What is the optimum keyword density for better ranking?

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) sometimes appears too complicated because it entails multiple aspects, which include:

  • Keyword (KW) Search
  • Image Alt Tag
  • Outbound Links
  • On-Page optimization
  • Nofollow tags

So, what is the benefit of concentrating on search engine ranking as opposed to simply blogging?

Search engines are composed of algorithms and you must make an effort to help them make sense out of your content. This is where SEO is required. To get more traffic you have to optimize your content for search engines.

The good news is, SEO is not complicated!

If you can set aside a few hours every day and have access to relevant study materials, then understanding the basics should not be such an uphill task. Today, several businesses have a rich archive containing a lot of insightful content on SEO.

You can just refer one of them and feel free to search their archives (on general SEO and WordPress SEO) for more Information. Coming back, in this article, we will look at one crucial factor in SEO – Keyword Density.

What is SEO keyword density?

Keyword density can be defined as the total instances of your keyword (KW) on the web page divided by the number of words on your web page and finally multiplied by 100. So, what does this mean?

keyword density sample
Photo: MS

When you do a simple math, this means that if on a web page with 80 words, your KW appears 8 times, then the density is 10%. There are different methods to calculate KW density. But the most accurate one is (Number of keywords/total number of words)X100.

Significance of keyword density

So, what is the importance of placing keyword on a page? Well, it is to help search engine robots best understand what your web content is all about, thereby helping you to rank better for your KW.

However, of late KW density has reduced in significance compared to site authority and site quality. This, certainly doesn’t mean that KW density no longer has value.

It has great value. In reality, it is one of the factors that play a central role in “on page” SEO. So, according to Google, what percentage is regarded as the optimum KW density?

Before giving out that number, we would want you to check out this myth – “Using keywords many times will enable us to rank favorably in SERPs”.

Such an endeavor can, in fact, be counterproductive because Google may regard your page and website as “Keyword Spamming”, resulting in an undesirable over optimization punishment, like lower ranking and penalties.

Optimum keyword density

Thinking about keywords
Photo: Faces Portrait, Bigstock

A page that has a high KW density, say 9 percent, is considered by search engine as “keyword stuffed”. There is, however, no precise or ideal percentage to get better ranking.

However, we have discovered that “1% to 3%” keyword density together with semantic keywords as well as LSI keywords works the best. Next, Google recommends writing natural articles.

So, while there is no exact percentage, if you naturally place your keywords in a way that goes with the flow of the content, then the chances of getting the desired results will be higher.

The trick here is to maintain a good KW density that looks natural and does not make your web page appear stuffed with the keywords that you are targeting or trying to rank for.

Be watchful about keyword stuffing

One common problem that people who use freelance copywriters face is keyword stuffing. You can often hear them complain that “We once hired a writer to create an article on a three-word KW and he delivered content in which the keyword appears 12 times”.

keywords stuffing
Photo: MS

In this case the article would appear like a huge piece of spam. So, how can you establish your keyword density? You can use any of the numerous KW density calculators available across the internet.

Always make an effort to write content with about 1.5% KW density. Below are some of the places to add your keyword in the blog, article or web page:

  • Permalink
  • H1 tag
  • H2 tag
  • Meta title tag
  • The beginning of your content
  • End of the content

Do not forget the images and anchor text

Incorporate appropriate images and anchor them using your target keyword. Again, avoid stuffing your content with keywords, simply to raise the density of the keyword(s).

It is advisable to make your article useful to the reader by helping them solve a problem, add value to their lives or simply provide useful tips. Feel free to use slides, videos and other pictorial representations to make your content enlightening, interesting and presentable.

Wrapping Up

While keyword density is important, the stuffing must be shunned. The content should be as natural as possible. Italicize and bold the keywords and other relevant semantic keywords.

Use different versions of your keyword (write in full, shorten and use initials). You can also make use of LSI keywords. Utilize WordPress SEO plugins (or any other online tool) to establish your keyword density.

Search engines use these other factors when ranking content:

  • Usefulness of your content
  • How educative your content is
  • Total number of social signals in your article
  • Number of backlinks you are getting

Google considers many signals when ranking a website. Keyword density is one among them. So do it properly and you will get the desired SEO results. Today, you can also choose to partner with a competent SEO agency to do the same for you.

Traffic Radius, is one such SEO agency and we have been helping several businesses across various industry sectors with competitive SEO services.

Mike Smith
Mike Smith
Executive Editor at Best in Australia. Mike has spent over a decade covering news related to business leaders and entrepreneurs around Australia and across the world. You can contact Mike here.
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