When it comes to SEO, there are a lot of different factors that can affect your ranking. One of the most important, however, is keyword density.
Keyword density is simply the number of times a keyword or phrase appears on a page, divided by the total number of words on the page. So, if a keyword appears 5 times on a page with a total of 100 words, the keyword density would be 5%.
Why does keyword density matter?
There are a few reasons. First, it’s a signal to search engines that a particular page is relevant to a certain keyword or phrase. If a page has a high keyword density for a particular keyword, the page is likely about that keyword.
Second, keyword density can help you to avoid what’s called “keyword stuffing”. This is when a page stuffs a keyword or phrase into the content in an attempt to artificially inflate the keyword density and, as a result, the ranking. However, this is considered a black hat SEO tactic and can result in a penalty from search engines.
Finally, keyword density can give you an idea of how well-balanced your keyword usage is. If you have a page with a keyword density of 10%, that means that 1 in 10 words on the page is your keyword. This can often be too high and can result in your content sounding unnatural. Conversely, a keyword density of 1% or less can often be too low to be effective.
So, what’s the ideal keyword density?
There’s no hard and fast rule, but as a general guideline, a keyword density of 1-3% is a good range to aim for. Some people say that anything over 1% is too much, but that really depends on the context and how the keyword is used. Others argue that 3% is the ideal.
It really depends on the overall length of your post. If you write a 500-word article then a keyword density of 4% is going to be much more jarring to your readers than in a 1500-word post.
It also depends on the specific keyword you are targeting. A good way to decide what density you should use in your post is to look at what is currently ranking for your target keyword. Then find the average density of the keyword on those high-ranking pages. GlideSEM's content editor is a tool that can do this automatically for you.
How to calculate keyword density
There are a few different ways to check the keyword density of a page.
First, you can use a keyword density tool. There are several different options available, GlideSEM is one such option.
Second, you can do it manually. This involves counting the number of times the keyword appears on the page and dividing it by the total number of words on the page. For example, if a page has 100 words and the keyword appears 5 times, the keyword density would be 5%.
Where to add keywords?
There are certain places on your page that are more valuable than others when it comes to keywords.
- The title tag You should have the main keyword in your title tag.
- The meta description Be sure to mention one keyword you are targeting in your meta description.
- The H1 tag You should only have one h1 tag, but you should definitely include one keyword in your h1 tag.
- The first 100 words of your content The introduction to your post should include your keyword just by the fact that you need to let your reader know what your post is about.
- In image alt tags Images should ideally be related to your target keywords.
These are all places where you should try to include your target keyword, but don’t go overboard. Remember, your goal is to write for your readers first and foremost. If you stuff your keywords into these places, it’s going to make your content sound unnatural and could hurt your search rankings.
How many keywords should I target?
Ideally, you want to target 1-2 keywords per page depending on word count. If you are writing 800-word blog posts then fewer keywords are better as you want to make sure you are answering the intent of those 1 or 2 keywords. If you are targeting more than 2 or 3 keywords then your post should be longer at least 1800 words or more.
Be careful though as if you target too many keywords in a short post this could be seen by search engines as keyword stuffing.
What is keyword stuffing?
Keyword stuffing is the practice of filling your content with so many keywords that it becomes difficult to read. This used to be common practice back in the early days of SEO but is now heavily penalized by Google.
Keyword stuffing can take many forms, but some of the most common include:
- Repeating the same keyword over and over again
- Using a keyword in every sentence
- Using synonyms or related terms excessively
If you stuff your content with keywords, not only will it hurt your search rankings, but it will also turn off your readers. No one wants to read a post that sounds like it was written by a robot.
You can also use GlideSEM’s content editor tool to understand the density of keywords in the content you are writing. GlideSEM also recommends different densities based on what is currently ranking in Google for those particular keywords. We also use advanced machine learning techniques to make sure these keywords represent the content that it is in and vice versa.
No matter which method you choose, monitoring your keyword density is an important part of SEO. By keeping an eye on your density, you can ensure that your pages are relevant and keyword-rich, without going overboard and risking a penalty.