One of the most important aspects of SEO copywriting is keyword placement. That is, the way you integrate keywords and key phrases into the text. While it is, by no means, the only component of a copy with good SEO practices, it’s usually the most significant.
Why Keyword Placement Matters
The purpose of SEO copywriting is to maximize your chances of being found on the internet. Whether that’s through Google, Digg, Facebook or some other place where people discover content, the way your work has been written will often have a bearing on how it will be presented to the reader (e.g. it can be on the first page or the last page of Google results for a search term).
Keyword placement is a strategic way of putting relevant words in your copy. If you’re writing a feature on “BMW sports cars,” for instance, you want the name of the car to appear various times throughout the piece, since it what will naturally happen if you’re talking to a friend about that vehicle. Users rely on that when looking for content. So do search engines, automated content curators and other web services. If you write an article about “BMW sports cars” but your copy is filled with more references to the “Porsche 911 Turbo,” then it’s fair to assume that the article is about the latter, right?
More than number of repetitions, though, you want the keyword to appear in significant parts of the text — those where they will make the most impact on the reader. This includes the headers, titles, subtitles, lead paragraph, closing paragraph, and the two ends of a new paragraph.
Back in the old days of the web, people got away with inserting the exact same keyword in every sentence. Yep, those paragraphs sounded way awkward, but they did get the search engines and other automated indexers to notice.
These days, those tactics won’t work. Not only are indexing algorithms a lot more sophisticated, a lot of content discovery today is social-based. That is, there’s a human touch to finding content and those will weigh heavily when your text is nothing but a stuffed mess.
Using Keyword Variations
To make content flow smoother, one technique you can use is to add variations to the main keyword. That is, instead of using “BMW sports cars” every time, alternate it with similar terms like “two-door Beemers,” “luxury coupes” and other appropriate substitutes.
Latent Semantic Indexing
One of the newer technologies employed by indexing algorithms are LSI measurements. That is, they don’t just count keywords — they measure against your use of related terms. For instance, a normal conversation with your friends about “BMW sports cars” will likely include references to engines and other car parts, auto clubs, other German cars, and similar car-related things. Hence, the algorithms will expect to find those terms in your writing too.