Using SEO in Your Writing 5 – Keyword Placement and You

Keyword placement and density? Get me outta he -- NO, YOU WILL LEARN.

Keyword placement and density? Get me outta he -- NO, YOU WILL LEARN.
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I think the last time I wrote one of these was before Christmas, so it’s about time to churn another one out for those of you seeking to bulk up your presence and get your content noticed!

In Using SEO in Your Writing 4, we covered choosing your keywords, and focusing on choosing them yourself based on the type of content you are writing and the type of traffic you are shooting for. I honestly can’t give any more direct advice on that, because keyword hunting and utilization is a tricky practice. You are not going to master it overnight.

If this is perhaps your first time stumbling upon the Using SEO in Your Writing series, be sure to head to the first introductory post and read the subsequent articles leading up to this one.

This time around we are going to take a look at using your keywords efficiently, which is going to enable you to have better control over how your content is indexed. Having an appropriate keyword is one thing, but using it properly is another entirely.

The above all said, keyword placement is fairly simple and is not something you need to stress over.

So where do I put my keywords?

Wait, before we get to that.

Something you should keep in mind, as I’ve stated numerous times before, is that GameSkinny is a page rank 1 website. For you, that means search engines will take more kindly to your content even if it’s not perfectly optimized. It also means we have a tiny bit of wiggle room when it comes to keywords.

What this means is that even if your keyword phrase is not connected, as long as it is in the correct order it will be indexed. I gave a clear example of this in Using SEO in Your Writing 4 with the screenshot of my ranking in the ‘Starbound beginner’s guide’ keyword, which was only indexed in that manner because of my profile on the bottom of the article listing Final Fantasy XIV guides. It was indexed highly because the article was about Starbound, had the game name and ‘Beginner’s’ in the title, and had the word ‘guide’ in there.

The above came about by sheer luck, but something similar can be controlled and used to your advantage.

Say, for example, you want to write on ‘Kawaii Princess Adventure’. Specifically, you want to write guides on it, but don’t want to have them titled ‘Kawaii Princess Adventure guide’ or whatnot. In a case like this, you can include the word guide anywhere in the content itself (at least once) as well as the keyword phrase in your tags.

The above all said, if you are competing in a niche that is high competition, the above will not work so well. Often it is better to keep the keyword/keyword phrase in one chunk, but there are simply times where it doesn’t fit grammatically or read well. It just happens, and you must learn to work with it.

Back on track:

Placing keywords

I’m going to just list out must-have placement for your keywords unless under special circumstances:

  • Title
  • First paragraph, ideally in the first sentence
  • Somewhere in the middle
  • Last paragraph, ideally in the last sentence
  • Tag it

Sounds simple, right? Well, it is. For the most part, the struggle to place keywords comes mostly from having to reword sentences or write them just to get the keyword in there properly. The other difficulty here is not using it too much.

Don’t overuse your keyword(s).

Overuse of a keyword is also known as ‘keyword stuffing’, and it can and will completely decimate your content if you do it. You must pay attention to your ‘keyword density’ — a fancy word for the percentage of your content that is your keyword, in comparison to the rest.

Every SEO expert has what they feel to be their sweet spot with keyword density, but most will swear by something between 1% and 5%. I personally am most fond of 1% to 2%, but at times precision is not key and information takes precedence over doing it right. At least, that’s what I like to tell myself.

As most of you know, the minimum amount of words for an article to be promoted/featured here on GameSkinny is 150 words. 1% of that is 2 (rounded up from 1.5) instances of a single keyword within an article. In short articles (as 150 word ones are), you must find the balance between your keyword and your content. 

The best advice I can give you for articles that are 200 words or under is to not use the keyword or game name every paragraph. In those instances, I highly recommend simply sticking to the title, first paragraph, middle once, last paragraph, tags method. It’s the easiest and does not step on the toes of search engines or your readers.

So, what about larger articles?

Large articles are tricky for keyword placement and density because of the sheer mass of words and the amount you can work your keyword in without being mostly ignored by search engines, or annoying people reading the content.

Placement in the title, first paragraph, last paragraph, and tags are a must, but between that you must gauge how many words you have written and go with a reasonable keyword density between 1% and 5%.

You can determine the optimum instances of a keyword by multiplying your word count by .0X — with X being the percentage between 1% and 5%. So a 4% density would be .04, a 3% would be .03 and so on.

I believe this is all that needs to be covered on this topic. Beyond the concept of density and the standard placement spots, determining where to put your keywords is a fairly simple process if you know it should be done.

If you have any questions or think I didn’t bring something up, be sure to comment below and I’ll get back to you when possible.

About the author

Ashley Shankle

Ashley's been with GameSkinny since the start, and is a certified loot goblin. Has a crippling Darktide problem, 500 hours on only Ogryn (hidden level over 300). Currently playing Darktide, GTFO, RoRR, Palworld, and Immortal Life.