Prominence, Frequency and Placement
Keyword Marketing / Search Engine Tips
When someone goes to one of the search engines to find
information, they enter keywords in the search line in
hopes of finding a Web site "match" that contains information
regarding the topic they were interested in.
Most of the time, people will further refine their
search by entering in multiple search "strings" or
The way search
engines determine the proper Web site "match", is
dependant on the following factors:
- Keyword "weight" or
- Keyword prominence.
- Keyword frequency.
- Keyword placement.
As you can see, most of the criteria revolves
around your keywords (aren't you glad you made that long
list of keywords... I told you it would come in handy).
This doesn't have to do with the size of your
keywords, but more so with the number of keywords
appearing on your Web page when compared to the total number of
actual words appearing on that same page.
For example, if our automotive site only has three
words on a Web page and two of the words are the same (cars,
trucks, cars), then the keyword weight of the page is
high - it's "dense". Theoretically this page would get a good
ranking if the search was for cars. (If there was only one word
on the page, cars, that would receive the highest relevancy in
keyword weight because it would be a perfect match.)
Granted, having just one word on a page isn't very
appealing to the visitor and chances are they'll just hit the
back button and leave.
One trick that works very well is to create
smaller sub-pages, (sometimes called "Doorway or Bridge"
pages) only about a paragraph long (100-150 words is fine),
which emphasize a particular keyword. This technique
keeps the overall number of words to a minimum, therefore
increasing the "weight" or "density" of the keyword you are
First come, first served! Keyword prominence has to
do with the placing of your keywords within your site's
title and description. For example, did the title of your site
start with a particular keyword or was that keyword the fourth
or fifth word of the site's title.
For example, if doing a keyword search for "cars",
which one of these two sites do you think would rank better?
Cars, Trucks, Vans and SUV's for
Sale - Car tips and secrets for the new and
used car buyer!
Trucks, Vans, SUV's and Cars for
Sale - Discover how to buy any new car
below whole sale blue book prices!
Well, if you guessed the first one then you
got it right, but let me explain why. The first one will do
better for two reasons. The first is that our keyword comes
first in the title and description. Secondly, "cars" appears
a total of three times in the first, but only twice in the
second - it has better keyword "weight".
Take another look below:
Cars, Trucks, Vans and SUV's
for Sale - Car tips and
secrets for the new and used car
SUV's and Cars for Sale -
Discover how to buy any new car
below whole sale blue book prices!
Okay, now you know why. Let's do one more example.
Which of these two do you think would rank better for the
and Secrets for Home Based Businesses -
Discover how to start your own business on a shoestring
|Start a Home
Based Business in 24 hours - Business
success tips and tricks for all home based businesses and
Did you pick the first one?... if you did, then you
got it right. Allow me to explain why the first one will do
The second one has the keyword "business" a total
of four times, while the first statement has it only three
times. Since they both have almost the same amount of total
words (19 and 21 respectively), the second wins in the keyword
But remember, the most important factor is
your <title> and keyword
"business" appears twice in the title - once at the
beginning and once at the end. Hence it's more relevant and gets
better keyword ranking. This leads us to factor number three:
The more times your keyword appears in your title,
description and body text of your Web page, the better ranking
due to keyword "weight" and relevancy.
You don't want to go overboard with frequency,
however, since on some engines if you repeat a word too many
times, you'll be penalized for "spamming" or keyword stuffing.
In general though, repeat your keyword in the document as many
times as you can get away with, and up to 2-4 times in your META
One trick to increase keyword frequency is to use
<!-- comment tags --> in your HTML code. Comment tags are used
by webmasters to make comments to themselves while designing a
site regarding a Web page and/or HTML codes that they don't want
viewed on the actual page.
For example, when writing your HTML codes for a
particular page, you might make want to make a reminder note to
yourself that you want to add or remove something on April 10,
2000. So, you would use comment tags like this:
||<!-- Don't forget to
add the new information for the upcoming car show in April. -->
Now, some search engines will take into account the
use of comment tags... so let's take advantage of this. Near the
very top of your page, insert your META keywords into your
<!-- comment tags -->. Here's an example:
<META name="description" content="Everything you've ever wanted
to know about cars, trucks, vans and automobiles.">
<META name="keywords" content="cars, trucks, vans, automobiles,
suvs, honda, nissan, gm">
<!-- cars, trucks, vans, automobiles,
suvs, honda, nissan, gm
Once again, DON'T spam! Simply repeat your keywords
once or twice or else the search engines will penalize you.
The reason I said put the comment tags at the top
of your page is because keywords at the beginning of a page get
much more "weight" and "relevancy" than at the bottom of your
You can insert comment tags all over your page, but
don't go overboard. The absolute most would be to put one at the
top, middle and the end of your page.
WHERE your keywords are placed on a page is very
important. You want to put most of your keywords at the top
of your pages (first 100-150 words). That's why when
creating Doorway pages, you will write one or two short
paragraphs (all filled with keywords) to describe your product
Now, let's move onto other important places to
Most of the search engines score keywords and text
found in heading tags much better than any other text found on
your pages. This makes sense because usually the information
found in headings and sub-headings have a specific theme related
For example, the sub-head for this section is "Heading
Tags"... And guess what, this section contains information
relevant only to... heading tags.
So, to take advantage of this you need to insert
some keywords in your <H1> to <H6> heading tags. Instead of
changing the font sizes from a 12pt. to a 36pt., you simple add
<H1> tags. Just remember that <H1> tag is a bigger font than a
<H3> which is bigger than a <H5> and so on. Search engines also
score <H1> better than a smaller font <H3>.
If we're trying to score well for keyword "nissan
trucks", you would create your page like this:
<META name="description" content="Nissan Trucks: Everything
you've ever wanted to know about nissan trucks and
<META name="keywords" content="nissan, trucks, nissan trucks">
nissan, trucks, nissan trucks -->
<P>Write some information regarding nissan trucks.</P>
Well, there you have it. We have our keyword in the
title, META tags, comment tags, body and now in the header tags.
If you'd like, you can using header tags through out your page.
Just make sure your page looks "normal" and don't use <H1> all
Start with <H1>, throw in a <H2> and a <H3>, and
finish up the bottom of the page with a <H4> or <H5>.
On some engines, placing keywords in the link text,
the part that is underlined and linked on the screen in a
browser, can add more relevancy to those words. Just make sure
the keyword is linked and it
would be even better if the linked word was linked to another
For example, using the above sample page this is
what you could do:
<P>Write some information regarding nissan trucks.</P>
more information regarding nissan trucks, please choose one of
the following pages<BR>
The above example emphases the keywords "nissan
trucks", plus two other potential keyword phrases!
One trick that rarely anybody uses is inserting
keywords in your URL or site address. An example would be
One last trick is to insert keywords in your ALT
tags. For example:
Web designers use ALT tags to describe
the contents of a picture that hasn't finished loading or,
to describe what picture you would be looking at if you are
browsing the Web using a browser where you have opted to turn
the graphics off.
alt="put keywords here" WIDTH="120" HEIGHT="90">
A recent study showed that a surprising number of
people, perhaps as high as 20%, still browse the Web with the
graphics off because of slow connections or slow computers (when
I'm doing research on a particular subject, I sometimes turn my
graphics off just so I can increase my download speed.)!
One thing I'd like to point out is that if someone
has their browser's graphics off, your page is going to look
ridiculous with a dozen keywords stuffed inside ALT tags
describing a picture of some sort. Use this trick, just don't go
overboard with it.
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