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Bringing Keywords Into Order


A lot of Search Engine Optimisation revolves around trying to predict the random methods people use to find a site.

To complicate matters further, keyword order will have an impact upon organic search rankings.

Keyword order will not just impact the visible text within a page, it will affect the URL, the title tag, header tags etc.
Often there can be huge gains or losses in organic rankings, simply by changing the order of keywords.

You may be forgiven for thinking that you’d want to place the words in an order that sounds natural, as this is how the majority of people type, but there is also a significant proportion of the population that use a random order, ignoring all short words (prepositions such as : on, in, to etc).

For a given search phrase, the competition for the naturally speaking version will always be higher.

Take ‘Audi Quattro’ (Natural)
6,590,000 search results.
40,500 global monthly searches

For ‘Quattro Audi’ (Un-Natural):
1,320,000 search results
1,000 global monthly searches

To get these statistics, sign up for a Google AdWords account and use their Google AdWords Traffic estimator.

This will not always be the case, the trick would be to find a key-phrase where the ‘Un-Natural’ search, had fairly low search results, but high global monthly searches.
In short, ‘No competition and lots of people looking’.

How to predict keyphrases

With the launch of ‘Google Instant’ when you begin to type a phrase into the search box, the results are automatically populated before the ‘Google Search’ submit button is clicked.
Now when a user begins typing they often stop half way through their intended search phrase and click one of the suggestion. With Google the number one search engine, these short key phrases or even single words are favoured strongly.

  1. Taking each word of your keyphrase in isolation, begin typing it slowly into the Google’s, search box.
  2. Make a note of all the suggestions given within the drop down menus.
  3. Take a compiled list of all these phrases and enter them into Google one by one.
  4. Note down the number of search results for each
  5. Using the Google AdWords Traffic Estimator, enter each phrase, setting the Advanced Options and Filter’s Match types to ‘Exact’
  6. Note down the estimated traffic for each phrase.

Although larger, you should have a list somewhat similar to the ‘Audi’ one.

SEO problems with Keyword Order

Not only can finding the magic keyword order be initially time consuming, it will also need re-assessing periodically. Not everyone has this much time to spend on every page of their website, so what are the solutions?

The simple solution is ‘Theming’. When writing a piece of copy, try to encompass the whole subject wherever possible. Including such things as:

  • Product Features
  • History
  • Development
  • Advantages
  • Images
  • Usage
  • Similar Pages
  • References

Obviously, you’d give the page Title, url and H1 tag your No.1 keyphrase, but for each of the items in the list above use less popular combinations. It is also worth remembering that punctuation can be very handy for getting words into an un-natural order. Keywords can also be broken up with the use of breadcrumbs:

Keyword > SEO > Order > Keyword Order SEO

Google would read ‘Keyword SEO Order’ and ‘Keyword Order SEO’ as the same

Listing keywords

  • how to order words for SEO
  • keyword order SEO
  • ordering keywords for SEO
  • optimise keyword order
  • SEO keyword order
  • etc etc…

SEO Rules for Keyword Proximity


  • Directly adjacent is best.
  • Un-natural phrases are OK, especially if there is no competition and lots of people looking. 
    Keyword proximity (for 2+ keywords) #10
    • Directly adjacent is best.
    • When adjacent, punctuation between words is acceptable (key. Word) but less desirable
    • Try to keep keywords within the same tag. e.g <p>
  • When adjacent, punctuation between words is acceptable (key. Word) but less desirable
  • Where possible, try to keep keywords within the same tag. e.g <p>



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