Let’s play "Guess the keyphrase" – an exercise in keyword density

Have you heard this search engine optimization (SEO) tactic? The more times you use your keyword, the better your chances of attracting the search engines. This is referring to keyword density, meaning the number of times your targeted keyword phrase appears in your web copy. There is no proven scientific formula for this, but the right phrase employed in the right places, such as your headline and subheads, will work wonders as search engine bait.

However, there are two parts to good SEO:

  1. Getting visitors to your site and
  2. Enticing them to stay. Recently, I came across a web page with this headline:

How to be your own boss and enjoy total freedom.

I quickly scanned the subheads (as typical web readers trend to do) to see if the content was of interest to me. This is what I saw:

Discover if it is right for you to be your own boss

Crunch the numbers before you be your own boss

Learn how to make money while you be your own boss

Make the transition from working for someone to be your own boss

Any guesses as to what the keyphrase is? I’m pretty sure it’s “be your own boss.”

In addition to this phrase repeated in the subheads, it was used ad nausea throughout the content making it sound ridiculously redundant.

Which brings me to the second part of SEO: Enticing readers to stay. I decided not to spend any more time on this page. It was painfully obvious that the copy was constructed for the sole purpose of building traffic, not to dispense advice to anyone considering an independent career path.

The bottom line is that while it’s important to make your content visible to the search engines, it’s more important to make it relevant to your visitors. Always write for them first. If your content is solid with natural keyword or keyphrase placement, search engine traffic and qualified customers will follow.

One comment:

  1. This is such an important point for firms just starting out in SEO. It makes me FURIOUS when I read copy that is obviously “stuffed” with keywords. And even worse, when that terrible, terrible copy is put on a number of different sites. So when you do a search for “x” you get the same yucky copy.

    I firmly believe in the second part – that you need to write for your audience. As long as you’re smart and engaging in your copy, it will get indexed and prove valuable to customers and subsequently, to search engines!

    Thanks for the great reminder!

    Cheers .. Kate

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