Keyword Density, Prominence and Proximity Concepts for SEO

Keyword Density, Prominence and Proximity Concepts for SEO

Selecting the right keywords is of paramount importance in search engine optimisation (SEO) and can make or break your SEO efforts, regardless of how good you work with the other SEO elements. However, it is not enough to just select the right keyword; it is important, after selecting the right keywords, to also use them at the right places. This is where the concepts, such as keywords density, prominence and proximity come in.

A few questions would naturally arise here: What are the keyword density, prominence, proximity and frequency? How important is it to have each of these on a webpage you intend to optimize for the SEO purposes? These are the questions clients, or other people who want to do SEO using various SEO tools on their own, often ask. The following overview is intended to answer such questions.

Keyword Density, Prominence and Proximity

Keyword density is how often a keyword appears on your page, i.e., what is its ratio with respect to the total text on the page?  There is no set desired percentage or ratio, but for most of the sites, it should be below 5% and should not exceed 10% at all. If you have 0% density, your page would struggle to rank for the desired keyword(s). Keywords and some variation of it should be there as long as they appear natural and do make sense to the visitors. However, the keyword density is less important than the two other elements – keyword prominence and proximity.

Keyword prominence is about having keywords at the places which are important for search engines and users – these include titles, headings, sub-headings and linking text etc. Start of the page has highest prominence as compared to the other places on the page.

Keyword proximity is about how close two words appear in the content. The nearer the two keywords, the higher the optimization of that page for those words.  It should be noted, though, that the keyword proximity is of lesser importance if the competition is low, but in competitive market it comes into equation.

Another related concept is keyword frequency.  Keyword frequency is the number of times a keyword appears on a page. Many SEO starters may over-use the keyword which is known as Keyword Stuffing. Keyword stuffing through an attempt to increase frequency should be avoided, as it makes the site look spam and, thus, kills the user experience. There is a fine line between incorporating keywords properly and overdoing or stuffing. Huge care or expertise is required in that regard as  keyword stuffing is the number one cause of websites getting penalized by Google.

In summary, selecting the right keywords, having them on the places on the webpage where they really matter, and, most importantly, creating compelling content for the visitors can take your website and the business a long way forward  in the online world.

These keyword strategies combined with the proper site structure, navigation, information architecture and user experience are the decisive factors in terms of on-page SEO. We will cover the other on-page aspects in another blogpost to help you understand how to fully perform on-page SEO, so keep visiting our blog.

Selecting the right keywords is of paramount importance in search engine optimisation (SEO) and can make or break your SEO efforts, regardless of how good you work with the other SEO elements. However, it is not enough to just select the right keyword; it is important, after selecting the right keywords, to also use them at the right places. This is where the concepts, such as keywords density, prominence and proximity come in.

A few questions would naturally arise here: What are the keyword density, prominence, proximity and frequency? How important is it to have each of these on a webpage you intend to optimize for the SEO purposes? These are the questions clients, or other people who want to do SEO using various SEO tools on their own, often ask. The following overview is intended to answer such questions.

Keyword density is how often a keyword appears on your page, i.e., what is its ratio with respect to the total text on the page?  There is no set desired percentage or ratio, but for most of the sites, it should be below 5% and should not exceed 10% at all. If you have 0% density, your page would struggle to rank for the desired keyword(s). Keywords and some variation of it should be there as long as they appear natural and do make sense to the visitors. However, the keyword density is less important than the two other elements – keyword prominence and proximity.

Keyword prominence is about having keywords at the places which are important for search engines and users – these include titles, headings, sub-headings and linking text etc. Start of the page has highest prominence as compared to the other places on the page.

Keyword proximity is about how close two words appear in the content. The nearer the two keywords, the higher the optimization of that page for those words.  It should be noted, though, that the keyword proximity is of lesser importance if the competition is low, but in competitive market it comes into equation.

Another related concept is keyword frequency.  Keyword frequency is the number of times a keyword appears on a page. Many SEO starters may over-use the keyword which is known as Keyword Stuffing. Keyword stuffing through an attempt to increase frequency should be avoided, as it makes the site look spam and, thus, kills the user experience. There is a fine line between incorporating keywords properly and overdoing or stuffing. Huge care or expertise is required in that regard as  keyword stuffing is the number one cause of websites getting penalized by Google.

In summary, selecting the right keywords, having them on the places on the webpage where they really matter, and, most importantly, creating compelling content for the visitors can take your website and the business a long way forward  in the online world.

These keyword strategies combined with the proper site structure, navigation, information architecture and user experience are the decisive factors in terms of on-page SEO. We will cover the other on-page aspects in another blogpost to help you understand how to fully perform on-page SEO, so keep visiting our blog.

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