Keyword Prominence as A Ranking Factor
Keyword prominence is an important practice in SEO. It entails using SEO content keywords early in the content, essentially informing Google about which topics the page should rank for. The principle of focusing on the most important point first – by mentioning the SEO keywords early in the content – is comparable to the journalistic norm of never burying the lede. To “bury the lede” in journalism refers to using irrelevant information to hide the story’s main focus.
Burying the lede is a mistake in journalism because it confuses the reader about what the significant information is in an article. The target keyword is the counterpart of “lede” in SEO, and it is just as bad to bury the keyword in the content because it only confuses Google about the page’s context.
This idea is more known as keyword prominence in the SEO community. However, many SEOs wonder if it is just an unsupported theory or a confirmed ranking factor. Below are some claims related to keyword prominence’s status as a ranking factor.
SEOs Claim That Keyword Prominence is a Ranking Factor
It is said that the position of SEO content keywords on a web page has an impact on search rankings. According to SEO professionals, it’s wise to include the target phrase early in a document’s title and body to benefit from keyword prominence, which is thought to be a ranking signal.
Keyword prominence is also linked to improved search rankings. The closer a keyword comes to the beginning of titles and text, the more prominent it is. And the less prominent it is, the lower the chances of ranking for that keyword.
When performing a Google search, one can notice that the pages mention the exact keywords in their titles. Anecdotally, keyword prominence may affect a website’s search ranking. But has this been confirmed by Google as an official ranking factor?
Keyword prominence has long been thought to be a ranking factor, with evidence dating back to 2011 when it was discussed in a video with Matt Cutts, a former Google employee. He explained how Google detects the use of keywords while crawling the web and that the first few uses of a keyword tell the search engine company about what the page is all about.
However, Cutts warned site owners to avoid overusing keywords since more isn’t always better. The first or second mention of the keyword is significant, but once the writer mentions it more, it would not be as useful. There are diminishing returns; it’s just another little advantage, but it isn’t that significant.
This evidence was in 2011, and there have been a lot of changes since then, but Google’s stance on keyword prominence has stayed the same. In one of Google’s weekly Q&A sessions, John Mueller discussed the topic of keyword prominence. He said that if SEOs want to tell Google anything about their page, they should make it as apparent as possible.
Mentioning the SEO keywords at the bottom of the article does not help a lot. Instead, one should use it in their titles, headings, subheadings, and captions from photographs, making the message clear for Google and site visitors when they visit the website.
Going back to the idea of “burying the lede”, using the most significant keyword as early as possible in the content will optimise for Google and readers at the same time.
Keyword Prominence Also Boosts CTR
Not only does keyword prominence affect the user experience, but it may also have an impact on click-through rate (CTR). Mueller strongly advises mentioning the most important keyword in titles, headings, subheadings, and the main copy, as doing so makes it more obvious.
Not only does the title of the blog post influence SEO, but it also has an impact on how many people click from organic search results. That’s another reason keyword placement is so crucial; without traffic, rankings are meaningless.
For English searchers, the search engine displays the results in left-to-right order. Therefore, the first page title that the user sees will catch their attention since it matches what they entered into the search bar. The purpose of SEO isn’t simply to get websites at the top of search results; it’s to entice visitors to click on the website instead of competitors sites. Keywords strategically placed may aid in achieving this goal.
When visitors land on the page, they will most likely skim the material rather than read it word for word. With that in mind, it is crucial to use the keyword as early as possible in the article. So, when the user skims through text, they’ll easily notice it.
The keyword should be mentioned in the first paragraph, or at least in the first sentence if possible. Site owners would want to let the searchers know right away that they’ve come to the proper article and that it is the most useful content in the search results; otherwise, they will go to the competitors’ websites. Publishers writing the content should repeat the keyword again in headings and anywhere else their readers’ eyes are likely to jump as they’re skimming a page.
Keyword Prominence: A Ranking Factor
Google has confirmed that keyword prominence is a ranking component. Google has stated many times that using a keyword early on in the text is preferable, from an SEO perspective, instead of having it appear later on the page.
If SEOs want to improve their chances of ranking for a certain term, they must include it in the introduction paragraph. They can use the keyword early on but not overuse it; otherwise, they risk getting caught up in keyword stuffing.
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