Question about on-page SEO.

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[I received some web content today that I outsourced. I was very specific on how I wanted it set up SEO wise. With subheaders with my keyword etc. I asked for a 3-4% keyword density. Every keyword has been bolded. I thought that you only bolded one, italicized one and underlined one. Am I right, or should I leave them all bolded?]

It may be helpful to understand why you are using bolded, italicized or underlined text for SEO.

It is all about the principle of prominence.

By changing the font characteristics of specific words or phrases you are increasing (or decreasing) the prominence of some of your text over the remaining text. It is the relative change from the other text that, in part, determines how prominent your text is in relation to the surrounding text. The other important factor is the order of words in relation to other words. You can make your targeted keywords more prominent by any of the following methods:

  • Placement at the beginning of the content element
  • Increased font size
  • Increased font-weight
  • Highlighting
  • Underlining
  • Italicizing
  • Contrasting color

It is important to keep in mind that it is the relative prominence that matters.

If you bold a single word in your content then that word is made more prominent than the remaining words. If you bold several different words then all of those bolded words are more prominent than the remaining text but share equal font based prominence with each other. At that point, the order of those bolded words determine which is more prominent. If you bold all the words in your content then the bolding has no effect on prominence.

The point is that prominence is a relative value. You have to use prominence enhancing font attributes sparingly to get the maximum effect.

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