Keyword density is a hot topic in the SEO world. Over the past decade, search engines have claimed to place less value in density. Instead, they focus more on page authority, back links, and other metrics.
This doesn’t mean that you should ignore keyword density. The proper use of keywords is still an essential part of good SEO practices. Here is a quick overview of what you need to know about optimal keyword density.
What is Keyword Density?
Online marketing experts often disagree about the best percentage for density. Though, there is another area that’s regularly debated – the actual definition of keyword density.
To put it simply, keyword density is the percentage of times a keyword or phrase appears in your text compared to the total word count on the page.
For example, if your page contains 600 words and you use a keyword 6 times, you’d have a density of 1% (6 divided by 600 equals 0.01).
Though, if you want to get technical, there’s a much more complicated formula that you can use. However, the method listed above is recognized by most SEO experts.
What Percentage Should You Use for Keyword Density?
There are many schools of thought on the best percentage for density. During the past few years, some SEO experts have concluded that you shouldn’t focus on a percentage at all. Just write your content naturally and try to include your keyword or keyword phrase several times.
If you’re looking for a specific recommendation, you should avoid a keyword density higher than 5%. Generally, between 1 and 3% is the recommended percentage. But, plenty of SEO experts believe that keyword density is no longer relevant.
If you decide not to focus on density, you should at least try to include your keyword or keyword phrase in the title of the page and several times throughout your content.
SEO experts that don’t believe in paying attention to keyword density still recommend including your keyword in your title. If the keyword isn’t in the title, you’ll have trouble getting your page to rank high in search engine results pages.
At the same time, you need to avoid keyword stuffing. Surpassing 5% density could be considered keyword stuffing and your pages may get penalized by Google and other search engines.
The Length of Your Content Can Impact Optimal Keyword Density
The bottom line is that you should focus on readability. Density should be an afterthought. Also, the length of your content can impact the readability if you try to reach a specific keyword density.
As an example, if you’re trying to reach a keyword density of 3% on a page with 100 words, your content will appear more “spammy” than if you’re trying to include 3% on a page with 1000 words. Keep this in mind as you write your content.
In the end, you should focus on the quality of your content. A quality article is more likely to be shared or linked to by other sites. This offers a greater benefit to your SEO than including a specific density.
You want your readers to actually be able to read your content. Spending too much time focusing on keyword density could lead to hard to read content. Keep your content straightforward and use your keyword or keyword phrase sparingly.
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