SEO Question: Should I Bold And/Or Italicize My Keyword Phrases In My Copy?
I’ve been told that if I use bold & italic to highlight important keywords in my text it will help my rankings. Is this true?
It certainly used to be the case that using bold, italics and underlines to highlight sections of text made a difference, but in recent years it’s lost its effect.
All the testing we have done shows no advantage at all to using either in your text.
Emboldened text and italics are useful for highlighting important text to users, which in itself has a benefit, but it isn’t going to affect your Google SERPs.
If you want to use keywords in your text to help your SERPs, you are better off linking using those keywords to additional content either within your site, or to authority resources that provide comprehensive information related to that keyword or term.
Highlighting text used to be an easy way to indicate the most important keywords on your page, but because it was so open to abuse and as Google became smarter and better able to understand passages of text, its influence has been degraded.
The relevance of your text for particular is instead determined by the positioning of your keywords, their frequency, the text surrounding those keywords, the user engagement metrics of your page, links pointing to the page, outbound links and your websites trust and authority.
Always write for ease of use by your users, and then optimise for search engines. If you concentrate on search engines first then you run the risk of providing a poor user experience, which no amount of SEO will overcome.