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How to Determine Keyword Density for Content

Ben Graves - Apr 17, 2017 9:30:00 AM

Many people who want to rank well for certain keywords in their SEO campaigns believe there is a specific keyword density that each page should hit. The truth is that there is not ideal percentage of keyword density, and any calculator you use to determine the appropriate density won't necessarily help you. 

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More Complex Search Engines, Less Emphasis on Keyword Count

Keyword inclusion is still important in today's SEO environment, but Google cares more about well-written and natural content than keyword stuffing. The last thing that will help you is overcrowding your content with keyword inclusions that sound unnatural and spammy. There isn't a specific percentage to go after, but the key is to use keywords when appropriate while working hard to construct high-quality content.

The best way to go about including keywords on your pages is to make sure your content includes an even balance of target keywords and related terms.

What is the Ideal Number of Keywords to Include?

There is a certain amount of keywords you'll want to integrate into your content, but the number will vary depending on the length of the content. Generally, an instance every other paragraph or once in a header for each keyword can help, provided they're naturally included in the content. 

The best way to make sure you rank is to focus on quality over quantity with every aspect of your content. This is the only thing Google's search engine algorithm cares about these days, and will continue to. 

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When to Use a Keyword Density Tool

While a keyword density calculator isn't really necessary to determine how many keywords you need to include on the page, it can give you a good indicator of whether or not you're using too many or too few. Many keyword density tools can alert webmasters any time they use a larger-than-necessary number of keywords, and they can also let you know if you've failed to include any instance of a keyword in the content. 

Focus on Other SEO Aspects

When writing content, the text itself won't be the only determinant regarding the pages rank. If you really want your page to rank well on Google, it'll take a lot more than including keywords in the content a certain number of times. There are many different aspects of the page you'll need to optimize using relevant keywords, including:

  • Meta data (titles and descriptions that appear in Google results)
  • Images (relevant alt text and titles)
  • Embedded vides (with relevant titles and descriptions)
  • High-quality inbound links

There is No Magic Number in SEO

One important thing to keep in mind when optimizing for SEO is that there isn't any kind of magic number in any aspect of it. Including a keyword a certain amount of times, a specific number of images, and a specific word count won't necessarily guarantee anything. The best you can hope for is to create good, engaging content that people will actually want to read, making them view you as an industry authority.

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Audience Over Search Engine

The most effective way to get on Google's good side is to perceive content the same way they do: It's for the people, not the algorithm. When constructing content, rather than focusing on keyword inclusion and other optimization steps, the primary focus should be on writing for the reader. The last thing you want is clunky and poorly written content that will deter readers.

In fact, the less people actually stick around to read your content, the worse you're likely to rank on Google. One of the many ranking factors in their algorithm has to do with the number of people who stay on the page after clicking through. If you don't engage readers, your rankings will suffer.

Ultimately, if you want to rank well, today's best SEO strategy is to write for your audience rather than the search engine. This is why keyword density is mostly irrelevant.

Topics: B2B Marketing

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