Yoast SEO assessment: Keyphrase distribution

What does the keyphrase distribution check do?

If you have Yoast SEO Premium the keyphrase distribution check assesses whether you’ve distributed your focus keyphrase evenly over the copy you’ve written. It also takes the synonyms you’ve entered and morphological forms of the words of your keyphrase (only in English for now) into account. The check scans your copy and determines where you’ve used the words from your keyphrase in your text.

If you stay on topic throughout your text and use synonyms now and then, you’ll get a green bullet. If, for instance, you use the words from your focus keyphrase or its synonyms a lot in the beginning, but you don’t mention them at the end, you’ll get an orange or red bullet. Clicking on the highlight button will reveal which parts of the text already contain your keyphrase. That way, you’ll see which parts of your text need improvement.Keyphrase distribution check

Why is keyphrase distribution important for SEO?

Search engines, like Google, want to show the best result to people when they are searching for something. Especially when it comes to informational content, it is very important that a search result in Google leads to high-quality content. With high-quality content, we mean articles that deal with the question(s) a user has and that is a good read.

In practice, this means the article has to provide answers and has to be on-topic and readable. That’s why we measure if you stay on-topic and don’t stray from the subject half-way your article. If you use synonyms or the words from you keyphrase in a sentence (the order of the words doesn’t matter) it means you’re still on-topic, and Google will recognize those too. In fact, we recommend using synonyms and vary the word order of your keyphrase because, in many cases, this makes your text better and easier to read.

Want to distribute your keyphrase more evenly?

Is your keyphrase distribution score low? Check your text and check where you’ve used your keyphrase. You can use the eye icon to highlight the keyphrase or synonyms in the text. Did you use the exact keyphrase a lot in the beginning, but forgot about it in the end? Check your wording at the beginning of the text: perhaps you could replace the keyphrase with a synonym here and there. Read on and check the rest of your copy. If you did stay on topic, but just forgot to mention your keyphrase or its synonyms you can add them in spots that make sense. If you’ve strayed away from the subject, rethink the goal of your article. What is the message you wanted to send? Did you get lost half-way your article, discussing one of your pet peeves? Perhaps shorten that part a bit. Or maybe it’s better to create two separate articles for the topics you’re discussing.

Important: At first sight, you might think that this check is the same as the keyword density check. It isn’t though! The keyword density check just checks how often you’ve used your keyphrase, it doesn’t matter if you’ve only used them in the first paragraph. The keyword distribution check assesses where you’ve used your keyphrase or its synonyms. This latter, therefore, gives you a lot of extra information about the readability and focus of your article.

Learn more about balancing your keyphrase distribution ▸

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