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Keyword Density

Safe Keyword Density 2013


Correct keyword density is critical to your website’s on-page optimization.

Unless your website is optimized on-page, all the work you’re doing off the website (building links, marketing content, executing a social media campaign) will be seriously undermined.


Will offsite SEO still have a positive effect even without proper on-page optimization? Sure. But that’s like taking a bike with two flat tires to the Tour de France: you’ll get half as far for twice the effort … and there’s no way you’ll be able to keep up with the competition.

So what’s a safe keyword density in 2013? Unfortunately, thanks to Google’s Penguin update that launched last spring there’s no hard and fast answer to that question. We can’t tell you “Shoot for 3% keyword density and you’re good” because Google is playing keyword density info close to its vest.


What we can do is share with you two tips on building a keyword theme to ensure you never have to worry about keyword density now or after future Google algorithm updates.


Tip #1: Don’t try to rank for a word; rank for an idea.

In a post-Penguin world, trying to hone in on a single “silver bullet” keyword is far less effective than building a keyword theme around a highly-focused key idea.


For example, let’s say your topic is home gardening. Good luck ranking for the competitive keyword phrase “when to plant a garden”, but you might have more success with “planting a winter garden” – and even greater success if you drill down to a highly-focused idea like “winter vegetable gardening in California”.


Think about your target audience and the exact information you’re trying to share with them and then strip away anything that doesn’t pertain directly to that information. What remains is your key idea and you can rank for it by carefully building a keyword theme around it.


Need a little help focusing in on a key idea?


Übersuggest is a powerful (free!) keyword suggestion tool that uses Google Suggest and other suggest services to help you narrow broad topics down to viable, focused key ideas.


Tip #2: Build a keyword theme around your key idea.

In the past, if you were writing a 500 word article or blog post you might have tried to fit your primary keyword into the content 12 to 15 times. Take an approach like that now and Google will most likely flag your article as spam.


A more effective strategy today is structuring your content around a number of relevant, focused keywords – utilize a keyword theme, in other words.


Once you’ve honed in on a key idea, building a keyword theme around it is as simple as heading over to the Google AdWords Keyword Tool and doing some basic research.


Typing the above example “winter vegetable gardening in California” into Google AdWords Keyword Tool’s search bar and searching for “Keyword ideas” brings back a list of hundreds of potential candidates for my keyword theme. For a 500 word article I might choose the 12 or 15 that are most relevant to my key idea to include in my content.


By building an article around a keyword theme rather than a single keyword you’ll not only improve the relevance of your content and make it more reader-friendly, but you’ll also never have to worry about Google penalizing you because of keyword density.

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