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Site-Wide Keyword Density Guides SEO and Content

Words

Keyword density is a common term in search engine optimization to describe the number of important keywords in an article. But it also works well at the website level.

SEO experts have traditionally touted the importance of keyword density at the article level because word repetition signals the topic of the article to search engines.

For example, the phrase “search optimization” appearing five times in an article is more telling about the article subject than if the phrase “search rankings” appears only two times.

The emphasis on keyword density in articles has declined somewhat in recent years as search engines get smarter about understanding an article’s topic. But keyword density still has uses, not only in articles but on a much bigger scale.

Site-Wide Keyword Density

An entire website has the phrase “search optimization” appearing 100 times in a variety of articles. The phrase “search rankings” appears only 10 times in total. Search engines now see the site has an emphasis on search optimization and will respond accordingly. We may assume by logic alone that search engines will favor articles about optimization.

But this site-wide approach to keyword density has brand and user benefits as well.

It has brand benefits because a site publisher may want to emphasize articles about search rankings much more than just a ratio of 1/10. He or she may also discover that articles about rankings are getting a better response than articles about optimization.

The user benefit comes in the form of better writing with a sharper focus on these long-tail keywords with a highly targeted theme. A publisher who identifies existing articles with these keywords can turn them into links to other relevant articles.

How to Track Site-Wide Keyword Density

Just to be clear, single keywords aren’t much use. The better targets are phrases that consist of at least two words and sometimes three or more.

Some webmaster tools can help a publisher identify common keyword phrases and their frequency on a site. Free tools are great. Website tools that cost money aren’t so great for sites with tight budgets.

There are three simpler ways to find the phrases using “exact match” if a publisher already has a good idea of what phrases to find.

  1. Use the internal content management system to search the article body of all posts. If the CMS doesn’t have a default internal body search, like WordPress, add a plugin.
  2. Use the external site search for the same.
  3. Use search engine operators such as site:yoursitename.com “keyword phrase” to identify the articles with the relevant phrase.

The number of resulting articles offer an important clue about the frequency of these important phrases.  For example, an article that ranks in fifth place in search engine results may have a keyword phrase appearing in only two other articles on the entire site.

Finding more ways to mention that phrase in new or existing articles along with internal linking may improve the rankings. If nothing else, it will certainly improve user experience.

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