Friday, January 14, 2011

Keyword Density - Find the Right Mix for Your Online Writing

I received an interesting email last night. It was simple, concise and to the point: "How much is too much?" I emails back, asking how much of what is too much. My answered arrived just moments later. Again, it was short and sweet, "Keywords." Ahh, I understand now. How many keywords are too many?

Excellent question. Not  enough keywords in your online articles and your don't get indexed properly by search engines and you won't get the ads your shooting for. Too many keywords in your online articles and the search engines consider your work to be "spam" and won't index them at all. There has to be some sort of middle ground, but where is it?

With all of my searching, I have yet to find the magic number - the perfect ratio that will send your online work to the first page of all the search engines and get the ads you want. When I first started learning about keywords, I thought "less is more." I was such a "real world/non-online writer" at the time. "Less is more" is the standard when writing "out there."

Boy, was I wrong. I wasn't getting indexed and I wasn't getting the ads I wanted - errr, needed. Seeing my error, just like a driver trying to avoid a car accident, I over-compensated. My online work was so "keyword heavy" it read awkwardly. No ads and no first page on the search engines. Like the over-compensating driver, I avoided one accident and created another one.

I wasn't pleased. My online work was scripted and cold. I wasn't making money. I was going no where fast. So, I did my research. I read everything I could about keyword density. That made everything as clear as mud. There were as many keyword ratios as there were experts giving advice about keywords. I read everything from one percent to 12 percent. Some said it didn't matter; others said keyword density was all that mattered.

I have since learned that a good ratio is somewhere between three and six percent. Although nothing in online writing is chiseled in stone, that is a good ratio to strive for. Personally, I like to keep my keywords between five and six percent, leaning to closer to six percent. My work is getting the ads I want and, more importantly, my email inbox always has Google Alerts in it - telling me Google has picked up another one of my online articles.

There is no magic number. Because of this, I've learned to "play with keywords" in my online writing. If I'm not getting indexed on search engines or I'm not getting the ads I need, I will add keywords when my ratio is under 5.5 percent. When my keyword ratio is over 5.5 percent, I edit out the keywords. I keep playing around with it until my online article has been indexed and I'm getting the ads I was striving for.

Dying to know an easy way to figure out your keyword density? That will be in a later post. I've found some great tools for that and I'm using them to see which one I like the best.


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