TF-IDF

  • 7 September 2019
  • SEO
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TF-idf The dimension of Search Engine Optimization is massive with many diverse elements that we need to stress in order to properly formulate a digital marketing strategy based on the SEO guidelines. While some aspects of it are widely common like keywords, backlinks, etc. there are a few zones that aren’t very familiar to many.TF-IDF is one such zone. Although seasoned SEO experts make fair use of it, many who aren’t much associated with the whole search engine optimization scenario or are new to this, generally miss out on TF-IDF and needless to say, that creates unwanted gaps in their SEO efforts. So now, we will attempt to familiarize you with the whole concept of TF-IDF, so that you can utilize it in your digital marketing pursuits.

what is TF-idf

What is TF-IDF?

First, let’s abbreviate the term. Term Frequency-Inverse Document frequency is what TF-IDF stands for. Next up, we come down to its function. In narrow terms, it serves as a tool to measure certain aspects of your on-site content, particularly the text ones. However, in broad terms, it can be considered much more than a mere tool for text analysis. It is important to note that search engines such as Google uses this metric to measure the authority and quality of your website.

Term Frequency & Inverse Document Frequency

To describe the functionality of TF-IDF precisely, we must take TF and IDF separately. Just like we said earlier, it’s used to evaluate a piece of content or document. Term Frequency or simply TF measures the frequency of a term or word within a document. In simple words, it calculates the number of times a certain word or term is repeated in a piece of content. For Inverse Document Frequency (IDF), it evaluates the relevance of the said word in the whole document, i.e. how well a particular word fits the entire context of the document.

How TF-IDF Can Help You?

If we stitch them together, we equip ourselves with a fine method of evaluating our on-site content. Unlike other evaluating tactics that merely measure the quantity of a certain keyword in your content piece, TF-IDF does not work on the same lines. True, it also calculates the times a keyword repeats itself, but it does so differently. It measures how common a word is and based on that it produces its data. If a word is common or very relevant to the whole subject, then it would surely repeat itself more than a couple of times.This more or less, defines what TF-IDF does. Like all other aspects of search engine optimization, this too can be expressed in terms of digital marketing. It can be used by webmasters to evaluate and plan their web content and optimize it to gain search engine authority. To elaborate on this, TF-IDF is not some one-dimensional method of proofreading a piece of document. If used by smart hands, then it can produce valuable data on your target keywords. It can assist you in determining the correct path on securing a good ranking on a certain keyword or keywords.The application of TF-IDF extends to serving you the data regarding your competition and their ranking on a said keyword, plus suggesting your means and methods on how you can rank well in the search results.

utilize TF-idf

How To Properly Utilize TF-IDF?

Now here it starts to get a bit tricky and to a certain extent, perplexing. Here, we use a bit of math and by math, we mean a certain formula that follows. Again, we will separate TF and IDF. This is due to the fact that they both are calculated on two different formulas.

The first we cover is TF (Term Frequency) formula:
Log (keyword count/word count)
The one above is the standard formula we use in calculating the Term Frequency. It’s not that complicated once you get the hang of it. To explain it with an example, if in your 1000 word article, your keyword appears 10 times, then the TF would be 10/1000. That was Term Frequency.

For IDF (Inverse Document Frequency) we use the formula:
Log (total documents/ documents with keywords)
That’s our standard procedure for solving our IDF problem. It appears pretty self-explanatory, but for getting a firm grip on the topic, let’s understand it with an example. If there are a 1000 documents and the ones containing the keywords are 30, then you calculate its IDF by 1000/30.After accomplishing our math homework by individually calculating the Term Frequency and Inverse Document Frequency, we multiply both the values and find the exact TF-IDF of our content. Although this may seem like a three-step process, the whole calculation many times becomes convoluted.

TF-idf tools

Tools To Calculate TF-IDF

As we were saying in the previous section, the whole calculation can sometimes take an intricate turn that can easily frustrate users. Well, not everyone fancies being a mathematician while planning his content according to the SEO best practices. Turns out you don’t have to do all the heavy lifting all by yourself. There are certain tools that are specifically designed for this purpose. So, you can embrace a hassle-free TF-IDF analysis with a fair bit of assistance from these tools.

Website Auditor By SEO PowerSuite

A tool coined by the SEO PowerSuite, its use enables a user to get familiar with the factors and areas that revolve around their content and keywords. Put simply, you can gather vital data on how to rank better in search results by getting a good look at the content of the sites that rank on top. This tool discovers terms and phrases that lie closer to your targeted keyword. Thanks to Website Auditor, you can gather some useful intel on your overall market competition and the format and style of content they use. The best part, it comes with a rather simple design that makes it easy to use.

Text Tools

A content optimization tool based on the principles of scientific SEO. It uses an empirical approach in optimizing your content and that approach thoroughly covers TF-IDF. Text Tools employs its analytics to find the related terms and terminologies used by sites that rank on top in search results on your targeted keyword. The report it serves gives you a fair idea on how to strategize and structure your content. The data it gathers stands as an all-inclusive guide for your superlative content endeavors. This extends to covering the ranking of your competition on the said keyword and the content they deploy. To summarize the whole functionality of this tool, it generates data that provides vital insight on your targeted keyword, the volume of competition that keyword hosts and the kind and form of content you require ranking on that targeted keyword.So, these were the tools that can help you optimize your content along the TF-IDF lines. With their help, you can boost up your overall ranking and website authority by publishing and hosting content of the highest tier.

apply TF-idf

How To Aptly Utilize TF-IDF?

To place it all precise, TF-IDF is greatly inclined towards content. It is a tactic that is studied, plans, evaluates and guides your efforts in the content domain. So, needless to say, the best way to go for TD-IDF is by keeping the writing part in the center. However, we can’t put our shoulders at ease by merely familiarizing ourselves with the foundation of TF-IDF.To wield TF-IDF at its full potential, we would require a more methodical approach that involves following a series of well-planned steps that can ensure the success of our TF-IDF efforts.So, let’s begin our step-by-step procedure of appropriately employing TF-IDF –

Start With Your Content

As stated earlier, Term Frequency-Inverse Document frequency directly relates to your content and that’s what shapes it into the first step we must work on. Now, there is content and there is relevant and exemplary content. Going with the obvious tone, it’s the latter you need to go with. While penning down your blogs or articles, try to play the card of uniqueness. Think of ideas and moves that can sway your content to the limelight. In short, formulate your content by investing your intellectual and creative strength into it.

Utilize The TF-IDF Mechanism

After developing your content, next comes the evaluation through the eyes of Term Frequency-Inverse Document Frequency. For this, you can make use of meticulously crafted tools that specialize in TF-IDF domain. Every tool hosts a design unique to the other, so pick the one that sits well with your idea of simplicity. Also remember, the change in mechanism doesn’t pronounce different results. Each tool aims at working alongside the TF-IDF lines to produce results relevant to your SEO practices. So, pick a tool of your choosing and start your content optimization.

Readjust, Realign and Remodel

With the results and data you acquire, the next step involves altering and redesigning your content as per the derived standards. The results you get your hands on will thoroughly acquaint you with the trends and ideas revolving around a selected keyword or key phrase. Optimizing your content according to this recorded data is a recommended move that will certainly aid you in creating the preeminent content that can provide you with the much-needed edge in the competitive market.

Post And Publish It

With all said and done, we come down to the last and final stage of our content optimization. This involves launching your product online. The content you worked on till now, at this stage goes live. This particular step also stresses on the feedback your website receives responding to the posted content. It can also extend to the comparison between the results delivered by the optimized and non-optimized content. By a careful evaluation, you can easily mark the change in results and give a more strategized boost to your content optimization.

Conclusion

Finally, we reach the closing area. This whole guide was aimed at to better acquaint you with the whole concept of TF-IDF (Term Frequency-Inverse Document Frequency). On the surface, it may seem like a simple content optimization tactic, but as we grow closer to understanding it, we can familiarize ourselves with the imperative role it holds in the entire SEO process. With a sound use of TF-IDF, we can get our content qualified for securing a place in the top results.

Arnjen is the owner of Atastic. He created the digital marketing agency to collaborate with partners on big projects. Together with other strongly like minded people he achieved great success for a number of clients.

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