Using text stats to help with SEO

Search engine optimization. Otherwise known as SEO. If you’ve been writing for the web, more than likely you’ve heard this term even if you don’t understand it.

I recently had my admin assistant do a Google search for several keywords, among them were editor and freelance editor.


My website didn’t turn up anywhere in the first 6 pages of the search results—we stopped looking at that point. Not a good thing for a person who runs a freelance editing business. To fix this I need to ensure editor or freelance editor appear more often on my services page.

Why do I need search engine optimization?

You want to make your website content findable as people search—via Google or other search engines—for the kind of information you provide. Keywords help your content rank on that first page of results.

With every blog post I write, I designate a keyword/s for that post. Today’s keywords are search engine optimization.

To keep it very simple, SEO is about keywords and algorithms. By using keywords in my posts, I am optimizing my blog/website for search engines—helping my content by more searchable for specific words.

To help with SEO, I use Yoast’s SEO plugin for WordPress. It tells me when my keyword density falls outside good search parameters (too much or too little). But like most things, many people argue there is no optimal percentage for your keyword to ensure search ranking.

If you don’t use WordPress or don’t have the plugin, there is still a way to examine how many times specific words appear in your text.

Scrivener Text Statistics

I write my blog posts in Scrivener first, then copy and paste to WordPress. Scrivener provides a wonderful little tool called Text Statistics. To access those stats go the Project in the main menu, then Text Statistics. Within those numbers, you’ll see exactly how many times you’ve use each word.

Search engine optimization text stats

Text Stats in MS Word

To find out how often a word or words appears in MS Word, perform a Find (keyboard shortcut Ctrl+F) or click on the Find button in the top right of the screen.

Depending on what version of Word you have, you may see a different window. Below are two options you might get. Each shows how many times the word you searched shows up in your document.

Search engine optimization text stats

Have you used SEO before? Do you intend to start?

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