There are many issues to consider when placing keywords in the text of your pages.

Most search engines index the full text of each page, so it is crucial to place keywords throughout your text. However, each search engine uses different ranking algorithms. Difficult though it may be, you need to bear all of them in mind.

General rules

Ensure your main page is full of keywords. It has a higher chance of being indexed than your other pages, and it will be the only page indexed by some engines.

Some engines rank a page high if it has at least 100 words, so make that your minimum. Directories include pages based on the quality of their content, so make sure your pages are not simply lists of keywords.

Key concepts

Keep the following four concepts in mind when creating your pages' content:

Keyword Prominence

The best place to place keywords in the text is at the top of each page and preferably on the main page. The closer your keywords are to the start of the page or the start of a sentence, the better. This concept is known as "keyword prominence." You will frequently see it used to describe search engines' algorithms.

Some engines also say the bottom of the page should contain keywords as well.

Keyword Proximity

Some engines, such as Google, use the concept of "keyword proximity" as part of their ranking formulas. As suggested by the name, "keyword proximity" means how close keywords are to each other. Put your keywords as close together as possible and make sure your sentences are clear.

Keyword Density

This concept, also known as keyword weight, measures the relationship of keywords to other text. Remember, the higher the percentage of keywords in relationship to other text, the better.

The recommended density is 3-7%. This means that your keyword should repeat 3-7 times for every 100 words.

Sound easy? Imagine having 10 keywords and trying to repeat each one 3-7 times per 100 words of text - it's practically impossible. Instead, pick two or three of your most important keywords and try to use them 3-7 times for every 100 words.

Keyword Frequency

Keyword frequency is a measure of the number of times keywords occur within a page's text. It's tied to the concept of keyword density. Search engines want to see more than one repetition of a keyword in your text to make sure it's not an isolated case. The recommended repetition is again 3-7 times.

Avoid spam

Do not ever be tempted to use tiny or invisible text to put keywords at the beginning of your pages. Search engines define this behavior as spam and can reject your site for it.

The Meta Tag and Keywords

What is the meta-description tag and why should I use it?

The meta-description tag describes your site's content, giving search engines' spiders an accurate summary filled with multiple keywords. Meta tags are hidden in a document's source and are invisible to the reader. Some search engines however, are able to incorporate the content of meta-tags into their algorithms. No engines penalize sites that use meta-tags properly, so it is highly recommended that you always include them. In fact, its inclusion is important simply because it's the only tag supported by some engines.

Yet another reason the meta-description tag is important is that some engines use it as a site's summary on their results pages. Under these circumstances, the reader may actually see this hidden tag, so ensure its contents are enticing to the reader.

The length of the meta-description tag

Search engines vary in their preferred size for meta-tags. Try to use the smaller number, 150 characters, for your site. Never make your meta-tag more than 250 characters long because some results pages will cut it off.