a question to article writers

by zonkow
37 replies
For my new site ( first one actually) I'm applying 1% keyword density. I have 1000 words product reviews and articles . Throughout each article I'm mentioning my keywords about ten times, not more than that?
Is that a good idea?
Should I use more ?
#article #question #writers
  • Profile picture of the author robyna
    Originally Posted by zonkow View Post

    For my new site ( first one actually) I'm applying 1% keyword density. I have 1000 words product reviews and articles . Throughout each article I'm mentioning my keywords about ten times, not more than that?
    Is that a good idea?
    Should I use more ?
    You can use more if you want. 2%-3% isn't a bad idea. I would also break up your product review and make them shorter. I would take them and break them into (2) 500 word reviews. This is because people typically are looking for something short and sweet. Use bold heading where you can so it's easy on the easy and simple to scan through.

    Good luck!!
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  • Profile picture of the author Kierkegaard
    It depends on the product how long the ideal review should be.

    I don't bother measuring keyword density because if you write naturally it works out between 2-3% anyway.

    You only have a problem if you are deliberately stuffing an article full of keywords (not a good idea) or you're trying to rush out an article on a subject/for a product you don't really understand.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      I don't normally count my keyword density.

      One of the world's greatest experts on article marketing is Chris Knight, the owner of Ezine Articles. Ezine Articles has a good policy, in this regard. Bear in mind that Google is their main "paymaster" and it's not a huge leap of the imagination to presume that they're doing what they think is best for SEO, and what Google wants. Their policy is that if your keyword density gets as high as 2%, that gets you an automated rejection, without your article even getting as far as a human editor. For this reason, I think article writers probably do well to take 2% as their absolute upper limit.

      So I don't agree at all with the "2% - 3%" figures given above. (And clearly anyone using that as a guideline isn't getting their articles into Ezine Articles, anyway!)

      On the odd occasion that I have counted my keyword density, it's been around 1%, and I think your ten keyword uses in 1,000-word articles are probably about right.

      But the important thing is to write for readers, not for search engines. (And as various article marketing experts here are quick to point out, doing that tends to work out pretty well for SEO purposes as well ).
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      • Profile picture of the author Ty Gather
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        • Profile picture of the author FriendlyRob
          I've always felt that, with regard to article writing, just visit ezinearticles.com and familiarize yourself with their author's guidelines. Everything that they do is to make Google happy, therefore, they ought to know how to do it.
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          • Profile picture of the author John Coutts
            Write for people. If you can do that successfully, keyword density will take care of itself. I never check keyword density, and my clients never ask either. Write with people in mind, first and foremost every time.

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            • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
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              Originally Posted by John Coutts View Post

              Write for people. If you can do that successfully, keyword density will take care of itself. I never check keyword density, and my clients never ask either.
              Yes, interesting, isn't it?

              Buyers of $5 articles want a particular "keyword density".

              Buyers of $100 articles don't care about it at all.

              Now, let me see: there must be a lesson there, somewhere ...
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              • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
                The only time I ever even think about keyword density is if I happen to trip over EZA's threshold. If I'm close, I can usually quickly sub in a related term or two. If, for whatever reason, that isn't practical, that article doesn't go on EZA...

                Otherwise, until bots, spiders and algorithms start carrying credit cards and buying stuff, I'm writing for human eyeballs.
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                • Profile picture of the author John Coutts
                  Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

                  ... until bots, spiders and algorithms start carrying credit cards and buying stuff, I'm writing for human eyeballs.
                  There's nothing more to add there!
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              • Profile picture of the author AmandaT
                Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

                Yes, interesting, isn't it?

                Buyers of $5 articles want a particular "keyword density".

                Buyers of $100 articles don't care about it at all.

                Now, let me see: there must be a lesson there, somewhere ...
                I've been noticing this since I started raising my rates... the more I charge, the less people come at me with a list of keywords. Rather than "Write for the keyword 'apples'" I get requests more like "Write me an interesting and engaging article about apples." I like the second request more... and I'm sure the client's readers do too.
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                • Profile picture of the author John Coutts
                  Originally Posted by AmandaT View Post

                  ... the more I charge, the less people come at me with a list of keywords.
                  Nice, isn't it?

                  John.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
    In regard to SEO write a solid article that covers the subject. In the process of doing that you will hit semantically related words which also count in what is known as the LSI (latent semantic Indexing) algo of Google (best place to see this is in action is in geographic searches - for example some sites rank for places in England without the actual keyword because a related location is mentioned).

    So on this I agree with Alexa - I don't count keyword density and don't care. In terms of site SEO though I would look at keywords within H1 tags etc as well.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kurt
    Keyword density is one small part of Google's algo. Just make sure the "density" is above 0.

    Take into consideration that there are many sites with ever-changing, dynamic content with stable ranks for keywords. In other words, the content and keyword density will change, yet the rank of the page will remain stable.

    Instead of density, think about keyword variety. How can you work complimentary keywords into your reviews while still having your text read naturally?

    Mike brought up LSI. Use this tool to see what other words and phrases the top ranked sites for the given keyword also use:
    Latent Semantic Indexing

    What it does is count the most popular words the top rated sites in Google use. It can also give you ideas of what to write about in your reviews.

    Add the names, brands and product numbers of similar products. Google things like "list of juice machine manufacturers". (I use "list of" often in my research) Add these where you can.

    Toss in some "psychgraphically" friendly words such as "cheap", "discount", "wholesale prices" to attract buyers. Pshychographics is simply what the person entering the search query is thinking about at the exact moment. If a person enters "cheap" into the search box, it's a clue they are thinkiing about buying something. You want these people.

    The truth is, if you want tons of traffic, chances are you'll need to get traffic from a variety of keywords and keyword combinations in addition to your main keyword. Remember that EVERY word in your article (other than "stop words") is a keyword and has the ability to bring you traffic.

    And finally, you're better off asking SEO related questions in the SEO forum, where you'll get folks with more SEO experience as well as help keep this forum organized.

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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
      Originally Posted by Kurt View Post

      Keyword density is one small part of Google's algo. Just make sure the "density" is above 0
      LOL too true and well said. I actually have had people PM me asking why they can't rank and their keyword density particularly in their headers and H1 tags were in fact zero.
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  • Profile picture of the author Troy_Phillips
    I keep everything at around 1%. This is a throwback of the mass article submission days. Used to be you would not get accepted at a lot of directories if you were much over 1%

    Now honestly I don't "think" the density means near as much as it one time did but old habits are hard to break and I have saw no real benefits of going over 1 to 1.5%.
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  • Profile picture of the author Adie
    Originally Posted by zonkow View Post

    For my new site ( first one actually) I'm applying 1% keyword density. I have 1000 words product reviews and articles . Throughout each article I'm mentioning my keywords about ten times, not more than that?
    Is that a good idea?
    Should I use more ?
    For a new site, especially for the landing page, I suggest a solid 3% including H1, H2, H3. That's based on my own experience. Ranking sites with such density is faster than with lower ones.
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  • Profile picture of the author lucidsuccess
    1 % is good enought. Make sure all onpage seo is done, then top it off with off page seo
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  • Profile picture of the author AC21DJ
    Key word density is not something you should ever concern yourself with. If an article is written naturally and the keywords are put in the proper place so that the article reads well then, the article is written well.

    The number of times it appears in an article should be disregarded and you should write freely and honestly.
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  • Profile picture of the author Nick Lawless
    I agree with Alexa. Keyword density of more than 2% might be too much. For my 1200 word articles, I make sure that the main keyword appears 7-10 times while the secondary keyword 1-2 times all throughout my article.

    One of the mistakes of other writers is that just because they needed a keyword density of about 2%, they squeeze in these keywords even if they do not appear natural in the article. To give you a guide, you can check the article writing guidelines of ezinearticles.com.

    Best,
    Nick
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  • Profile picture of the author aizaku
    Write as u would, get ur keyword in there a few times, title, h2, description,in the permalink once or twice in plain text for every 500word doc but at the end of the day let your dofollow anchor text keyword backlink from a high pr related site tell google what it should rank u for.

    Best of luck to u
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  • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
    Originally Posted by zonkow View Post

    For my new site ( first one actually) I'm applying 1% keyword density.
    Nobody measures keyword density anymore.

    Use your keywords where it is natural and normal to use your keywords.

    If that gives you 20% keyword density, so be it. If it gives you 0.2%, that's fine too.
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  • Profile picture of the author sethczerepak
    Wholeheartedly agree with those saying that keyword density isn't a concern for good writers. I never think about it either. I just write good content and I get better rankings and more traffic now than I ever did writing SEO content.
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  • Profile picture of the author imsirigiri
    How do you talk to a stranger while explaining what your site does? Do you focus moreo n emphasizing the purpose or do you focus on repeating the domain name and keywords repeatedly?

    Use the same approach in writing articles too. LSI does it's own magic and search engines are well aware of the fact for whom the article is written. So, let it flow naturally.

    Stop worrying about density of the keywords.
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  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    I have never, and will never, ever count keywords. I write to make sense - to be informative, vital, and timely -- and I have never had a problem. I'm not exactly sure how someone could talk about a subject without hitting a keyword, but if you write naturally - ya never know what other keywords might just bring in a whole different market of viewers that you'd have never thought of before. I've had articles on the first page for things I'd have never really thought about twice.

    Business really took a plunge with the internet because people started to cater to a damned machine instead of people. Just remember - when you write to an online audience, you are still, in effect, face to face with another human.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sue McDonald
    I agree write for the people. I usually have the main keyword in the title, then in the first paragraph and always in the last paragraph. I want my articles to be read so i just write like I have the person in front of me and I am talking to them. I usually aim for between 350 - 500 words.
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    • Profile picture of the author kiwiviktor81
      Originally Posted by Sue McDonald View Post

      I agree write for the people. I usually have the main keyword in the title, then in the first paragraph and always in the last paragraph. I want my articles to be read so i just write like I have the person in front of me and I am talking to them. I usually aim for between 350 - 500 words.
      Short advice but very sweet. I do the same. It's good to imagine you're giving a short speech when you write a piece, it helps to make it flow and makes it easier to avoid repetitive forms of speech.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kurt
    I really wish "writers" would open their minds and think for a moment so they may increase their audience by learning some new basic skills.

    This "I write for people" stuff only gets you so far...

    There's all types of writing styles and each has it's own set of rules, benefits, skills and styles.

    What if you were asked to right a song or jingle? Are you telling us you'd write for "people" like you always have, or would you adjust your writing style?

    What if you were paid to write limericks? Would you complain about the format and being limited to 5 lines of text and then complain about having to rhyme something with "Nantucket"?

    How about if you were offered a job to be a writer on a TV show? Do you think you can just write a great plot that people will enjoy? Or will you have to consider that there will be a commercial break 7 minutes into your script and you'll need to write a little "cliff hanger" at this point in order to get viewers back after the commercial break? You think TV show writers only write for people and not to get paid by breaking for commercials? They do both.

    What about legal, technical, or encyclopedia writers? Do they follow the same "I'll write how I want to write" style? Why is SEO style a lesser skill than these?

    I wish article writers would reconsider their thinking and understand the writing for SEO isn't only writing for Google. Good SEO writing is a skill that not only is intended for real people, it has the major benefit of increasing the people that actually read what you write.

    And proper writing for SEO isn't just about writing, it's also about formatting. Which words and phrases do you put into header tags, bullet points or anchor text? If you are too lazy to make these considerations, that's your choice. But you shouldn't tell those new to SEO and content creation they shouldn't worry about it. You are costing them traffic.

    Maybe your client doesn't request your writing to be SEO friendly...Does that mean you still can't do it for your clients' benefit?

    Writing for SEO is a skill that can be learned and improved. At its most basic level, it's adding nouns. The vast majority of search terms are nouns. And the more search terms you use, the more traffic potential your articles have.

    For example, a typical writer may write:
    Using tested dog training methods is necessary for working dogs.

    Simple SEO is:
    Using tested dog training methods, such as Cesar Milan instructs, are necessary for working dogs like rotties and german shepards.

    In the example above, I've DOUBLED the keyword potential of the sentence, giving my article a lot more combos of keywords for which the article can be found.

    You don't need to stuff keywords everywhere on a page. But there are plenty of places most writers can add keywords to that will fit naturally. Adding just a couple of relevant keywords per paragraph can give your page 10-20 more shots at getting traffic. And after you've written more articles, these numbers really multiply.

    You can claim you still rank high, but ranking isn't the goal, traffic is. My 15+ years of SEO experience tells me many of you aren't getting the traffic you would be getting if you'd only do a little better job of using keywords and basic SEO formatting in your articles. And if you can't write for people AND the SEs, maybe you really aren't as good a writer as you think you are?
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    • Profile picture of the author John Coutts
      Originally Posted by Kurt View Post

      I really wish "writers" would open their minds and think for a moment so they may increase their audience by learning some new basic skills.

      This "I write for people" stuff only gets you so far...
      Kurt, I understand all that, and I mostly agree with you. The OP was asking about keyword density in his 1,000 word product review articles.

      I, and others, told him to write for the people who would read his articles, and not solely for the search engines.

      Had the OP asked about writing songs, or writing Limericks, my response would have been different, but not all that much different, to be honest; people read Limericks and they listen to songs, or so I am told ...

      ... and yes, "Nantucket" is a difficult word to rhyme.

      John.
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    • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
      Originally Posted by Kurt View Post

      In the example above, I've DOUBLED the keyword potential of the sentence, giving my article a lot more combos of keywords for which the article can be found.
      However, you have in no way increased the value of the article to anyone who is searching for those keywords.

      If someone is searching for "Cesar Milan" on Google, they do not want to read an article on "tested dog training methods" designed to convince them they should buy this thing on Clickbank.

      In fact, if your article comes up near the top of the search results, it is taking the place of another article which might be more interesting to the reader.

      That's my objection to this sort of thing. I'm not saying that sticking the word "Cesar Milan" or "rotties" into your article won't make it come up higher in search results when people search for those terms.

      I'm saying that sticking those words in your article has no value to the reader. Here, think about this:

      Using tested dog training methods, such as Lady Gaga instructs, are necessary for working dogs like squirrels and African grey parrots.

      While this may be confusing and nonsensical, it has roughly the same value to the article. The only effect of using these completely stupid terms instead of your related ones is a momentary "WTF?" from the reader. The actual content of the article is still pretty much as valuable as it was before.

      In fact, I think you'll find that Lady Gaga and African grey parrots get more searches than Cesar Milan and German shepherds. So your site would probably get even more traffic with this sentence!

      Why not use it?

      Google doesn't care. They'll index it either way, and it will come up in the SERPs either way. Doesn't matter to them. Lady Gaga, Cesar Milan, these are just tokenised Huffman codes in a relational database.

      It only actually makes a difference to a human being.

      There's a little bit of a no-man's land between "natural" and "unnatural." And this kind of SEO sits in that area - it's not natural, but it's not really unnatural either.

      There's no law against writing for that no-man's land. If you want to do it, go right ahead. Personally, I won't do it, and I won't recommend anyone else do it. My feeling on the issue is "rankings be damned."

      Which means, by definition, that I want less traffic - because I'd actually prefer it if the traffic that doesn't want to be on my site simply never came there in the first place.
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      • Profile picture of the author MissTerraK
        Don't forget that you can utilize semantically related words in place of just repeating the keyword over and over.

        Terra
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  • Profile picture of the author Flores
    No matter what SEO strategies are currently floating around out there in regards to article writing, the one thing that we can know for absolute certain is that Google's (and other search engine's) #1 goal is to get the best quality content in front of their users. Google makes changes to their algorithm every day to move closer and closer this goal! Therefor, I have to agree with those that preach writing for people, and not for the engines. Google will never be able to create a perfect search engine, but it seems like they are working their best to get there..... Keyword density is good, but also worry about the use of the synonyms that relate to your topic. Mix it up. Google tends to be good at determining what your main point is, even if it is not super keyword dense. Anchor text does the most in regards to what keywords you rank for, I have found with my experience in SEO
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  • Profile picture of the author gatorx
    Adding keywords repeatedly put a strain on the writers. They don't want to mention that certain keyword again and again, this compromises the quality of the article and the writer. So it is better to reduce the keywords to an amount that is comfortable to the writer. Take in mind that a good writer can make it look natural.
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  • Profile picture of the author johnjonas01
    You can push it up to 2-3% but I would make the reviews shorter. 1000 words seems like a little long.
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  • Profile picture of the author GeorgR.
    2% is good...use more LSI/related keywords..this is more important.
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  • Profile picture of the author rooze
    Originally Posted by zonkow View Post

    For my new site ( first one actually) I'm applying 1% keyword density. I have 1000 words product reviews and articles . Throughout each article I'm mentioning my keywords about ten times, not more than that?
    Is that a good idea?
    Should I use more ?
    Without getting off on a tangent, I would say to you that the key is to mix it up. Google is looking for over-optimization and it sees that in the shape of 'patterns'. If each of your pages has a keyword in the H1 tag and 10 repetitions in 1000 words, that's a very distinct pattern which could be assessed as over-optimization (a deliberate strategy to try and manipulate the search engine). And if you think about it, that's exactly what it is.

    The point people are making about 'writing for people' is correct in that it results is a finished product which is more random and less contrived. So you may have one article with only 2 uses of your keyword and another article with 30. Yes, I said 30. I regularly use this many keywords on a page if it is in a natural and organic way, if the context permits it. (like creating a bulleted list for example).

    So mix it up, like a good martini.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Kurt, I'll meet you halfway...

      It is indeed possible to add to the SEO effectiveness of an article using structural considerations such as H1 tags, etc. Bullet lists, which Rooze mentioned, are another way to work more terms into a piece of content without destroying the flow.

      You'll allow, I hope, that writing for SEO as practiced by many reads horribly. Riffing on your example:

      For example, a typical writer may write:
      Using tested dog training methods is necessary for working dogs.

      Simple SEO is:
      Using tested dog training methods, such as Cesar Milan instructs, are necessary for working dogs like rotties and german shepards.
      Typical "SEO writing" might look like:

      Using tested dog training methods, such as Cesar Milan dog training methods, are necessary dog training methods for working dogs

      I don't recall saying one should ignore SEO when writing for online. Just that one should write for human readers first and foremost. Doing both requires some skill and practice.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jeffery
    This is about a website.

    May I suggest that some of the 'writers' in this discussion have missed the underlying intent of the OP. The OP is specifically asking about keyword density for reviews and articles on his website. He is not asking about articles that 'writers' submit to directories, news agencies, etc. Again, the OP asked about keyword density for his website.

    The mere fact that the OP is asking about 'keyword density' for the website would in my opinion suggest that website SEO is well advised. The site is new and all websites should adhere to web standards such as H1, H2, H3, bullets for emphasis, etc. Again, the OP is publishing his content on a new website, bots will visit, standards will have SEO weight, etc.

    The discussion has evolved, as most discussions do, which is actually an added benefit for the OP.

    Not to put words in Kurt's mouth as he is far more advanced than myself about SEO, but I have never known him to be wrong, and IMHO he is merely pointing out that though SEO is always changing it is important to apply SEO for the good reasons he has already stated...

    ...especially on a new website since the OP asked about keyword density on his website.

    I am not an expert and do not claim that I am right about anything, perspective, etc.

    Jeffery 100% :-)
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  • Profile picture of the author jasssy23
    I use about 2%-3% an article.
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