Keyword Density

What Is Keyword Density?

Keyword density tells you the number of times a search term appears on a web page. It helps search engines determine if your content is relevant to a specific keyword or phrase. It can improve your web page’s visibility on the search engine results pages.

Aside from improving your ranking, optimizing your keyword density can help:

  • Prevent keyword stuffing
  • Avoid penalties
  • Reduce bounce rate
  • Drive website traffic

How Important Is Keyword Density?

Keyword density remains an essential part of search engine optimization, but it doesn’t affect page rankings in the same way it did a decade ago. Marketers back then used to stuff their web pages with content to boost their web rankings. The practice, which is called keyword stuffing, no longer works anymore as search engine algorithms have become smarter and more sophisticated.

If Google determines that there are far too many keywords in your content, your web page might be flagged as spam. You might even receive penalties for it. 

So while keywords can influence ranking, other factors such as content and backlinks are now considered crucial as well. That said, keyword density is still a key aspect of SEO. The algorithms might have changed over the years, leading to stricter practices. However, it proves that Google’s algorithms still check for the percentage of keywords on your content to make sure you aren’t trying to manipulate your search rankings.

How to Calculate Keyword Density

Start by dividing the number of times a keyword appears in your content by the total word count. Then, multiply the results by 100. If a keyword appears twice in a 100-word text document, then its keyword density would be 2%.

There’s a variety of online SEO tools that you can use to calculate the keyword density in long-form content. You just have to enter the written content and the keywords you want to rank for, then you’ll have your answer in no time.

The Ideal Keyword Density

There’s no magic number or perfect percentage for ranking. Most digital marketers keep their keyword density at 1% or 2%. As long as you publish relevant and valuable content without stuffing it with as many keywords as you possibly can, Google will improve your rankings.

Having too many keywords in your content can lead to poor user experience and readability. As a result, you’ll see high bounce rates. Your readers will abandon your pages to search for more valuable alternatives.

You can perform A/B tests on your web copy, content, and ads to discern the effectiveness of your strategies. It will help you determine the right keyword density that can improve the ranking of your web pages.

How to Improve Keyword Density

Knowing what keyword density is can help you avoid over-optimizing or under-optimizing your content. You might not be able to raise page rankings by adding as many keywords as possible, but you can increase your visibility with the right strategies.

  • Write for your audience

Create content for people, not for search engine algorithms. Focus on writing high-quality and valuable content before anything else. Once done, you can add your keywords naturally within the web page to reach the desired density.

You can add more value to your content by using videos, slides, and other digital media.

  • Make use of keyword variations

Instead of repeating the same search queries multiple times on a web page, use keyword variations. A consumer looking to buy a new laptop, for instance, may use search terms like “laptop promos” or “laptop sales.”

Using keyword variants can maximize your reach without compromising the quality of your content.

  • Ensure strategic keyword placements

Where you place your keywords is important in your SEO strategy. For your content to rank well on search engine results pages, make sure your keywords appear on your URL, meta description, H1 tag, H2 tags, and alt tags.

  • Conduct keyword density tests 

Doing frequent tests can help you optimize a web page’s visibility. Start by testing the current performance of a web page. Monitor your metrics to see how your keyword density affects your page ranking, then take note of the stats.

After, you can test the pages by changing the keyword density. Monitor the web traffic after the changes have been made to determine the optimal strategy to boost your rankings.

About the Author
With over 15 years in content marketing, Werner founded Influencer Marketing Hub in 2016. He successfully grew the platform to attract 5 million monthly visitors, making it a key site for brand marketers globally. His efforts led to the company's acquisition in 2020. Additionally, Werner's expertise has been recognized by major marketing and tech publications, including Forbes, TechCrunch, BBC and Wired.