Old generation geeks remember a time when you had to type in website addresses exactly in order to reach a website. No one found this tedious, because in those days, it was also necessary to memorize phone numbers and enter them one digit at a time in order to make a phone call. The only way people could reach the website of Walter Bloggins, Esq. was to type in its URL as it appeared on the business card. If the website was www.walterblogginsesq.com, and you types www.walterbloggins.com, you would get an error message. Gimmicky web addresses like www.getoutofjailfreewithwalterb.com did little to solve this problem, because they still depended on prospective clients having reasonably accurate keyboarding skills.
Enter the search engine. Over time, these wondrous inventions have gotten better and better at guessing what information you are looking for, even based on vague and misspelled search terms. As search engines get better at helping consumers find what they want, businesses with an online presence compete for the attention of the search engines. The process of getting Google to consider your business the most appropriate, reliable, or important response to a user’s search term is called search engine optimization (SEO), and keywords are an essential part of SEO. Just how many keywords is enough, though, to convince Google that your website is a genuine article?
What Is a Keyword?
SEO keywords are words and phrases that you think that users will type into Google when trying to find your site or other sites like it. For example, “Florida DUI defense,” “Modify alimony agreement,” and “establish an LLC” are all search terms that users who need the services of a lawyer might enter. The keywords relevant to your law firm include your practice area and your geographic area, as well as other phrases related to the types of cases you accept. Some law firms try to include keywords on their sites that will respond to search terms by users who have not yet decided to hire a lawyer. These search terms include things like “Michigan alimony laws” and “how to write a will.”
What Is Keyword Density?
Keyword density is how frequently a keyword appears on a page. For example, if the keyword “alimony” occurs ten times in a 500-word blog post, that is a keyword density of two percent. The formula is a little more complicated for “keywords” that are more than one word long. How often should you use keywords in a blog post, though? Too infrequently, and Google will not give your site enough importance. Too frequently, and Google will determine that your post smacks of charlatanism. The conventional wisdom is that the ideal keyword density is 3-5 percent. That means using the word “alimony” five times in a 500-word post or the phrase “estate planning” three times in a 600-word post, for example.
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