Tf-idf or to give you its full name term frequency-inverse document frequency is a numerical statistic that is used to show how important a certain word is in a text corpus.
A text corpus can include a wide variety of different mediums but yes it does include the text you find on a website.
So, what exactly is the purpose of tf-idf? Well, the official term used to describe tf-idf is that of weighting factor in laymen’s terms this means it is used to determine exactly what a document is about and it does this by reading how many valuable words are used in the text.
Search engines use tf-idf to score and rank text to ensure it is relevant to what you search for. So, yes in many ways tf-idf and SEO are closely linked and you can actually utilise tf-idf to improve your website’s SEO. Think of it as a combo unit of tf-idf SEO and if you do it right you can significantly improve your SEO ranking.
But how can you use tf-idf for SEO purposes?
Well to work that out let’s look at how Google uses tf-idf. Google uses tf-idf to analyse how often a word or phrase is used on a page/ website it then runs this against how often the same word/phrase is used on the average page.
Tf-idf looks at how prominently the word or phrase is used and search engines can then compare this against other pages to see which ranks better. You also have to consider what happens if your keyword or phrase is particularly common as well.
Well the first point it is covered by term frequency (TF) which measures how much a word or phrase is used. The length of the document is also taken into account as well as that is one thing certain to affect term frequency numbers.
The second point is covered by inverse document frequency (IDF). IDF helps determine the value of a keyword by measuring how high a ratio of it appears within a set number of documents. When writing for the web these documents will be other websites, the more the keyword shows up in other sites the less value it is.
However, if a word or phrase only shows up in a small number of documents then it will have a much higher IDF value. This, in turn, will almost always ensure it scores high when it comes to tf idf analyses.
So, as you might have surmised from that tf-idf is both these separate functions term frequency and inverse document frequency being used in tandem to help work out how important certain parts of your text are.
When you know what words to use and how prominently they should be used thanks to using tf idf you can dramatically improve your websites SEO. Let’s take a more in-depth look at how it can be used below.
Utilising tf idf for SEO
By thinking of tf-idf SEO as one joint entity you can improve your businesses content in a number of ways. The best way tf-idf can benefit you is that it helps you more thoroughly examine and optimise your website’s content. Both current content and future content can be improved using tf-idf SEO.
Rather than base your content around the implementation of certain commonly used words you can search whole topics to see which words or phrases will bring the most value.
It can also help you revitalise your current website’s content because you can find ways to introduce new and more valuable keywords and phrases into existing content.
This will help ensure your pages stay at the top of the search results. By using tf idf for SEO in this manner you can also build more effective new content as well.
The best thing about tf idf is that it fits into the pre-existing content creating process.
Once you get to grips with how it works it can be integrated into your content creation process quite easily. Now, of course, there is a learning curve to using tf-idf for SEO purposes but an experienced SEO provider will be able to utilise it right away to help improve your existing SEO strategy in many different ways.