Keyword density can be defined as a percentage of times a keyword or a phrase appears on a piece of content of a web page compared to the total no: of words in that piece on that web page. In terms of SEO, keyword density is one of the factors that is used to determine whether a page is relevant to that specific keyword or phrase.
What is the ideal keyword density?
A question asked by many internet and content marketers
0.7%, 7% or 77% or is it some other number. A lot of people think there is some recipe for keyword density that you can just follow as if you are baking cookies. If you follow the recipe to the letter, you’ll manage to rank your website on the very first page of Google. That’s unfortunately just not the case.
In essence, Keyword Density of an article can be calculated as
- (Number of keywords in the article / Total number of words in the artic;e) * 100
If you think that you can just say “Okay I’m gonna have 14.5% keyword density or 7% or 77%” and that will mean you’ll rank your website on the 1st search result of Google, that’s really not the case and that’s definitely not the way that the search engine rankings work
The way that modern search engines are built is that the first time you mention a keyword, Google may take notice, the second time you mention the keyword, you may get Google’s attention and they’ll know that the article is about that specific keyword but once you start mentioning it a whole lot of times. it really doesn’t help that much.
It will be more or less on the lines of diminishing returns where the incremental benefit will reduce after you try to over-optimize the piece of content with a specific keyword you are trying to rank for. On the contracy, what we found is that if you continue to repeat the keywords over and over again, then you’re in danger of getting into “keyword stuffing” so the first one or two times you mention a word in the piece might help with your ranking but just because you can use it for seven or eight times, that doesn’t mean that it will necessarily help your ranking, so the way to think about it is this:
- Think about the keywords that you’d like to have in your copy
- Make sure your copies are long enough so that you can work those keywords into your copy in a natural way and not an artificial way
Ideal keyword density: Our recommendation
Our recommendation is to either read it aloud or read it to someone else or have someone else read it to you. This will help you identify anything that’s artificial or stilted and you’ll easily be able to determine if something does not quite read right
If you can read through the copy and have it read naturally where a person isn’t going to be annoyed by it then you’re doing relatively well but if you’re one of those where all you’re doing is keyword stuffing – example – “I know you’re interested in red dining tables because red dining tables are one of the best things in the world to have but if you’re an expert on red dining tables then you’ll know that the best source of red dining tables is blah blah blah blah blah”, then that’s really going too far.
If you’ve had any experience in SEO, you can easily tell that someone’s just like trying to get the same phrase on the page as many times as possible because it just looks fake and that’s the area where Google is trying to make that hurt a little bit for webmasters who indulge in keyword stuffing.
Google would love it if people could stop obsessing about keyword density. You need to know that it’s going to vary by area and it’s going to vary based on what other sites are ranking for it. There’s no hard and fast rule and anybody who tells you that there is a specified rule for ideal keyword density that will help you with your search engines rankings, you might have to be careful because they might be selling you keyword density software or a keyword density analyzer tool or something along those lines
I hope that helps and maybe we can discard the misconception of “higher the mention of a keyword, the better it is for your SEO ranking” and people realize not to worry that much about keyword density.
Just make sure that you have the keywords that you want to have on the page and ensure that that they read naturally. If you follow the above guidelines, your website should be in pretty good shape.
In case you have any more queries / comments about ideal keyword density in SEO, please feel free to share it via comments below