Putting emphasis on keywords is very important to SEO
Sorry but I disagree with just about every other answer here in one way or another. I am not here to toot my own horn so I will not post my qualifications to answer this. I will just offer my thoughts and let you decide.
First off, by itself putting emphasis on your keyword will not sky rocket you through the Google ranks but it is most certainly a very important part of proper SEO.
The proper way to ideally SEO a single page is to start at the top. Each page should focus on one keyword.
Your title should contain the keyword as close to the beginning as possible.
Meta Description should be done the same way: keyword as close to beginning as possible.
As for the content it should contain your keyword at a density of around 2% and never more than 3%.
Your keyword should be in at least one H1, and H2 tag.
You should use at least one image with your keyword in the 'ALT' tag if possible.
Your keyword should be evenly disbursed throughout the content and again it is important that it be very close to the beginning. Preferably in the first few words of the first sentence and again at the end of your content.
Bold, Italics and underline all carry the same weight and serve to show Google that this is an important word in your content. You should try to emphasize your keyword 3 times: once at the beginning, once in the middle and once again at the end of your content.
You should also use what are called LSI keywords. (Latent Semantic Indexing) These are words that are related to your keyword and for the most part you will use them without thinking about it if you write your content naturally. If you would like to know which LSI keywords that Google thinks are most related to your main keyword there is a very easy way to find out what they are.
Go to the Google Adwords Keyword Tool (just Google "Google Keyword Tool)
Now type in you main keyword, leave the "use synonyms" box checked and click get keywords. Google will by default sort the results BY RELEVANCE. these are the LSI keywords in the order of relevance according to Google. Starting at the top and working your way down use as many as you can in your content while still writing in a natural manner.
I am not telling you to keyword stuff or anything remotely close to that. It is important for you to write in a way that is well balanced, both for your reader and for Google. Normally this is very easy to if you just write the way you would speak.
I'm sorry but if you don't try and write at least a little bit for Google how can you possibly expect your page to be found?
One way that I accomplish this is to write the content naturally then go back and look for places that I can use my list of LSI keywords or main keyword and still keep the content pleasing to read.
Hope this helps.
Last edited by wwiii12364; 18th July 2010 at 08:17 AM.
Reason: Edited to fix grammatical errors