Most online marketers and webmasters will understand that keywords in the context of SEO refer to words that help define what the web page or document is about and therefore used by search engines to help find that document or web page.
It is more specifically used to help the target audience of the web page or documents creator get found on the internet by the target audience. They are considered to be short summations to what the entire document is about. Although they are important, they are no longer the only factor in SEO. Understanding how keywords help in SEO along with the other factors needed for higher rankings will help you stand out.
Of course, the question now becomes, how many keywords is needed to have a document or web page and still have the context flow into proper sentences, paragraphs or sections. Just having a bunch of keywords will not help if it does not help the seeker understand what you are offering or the information you want to convey.
This is where Keyword Density might help us understand how to write good content for our web pages or documents or even blogs and still have a well thought out flowing document that creates an intriguing following.
What is meant by Keyword Density?
Keyword density, including key phrase density, refers to how many times that keyword or phrase is used in a text such as a document, web page or blog relative to the number of words in that same text. Initially, search engines would simply look for these keywords and rank them up.
However, because of abuse on the internet, this created problems. Consequently, if you have too many keywords relative to the document or website, you can get downgraded as a spammer. This means it is now paramount to use keywords or phrases that flow properly in a document for proper SEO and to help searchers fully understand your offering.
How do we calculate Keyword Density?
In calculating the keyword density keyword density, we simply add up the number of times that keyword is used in a text in comparison to the number of words in the text times one hundred. It looks like this:
A number of times a keyword is used/a number of words in the text x 100 = Keyword Density percentage.
So if you have a 200-word document, and you have a keyword that is used 5 times in the document, then it is as follows:
5/200 x 100 = 2.5% usage of that keyword
Of course, now we have to consider all the different keywords that a search engine might look for in the same document. This is because there are more than one different keywords or phrases pertaining to the same text. So you would have to do the same calculations for all of these keywords or phrases. In our example, there may be another keyword in the same document that is used 4 times. Then it is calculated as:
4/200 x 100 = 2% usage of that keyword.
So now we might be looking at a summation of 4.5% keywords in that same text or document. Just keep this in mind as you write your context for your document, blog or web page.
Making Sense of Keyword Density in SEO
In the search for the optimal keyword density percentage, one would have to conclude that too high a percentage results in being considered a spammer and too low a percentage make you somewhat irrelevant when it comes to search engines.
So what is this optimal utopian keyword density percentage? The short answer is no one knows for sure. It is almost like calling up the IRS, asking the same question to five different IRS “specialists” about a tax issue, and getting nine different answers.
Maybe a better approach would be to think about it as you would any normal conversation. How do you talk to people in person about your thoughts, products or ideas? Do you keep interjecting the same phrase or words over and over again? Probably not!
So maybe a better approach is to look at your niche and look at who your target audience is of those who may want your product, service or information. Then ask yourself how you would talk to them in a simple one on one conversation. Use this as a template to get to the optimal keyword density for SEO.
Why use this approach? Because it is the way people think, it is the way people put in searches to find you and your website. It is the way natural conversations go!
What is Google looking for in Keyword Density - Our Opinion
Since Google is one of the major search engines in use today, it would be prudent to try to understand what Google is looking for. To be clear no one knows for sure the exact algorithms that Google uses. So anyone who tells you that they do is not to be considered with any authority.
However, we can observe some things that occur as the internet and SEO become more and more mature. Keywords and phrases are still important; however, sometimes it is not the exact words but the intentionality behind those words.
This is a very common sense approach to Keyword Density and it is more along the lines of our opinion. It is more about the longer word count and content and intent of keywords rather than just the simple keywords themselves. In this article here are some of the key points:
- How the keyword or phrase is placed in the article is more relevant to the number of keywords or keyword density for Google.
- Higher rankings are achieved with content that is deemed valuable and longer than short content with little value and too many keywords or phrases.
- Consider the intent behind the keywords or key phrases used, rather than the actual words themselves.
These were the main points of the article and this is deemed to be a common sense approach. In other words, be natural and provide the value of information to the target audience you are serving.
Finding the Balance in Good Keyword Density
So how do you find the right balance to good keyword density? We are going to offer a few suggestions. The first is to just think about it as if you were having a one on one conversation with your target audience. Could be one individual or a whole room full of people who are your target audience.
What would you say, how would you say it? Think of the following:
- Who is the target audience you want to attract to your offering, product or information!
- What is the valuable information that they need to learn and understand to solve a problem or issue in their lives!
- Where can they find it - your website or blog of course!
- When can they get it – your website or blog will tell them!
- Why do they need to learn or hear about your offering, information or product?
If you were to write a document first with these issues in mind in a way that flows and answers these questions, you will have a content rich text with valuable information. You then go back and find the keywords that pertain to your offering and add them into the text in such a way that is not repetitive, or out of place or just not flowing!
In other words, we are suggesting that you concentrate on the content value and let the keywords fall where they will. We think this will create a proper balance to allow you to have a rather high ranking in SEO.
If you are still concerned about keyword density then maybe go back and do the actual analysis. A good balance may be 2 to three keywords for every 1000 words. You should bear in mind that similar documents with even the same keyword density will not always get the same rankings.
The difference is now more about the content value and less about the exact keywords. Put your focus on quality and value and less about keyword density and the rankings will follow.
The reason is simple; people will migrate towards quality and retract from inferior value. Remember that the internet is nothing more than people from all over the globe looking for quality information, product or services. If you provide that in your text, with calls to action, you may very well be creating new keywords by default.
With that, we wish you all the success in marketing quality on the internet!
Have a question? Write them in the comments below!
If you have more questions about keyword density, how it is used, or even how keyword density for Google, please write them in the comments below. Your questions may help us explore this topic even more.