contract position to write sales copy and do other SEM functions for an e-commerce project. This company sells upper end fun products and I have to dig deep to really sell the fun and make it enticing for the consumer to buy.

What has worked for me so far, is to write the copy with that in mind. From there, I look at the specific keyword density and proximity, and place the keyword phrases as much as I can while keeping a good flow of copy. I'm usually able to do this without changing the sales copy too much... usually. I don't have a particular number of times the phrases go in but it usually winds up being around 5%. But what works for me, might not work for others.

On an indirect note, I'm writing product pages so I'm unable to get anywhere close to the recommended 250 keywords per product page. If it gets more than 100, it kind of looks wordy and I'm afraid the consumer will go away. Any thoughts or recommendations on that? Thanks again for the informative site.

Paul

#11 copywriter

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Posted 18 August 2003 - 07:34 PM

Hi hppckmn! Welcome :)

You are so right. I recently had this challenge with Gorton's Seafood's latest site (see http://www.gortonsfreshseafood.com.)

It's a retail e-commerce site, too selling fresh seafood products (as opposed to their usual frozen seafood). As you can see, it has extremely short product descriptions, too. I had a hard time repeating keywords in some instances because of this but it worked out fine.

You write then put in the keywords last? Really? Interesting... I do it while I write. As a matter of fact, the keywords often give me ideas as to how to write the page.

Hey... different strokes for different folks. As long as the end result brings in traffic and sales, that's all that matters :)

Karon

#12 Paul J

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Posted 18 August 2003 - 08:57 PM

Thanks Karon. I checked out that site and I will probably steal, ok borrow, ideas. :)

I probably wrote in a hurry. I do write keyword phrases as I go, but I don't really implement them 100% until I go over it a 2nd or 3rd time. I'm new to that niche of SEM so I've just gone with what has worked so far. This is a far cry from other SEO/M things I've done before.

Since the co. doesn't want any of my contributions known to competitors, I can't put this site in my profile. I'll send you a PM to see what you think. No hurry for any reply - we all wear 7 hats and the current site is in the process of being revamped. Thanks Karon.

Actually, to the original question, from what I've read here and other forums, the keyword proximity seems just as or more favored than the density of each word. Last month, I did a search for Search Engine Optimization (what better way to see who does it right). A company called seoinc.com came up as no.1. I was really impressed to see how many times "search engine optimization" came up in that order, with a combination of these words in other places. At the same time, the copy was very readable. Don't know if that helps anyone, but it did open my eye.

Paul

#13 copywriter

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Posted 19 August 2003 - 07:25 AM

Ha ha!! SEOInc, huh? I wrote that one, too :D Garry Grant is the owner. Did you know he used to play guitar for Bruce Springsteen? Cool, huh? He's a really fun guy.

I saw the notice of your PM but I haven't read it yet. Will go over there in a bit.

Karon

#14 Minerva

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Posted 09 September 2003 - 12:02 PM

How important is it to keep the words in a key phrase together? For instance, if my key phrase is "green, fuzzy widgets" do I always have to put those three words together? In the case I'm thinking about, the copy would be less contrived if I didn't repeat the three words together more than a couple of times, but rather used them separately in the text.

Thanks,
Andrea

#15 Jill

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Posted 09 September 2003 - 12:17 PM

How important is it to keep the words in a key phrase together?

Please see this previous discussion.

Jill




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