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What Is TF-IDF and How Does It Apply to SEO?

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What Is TF-IDF and How Does It Apply to SEO?

TF-IDF is a term that you may have heard before but do not know what it means. TF stands for “term frequency,” and IDF stands for “inverse document frequency.” Put together, they represent the probability of a word or phrase appearing in a given piece of text. This statistical calculation can be applied to search engine optimization (SEO) to determine which words should appear more often on your site in order to boost rankings—and how often those words should appear.

What Is TF-IDF in Content Writing?

The first step is to understand what TF-IDF means. When you’re writing a piece of content, the most common word that appears in it will have a frequency score equal to one. Any other words or phrases that are used will be given scores relative to their frequencies, so the more often they occur in your copy, the higher their scores will be.

What Is SEO?

The acronym “SEO” stands for search engine optimization, which is the process of improving a website so that it ranks higher in Google and other popular search engines.  This is done through a variety of methods, including optimizing page titles and meta descriptions, writing unique content for your site, cleaning up the backlinks to your website, adding social media integration tools, etc.

Interested in off-page SEO? Check out Off-Page SEO Step-by-Step Guide: How to Do It Properly.

How TF-IDF Relates to SEO

There are hundreds of factors involved in SEO, but TF-IDF has significant implications on how well you rank in Google for specific keywords and topics.

If you want to create a good blog post, then it is important that the title of your content contains relevant keywords or phrases related to what people are searching on Google at any given time. For example, if you write an article about SEO tips for beginners, you should include terms such as “SEO” and “search engine optimization” in the title of your blog post.

You want the essential keywords to have a greater frequency than other words. This is where TF-IDF comes in.

TF-IDF is basically a way to measure how frequently keywords appear in relation to an entire document. You can implement this in your SEO strategy by looking at other pieces of content that include your keyword and checking out their frequency of use for that term. The higher the number, the more often it appears relative to everything else within those documents, which means it might catch more attention from search engines. You can also use TD-IDF in order to measure the frequency of keyword use in your own documents to ensure the percentages are in line with SEO best practices.

The TF-IDF Formula

The TF-IDF value for a keyword is calculated by using these equations:

TF = tf(t, d) = the number of occurrences of term t in document d divided by the total number of terms in document d

DF= df (d) = The sum of all distinct words occurring in any documents

If running these equations feels overwhelming, not to worry; SEO Guru Atlanta offers quality search engine optimization in Atlanta at an affordable cost. For more information on local SEO in Atlanta or for an audit of your digital marketing strategy, contact us today.

For more information on SEO best practices, read: Guide to Proper URL Structure For SEO.