Keywords and Keyword Density

by Michael Sweet - Date: 2007-01-23 - Word Count: 781 Share This!

One of the best ways to insure that your site is being properly designed is to insure that keyword density limits for search engine spiders are being met.

Keywords are basically made up of one word or phrases describing terms that users might enter in the search engine to find products or services they are interested in. The trick to keyword placement is to not have the keyword placed too many times in one page. According to the SEO Expert Consulting, "For better search engine response, the keyword density must fall anywhere between 5-7 %". What this means is that for a one-hundred page document, your keywords or keyword phrases should appear no more than 5 to 7 times. If these limits cannot quite be met, at least insure that your keyword is used at least once on each page that you are optimizing for that particular keyword. Web spiders will also pay more attention to keywords that are placed in special locations such as in the title tag, within header braces in the first part of the page, and in bold tags located throughout the content itself.

Also keep in mind that not all users surfing the WWW are perfect spellers. One technique that can prove to be very effective is to use misspelled keywords as well as properly spelled keywords in the content of your page. According to the Traffic Tube Website, "20% of all Overture searches were done using the wrong word!" This could mean a huge amount of traffic for your site if a misspelled keyword is used within the proper limits on a page. Using tools such as Overture's Search Term Suggestion tool located at, a designer can get a better idea of the different misspellings for any keyword that he or she may intend to use in the site. Be aware however, using misspelled keyword too often on a site will give the impression that the designer does not know how to spell correctly and will hurt the credibility of the site. The idea is to place these keywords in areas of the page that are sure to be scanned over rather quickly so the misspellings will be virtually unnoticeable.

Another location that benefits from proper keyword placement is in the Meta tag area of the page. Search engines use information contained in the Meta tag to describe the site in the results that are displayed when a user does a search for a particular keyword or phrase. By placing your keywords in this area, when someone does a search and sees the results, they will be assured that they have found exactly what they were searching for. By keeping the description to a minimum, you can also insure that the spiders will index them word for word and give your site the best possible description.

Finally, make sure that all images are using the proper alt tags to describe the image for browsers that do not download them properly. This is especially true for very graphics rich sites that might not contain a large amount of content compared to the amount of images. Because web spiders are mainly text based, they will recognize the keywords located in the alt tags more readily than the image names.

Also note that because most web spiders ARE text based, web page items such as flash animation and JavaScript are for the most part ignored and these items don't contribute at all to page rank. While the spiders will index a dynamic site, such as one designed using a language such as php, for the most part they completely ignore any flash and JavaScript code and while having this code on-site will not be a negative factor, using JavaScript or flash to add links or re-directs to your site will cause the spider to ignore them all together, defeating the whole purpose of adding those links to begin with.

By using these keyword density techniques, you can insure that your site is optimized for all of the major search engines and can be seen as a valuable source of information. The main idea of on-site optimization is to have a site that is using content that is geared toward users and not search engines. The practice of creating one set of content for users and another just for search engines is referred to as cloaking and is highly frowned upon by search engines. Algorithms that are used today by such engines as Google have been designed to spot content that is obviously made available for spiders and will penalize sites that are practicing these techniques. Google specifically advises against this and warns that they will ignore sites following this practice.

Related Tags: seo, keywords, keyword density

Michael Sweet is a freelance web designer and also owns and maintains

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