Keyword Density is one of the most popular SEO terms. Most of the reports claim that Keyword density has a deist impact on your page’s ranking in search engine results pages. So, I thought to write about it in detail. Before I go a bit deeper, first understand the term properly.
What Is Keyword Density?
Keyword density refers to the percentage of the number of times a keyword appears on a page. Here is the formula to calculate the keyword density.
Keyword density = (Number of times keyword appeared on the page / Total number of words) * 100
If a keyword appears 10 times on a page with 500 words article, keyword density will be 2%.
The advance way of calculating keyword density is “term frequency and inverse document frequency”. It is used by search engines to quantify the relevance of content for a query.
We all know how Google works. It crawls the web, scans the content, identifies the content and then ranks the page for keywords appear on the web page. So if you want to rank a page for the “SEO Tools” keyword, the article should use “SEO Tools” in the content so Google can understand what is an article all about. But you cannot use the term SEO Tools 1000 times on a page to rank better on search engine results. There’s a limit of how many times you could use a keyword. Going beyond that is counted in Keyword stuffing and it may have a negative impact on your website.
So, the legit question is “What is the Ideal Keyword Density?”
There are are several SEO blogs that suggest the ideal keyword density to be somewhere between 2-5%. SEO plugin by Yoast also considers the same range.
Here is an old video of Google’s previous search chief Matt Cutts explaining Keyword density and how it actually works.
In the video, Matt Cutts confirmed that the more you use a keyword on a page, the less valuable it becomes. There is no hard and fast rule on this. But of course, keywords are important for a web page.
I always try to keep keyword density 1-2% while keeping the article content natural. There shouldn’t be forced keyword insertion. In my article on the ideal word count, I wrote the importance of content quality. In place of overusing a keyword, try to use keyword variations and long-tail keywords. You can use SEMRush to find useful keywords to use in the article. While using a keyword in the content, always make sure you are using the keyword in the title, H1 heading, and ALT tag of images.
Keyword density is one of the primary signals Google uses for ranking, but there are certainly several other like website’s authority, natural backlink, website’s speed, social signals, content quality and more. Search engines are smart that try to understand the content. They don’t just scan keyword and count links. So, it is not easy to fool them by using keywords for N number of times on the content.
keywords matter, but lesser than content quality andesite quality. Keyword density still holds its value in SEO and I recommend people to take care of it.
I hope this article answered your confusion about ideal keyword density. If you have anything to ask, leave a comment or content on Twitter (@deepanker70).