Whenever a discussion about SEO goes on, it revolves around the question of appropriate keyword density. Keywords are so important for SEO that without keywords there would be no SEO. The text-copy of a webpage needs to be focused on a topic in such a way that information is well understandable and informative. It is the topic of the webpage that ultimately decides the keywords targeted by the webpage. So, before going into the details of keyword density let’s look what is a keyword and then we’ll gradually proceed further into the topic.
What is a keyword?
In simple words “keyword is the text searcher enters into the search-box of the search engine“. There might be multiple keywords or key-phrases which a searcher can use to reach your webpage. Targeting the webpage for a particulate search term is something like looking into the mind of the searcher to see what he/she can enter into the search-box. You have to do keyword research to find keywords/key-phrases which a searcher might use to reach your webpage. When you are ready with your keywords/key-phrases then you can start drafting you content around it.
You can read more about keyword optimization from my earlier post 8 Keyword Optimization Techniques For SEO.
What is keyword density?
You are now ready with your keywords and drafted the content for your upcoming webpage. But, what is the correct proportion of keyword/content that you should target while writing the content for your SEO optimized webpage. The keyword/content proportion is what is called “keyword density“. Keyword density is measured in percentage (%) rather an exact count, because your keywords have to spread across the text-copy naturally and the count a keyword appears should depend on the length of the text-copy. It is the keyword density which matters for SEO. We’ll see later in the post how much keyword density is desired for SEO.
What Experts Say About Keyword Density
For expert comment I would like to welcome Mr. Matt Cutts the famous Google Engineer. In the words of Matt Cutts it is like this:
the first time you mention a word, you know, ‘Hey, that’s pretty interesting. It’s about that word.’ The next time you mention that word, ‘oh, OK. It’s still about that word.’ And once you start to mention it a whole lot, it really doesn’t help that much more. There’s diminishing returns. It’s just an incremental benefit, but it’s really not that large.
Above statement from Matt Cutts simply states that do not over use keywords. Use your keyword in the body-copy as naturally as possible and don’t ever try to over-stuff them. Your content should be interesting and informative for the user and without any forced attempt to target search engines by stuffing keywords here and there when they are not naturally required. Do not write for search engines, write for the humans.
Search Engines And Recommended Keyword Density
To be very honest I would like to state that there is no fixed percentage of keyword density that you can use as rule of thumb. But observations by experts over a period says that Google favors content with 2% keyword density while Bing and Yahoo do love content having keyword density up to 5%. So to be favorable for all search engines you should target keyword density in between 2% and 5%. You can use this Live Keyword Analysis online tool to check keyword density on your webpages.
Keyword Position Matters
Content of same keyword density but with different keyword placement may rank at different positions in search engine results. It is not just the keyword density which matters but additionally it is the position of keyword in the text-copy which also matters. For example, the text-copy in which keywords are placed at the start of the text-copy rank better than the text-copy where keywords are placed lower in the text-copy. Place your keyword strategically in the text-copy but be cautious, don’t try to artificially stuff them.
Page Title Needs Extra Care
Page titles are special and are important for search engines to know about the content of the page even before crawling the entire content of the webpage. That is why, you should target 30% to 70% keyword density for your webpage titles to get better coverage by search engines.
Write for humans not for the search engines is the key point of the discussion. But you should mention your keyword where it can naturally appear. Draft your text-copy in such a way that it can naturally cover the positional aspect of keyword placement. Do not try to stuff keyword. Keyword stuffing may affect page-ranking negatively.Ultimately it is the quality of your content which helps your webpage rank better.
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