How Your Keywords Placement Will Impact SEO

Written by: Jason Bayless | October 18, 2017

“Contrary to what many beginners think, having keywords in the URL does not help very much for SEO purposes. It is more important to work on everything else, meaning other important tags, links and notoriety. There are, however, a few advantages to putting keywords in a URL.

If you put keywords in a URL, then users who look at the URL of each result before clicking can better estimate whether the page responds to their request. Google shows the words of a query in bold on its results page. So, if the URL contains them they will be in bold. That may attract a little more attention from a user. Also, URLs with well chosen words will be easier to remember and understand when they are transmitted.

The best reason to have keywords in a URL is that anyone who uses your URL to make a link will generate link optimized for SEO, as the clickable text will contain strategic words. If the words are separated by appropriate separators, then they will be even more effective. By the way, you’ll probably need to utilize a URL rewriting technique to have the most effective URLs. It’s mostly for this reason that it’s still useful to have keywords in URLs, even if keywords in the URL don’t help for SEO purposes.

The density of a keyword refers to the number of times that a keyword appears on a page. This is called the gross density. The weighted density adds a location factor of that keyword to the page, in addition to the frequency of its repetition.

The keywords placed in certain tags on the page will have more value in the eyes of Google. Indeed, in SEO the location of the keyword is important. This notion of weighting remains unclear as no one knows the true weighting applied by Google. The main strategic beacons, also known as “hot zones,” are the H1 tag that is the main title of the page and the Title tag.

It used to be that a page with text repeating the word “”blog”” forty times was better placed in the results for a Google search than a page, equivalent in every other way, containing the word “”blog”” only a dozen times. For a long time in SEO the keyword density had weight as a SEO criterion. The more a word was repeated on the same page, the better it was for its SEO.

The keyword density calculation helps to determine if a word is sufficiently present on a page. The keyword density index corresponds to the number of occurrences of the keyword or the number of repetitions of the word, when compared to the total number of words on the page. The formula is as follows: Keyword density index = number of occurrences of the word / total number of words in the page. For example a keyword repeated 4 times in a 400 word page will have a keyword density index of 1%.

You may wonder, “Should I change a non-optimized URL to include keywords?” It’s up to you, but it should not be your priority. Indeed, in addition to requiring a fair amount of work, this will penalize your search engine ranking since the pages will change their addresses.

However, this negative impact is short-lived if you stay on the same domain name and set up permanent 301 page-to-page redirects. On the other hand, it is obvious that for any new site it is recommended that you choose a format where the URL is well optimized. For example, you may utilize the preceding tips to optimize your URLs for SEO.”