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Keyword Proximity: What Is It In SEO? (With Examples)

This guide explains keyword proximity.

Below, you’ll find out what is keyword proximity and how it applies to search engine optimization (SEO). You’ll also get a list of examples of keyword proximity in SEO so you know what this practice looks like on a website. There’s also a section about how much proximity for keywords matters for the ranking algorithms along with important guidance on optimizing your web pages correctly.

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By the end of this page, you’ll understand everything there is to know about keyword phrases and proximity on a web page.

Keyword Proximity

What Is Keyword Proximity?

Keyword proximity is the distance between individual words of a keyword phrase within a body of text. Keywords can have low proximity or high proximity for related search terms.

Types of Keyword Proximity

Low Proximity

Low keyword proximity refers to a keyword phrase that has individual words separated by two or more words in the same sentence. Having low proximity reduces the keyword relevance for SEO.

High Proximity

High keyword proximity refers to a keyword phrase that is in an exact match order or has only one word separating the key phrase in the same sentence. Having high proximity increases the keyword relevance for SEO.

Keyword Proximity Examples

Here are some keyword proximity examples to help you understand how this concept works for search engine optimization and content writing.

The keyword phrase for these examples is “best blue dresses”.

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  • We sell the best blue dresses online: Has high keyword proximity because it uses the exact match phrase.
  • We offer the best new blue dresses: Has high keyword proximity because the distance between “best” and “blue dresses” is one word.
  • We have the best blue colored dresses: Has high keyword proximity because the distance between “best blue” and “dresses” is one word.
  • We stock the best fashion designer blue dresses: Has low keyword proximity because the distance between “best” and “blue dresses” is two words.
  • We have the best types of new blue dresses: Has low keyword proximity because the distance between “best” and “blue dresses” is three words.

As you can see, keyword proximity is different from the concepts of keyword density and keyword prominence. Proximity has nothing to do with the density (the percentage of times a keyword phrase is used on a page) or prominence (where the keyword is placed on the page).

Keyword Proximity In SEO: Importance

Does Keyword Proximity Matter For SEO?

Keyword proximity does matter for SEO because it increases the relevancy signal of the web page for specific keywords. The higher the proximity of the keyword phrase on a web page, the more relevant the content becomes for related search terms.

It’s important to understand the concept of keyword proximity in SEO so you know how to take advantage of keyword prominence, which is another useful practice for on-page search engine optimization. Having high keyword proximity in specific HTML locations on the page can help improve the rankings for your web pages in the search engine results pages (SERPs).

One thing you need to avoid with keyword proximity and SEO is keyword stuffing, which is the practice of repeating keywords on a page to manipulate a site’s ranking in search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Although there’s no specific keyword density (or keyword frequency) threshold according to Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, a good strategy to follow is to mix in a variety of low keyword proximity terms throughout the content to avoid a potential algorithm penalty.

Now that you know what keyword proximity is and how to use it effectively for on-page search engine optimization, you may also want to check out these related guides on how many keywords per page to focus on and how to put keywords in an article for SEO.

Keyword Proximity Summary

I hope you enjoyed this guide about keyword proximity.

As you discovered, keyword proximity refers to the distance between individual words of a keyword phrase within a body of text. And keywords can have low proximity or high proximity in SEO for related search terms. Therefore, it’s an important element to understand for on-page search engine optimization so you can effectively use keyword proximity to improve your website’s rankings on search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing.