Keyword density is the percentage of the number of times a keyword appears on a page divided by the total number of words in that page.
For instance, if on an article of 100 words, you use a certain keyword 10 times; your density will be 10%.
The reason why you need to use keywords on your content is to make search engine bots understand your content better so that you can rank for those keywords. Today however, keyword density matters much less than site quality and site authority.
However, this does not mean that keyword density does not have any value in SEO.
It does have value and it is one of the factors in the on-page SEO checklist.
What Is The Ideal Keyword Density Percentage According To Google?
Most people believe that using a keyword many times will help you rank higher in SERPs. However, this can be bad as Google may treat your page and site as ‘keyword spamming’ and will lead to an over optimization penalty. There is no ideal or exact percentage for better ranking. Google advices us to write natural articles. But then again there is no ideal percentage.
However, placing your keyword in natural places will work better. All you need to do is to keep a good keyword density percentage, which looks natural and not stuffed.
There are various online keyword density calculators available, which you can use to calculate keyword density. Try to maintain your density at around 1.5%-2.5%.
Where should you place your keyword?
- H1 tag
- In the permalink
- Meta title tag
- H2 tag
- Beginning of an article
- End of an article
- On relevant images and use your target keyword an anchor text
Remember not to stuff your article with keywords just to increase keyword density. Instead, make your content more useful by adding value. You can use videos, slides and other media tools to make your content more informative and presentable.
Focusing on keyword density makes one lose focus on providing the best coverage of a topic and it can land you a manual or algorithmic penalty. Instead, focus on covering a variety of subtopics while providing the best possible value for your readers. Writing excellent content that does the best to cover your topic is the key to high rankings.
When writing consider the following:
- Keyword density is useful but should be used carefully
- Make sure that your articles look natural
- Italicize and Bold your keyword and other important ‘semantic keywords’
- Use keyword variations
- Use LSI keywords
- Use a WordPress SEO plugin to check keyword density
Search engines care most about these other factors for ranking:
- How useful is your article?
- How many backlinks are you getting?
- How many social signals are your articles getting?
- How informative is it?
There are various signals that Google considers when ranking a site. Keyword density is certainly one of those signals. Using keywords in the right way will help but doing it wrong will not be good. You should focus your keywords in the Title, Page Headers, and Description of the page and not necessarily in the copy itself. Just make sure that Google does not penalize you for overusing a keyword or keyword phrase because of the negative consequences.