A focus keyphrase, also known as a focus keyword or target keyword, is the main search term that a webpage is optimized to rank for in search engines.

This keyphrase succinctly summarizes the page’s topic and is incorporated into key on-page elements like the

  • Title tag
  • Meta description
  • Headers (subheadings)
  • Content
  • Slug

Incorporating the focus keyphrase in these areas help search engines understand the page’s content and context.

The concept of focus keyphrases is integral to on-page SEO, as optimizing a page’s content, HTML tags, and internal linking structure around a targeted keyword helps search engines determine the page’s relevance and ranking potential for related search queries.

While the exact origins of the term are debated, the concept has been a core part of SEO since the early days of search engines in the 1990s.

Some common synonyms and related terms for “focus keyphrase” include:

  • Target keyword
  • Focus keyword
  • Primary keyword
  • Main keyword
  • SEO keyphrase
  • SEO keyword

So in summary, a focus keyphrase is the primary search term that a webpage targets and is optimized for as part of its on-page SEO strategy, in order to rank higher and drive more relevant organic search traffic.

Using a Focus Keyphrase in WordPress

To optimize your focus keyphrase in WordPress we recommend using an SEO plugin like All in One SEO (AIOSEO).

Once installed, most of AIOSEO’s features appear in a sidebar in the WordPress editor.

aioseo focus keyphrase tab

You’ll see a form field where you can enter your focus keyphrase.

aioseo focus keyphrase field

AIOSEO will then check to see if your focus keyphrase is present in the following areas:

  • Title
  • Meta description
  • First paragraph
  • Some subheadings
  • Some alt text
  • Slug

aioseo focus keyphrase recommendations

If none of your images are directly related to the focus keyphrase, it’s fine to ignore the related recommendation. Likewise, if you’ve used your focus keyphrase in your introduction, just not in the first paragraph, use your judgement about the recommendation.

AIOSEO also has a keyword density checker which can be used to ensure your content is on-topic or that you haven’t used keyword stuffing.

aioseo focus keyword density checker