It’s difficult for me to remember sometimes that clients are not in the headspace of everything we SEOs practice and preach. So when posed with the question “how many times should this keyword be on the page?”, I default to some variation of the same answer:
“When creating content, be mindful you are writing for humans as well as machines. Focus on the topic, don’t feel bound to writing the keyword literally, especially if it doesn’t make readable sense, just write naturally.”
Quite an indirect, and ultimately unhelpful answer for someone who isn’t experienced with the nuances of the SEO field. The problem with the answer is the clashing methodology of an older school of thought, and an unbridled set of rules for content-writing in SEO.
At the core of everything, Google wants to know who is providing the most valuable answer for the searchers’ query, and that is indicated by things like the quality and relevance of inbound links, the website’s overall authority in the topic area, and user engagement metrics – not just how many times a target keyword is used on a page.