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Keyword Prominence Leads to Better Search Engine Results

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SEO keywords
© 2018 Scott Bateman

Keyword prominence is an important concept in search engine optimization that impacts an article’s ranking in search results.

What is keyword prominence in practical terms? It is an SEO tactic that places important keywords as close as possible to the beginning of a title, article, caption or other element on a page.

The closer the keyword is to an element, the more obviously it signals the main topic of an article to search engines.

Keyword Prominence Example

This article is an example of keyword prominence. Note that the term is at the beginning of the title and the beginning of the article. Note that it appears again in the first sentence of the second paragraph.

As a result, there is little doubt to search engines that the article most importantly is about keyword prominence, even if the article veers off in another direction.

This means the article will most likely appear in search results for anyone who does a search using that term.

But there is another important way of looking at it. The prominence of the keyword also signals the main topic of the article to readers and website visitors.

Search engine visitors don’t leisurely read every word of every title and every meta description in the results. They scan quickly for what they want.

A keyword that appears at the beginning of the title is more likely to get their attention. If they bother to read the meta description, the keyword at the beginning also is more likely to appeal to what they want to find.

So prominence works for readers and searchers as much as it works for search engines.

Prominence Versus Frequency

Keyword prominence is closely related to keyword frequency. Arguably, an article that has the keyword only at the beginning of the title and article and nowhere else runs the risk of letting other keywords take control.

The length of the article determines how often the keyword or keyword phrase should appear in it.

As a general rule, a keyword should appear at least once every 200 words of an article. But it shouldn’t appear too often to avoid the risk of “keyword stuffing”.

Keep in mind that prominence isn’t limited to the title and the body of the article. An image caption, alt tag and file name are other opportunities for placing keywords prominently in an article, especially if the image is at the beginning of the article.

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