Key phrases are a critical part of your SEO strategy.
Along with related content and optimized web site design, ranking for the right key phrases helps your site stand out from the crowd — and get nearer to the top of search engine results pages (SERPs).
So it’s no surprise that the substantial amount of SEO information centers on keywords: Doing your research can help you select plus rank for top-performing key phrases in your market, in turn improving user engagement and maximizing total sales.
But how many keywords are sufficient? How many are too numerous? How do you know? And what occurs if Google and other search engines like google determine your site is “stuffed” with keywords?
In our first timers guide to keyword density we’re going cover the basics, dig in to why it matters, and offer functional formulas and easy tools that can help make sure your key phrase strategies are working as meant.
What is keyword density?
Key phrase density — also called keyword frequency — describes the amount of times a specific keyword shows up on a webpage compared to the total word count.
It’s often documented as a percentage or a percentage; the higher the value, the more your own selected keyword appears on your own page.
Why Keyword Denseness Matters
Keywords drive lookups. When users go looking just for products or services they’ll typically work with a keyword that reflects their particular general intent, and expect search engines to serve up relevant results.
While tools like Google now take into account factors such as geographical area and page authority — defined in part by the number of people to your webpage and in part by “dofollow” links through reputable sites that hyperlink back to your page — keywords remain a critical factor in website success.
The stipulation? You can’t simply “stuff” as numerous keywords as possible into your content and expect reliable results.
During the wild west days of the first search engines, brands and SEO firms would compose low-value content and cram it with keywords and keyword tags, along with hyperlinks to similarly-stuffed pages on a single site. Not surprisingly, visitors increased frustrated and search engine companies realized they needed a better approach.
Now, keyword filling has the opposite effect — search engines will penalize the page rankings of sites that still choose to key phrase stuff.
By the Numbers: The Keyword Density Formula
How can you calculate keyword density? The formula is straightforward: Divide the number of times a keyword can be used on your page by the total number of words on the page.
Here’s an easy example: Your page has 1, 000 words and your keyword is utilized 10 times. This gives:
10 / 1000 =. 001
Multiply this by hundred to get a percentage, which in this particular case is 1%.
There are also another formula sometimes utilized to assess keyword usage: TF-IDF, which stands for “term frequency-inverse document frequency”. The idea the following is to assess the frequency of a keyword on specific pages (TF) against the number of occasions this word appears across multiple pages on your web site (IDF). The result helps figure out how relevant your keyword is perfect for specific pages.
While TF is straightforward, it’s easy to get distracted by IDF. Here, the particular goal is to understand the rarity of your keyword across several documents. IDF is assessed in values between 0 and 1 — the closer to 0, the more the word appears across your own pages. The closer to 1, the more it appears on a single web page and no others.
This is the “inverse” nature of the calculation: lower values mean more keyword use.
Consider this formulation in practice. Applied to very common words and phrases such as “the” or “but”, the TD-IDF score can approach zero. Applied to a certain keyword, the value should be a lot closer to 1 — if not, you may need to reconsider your keyword strategy.
Understanding Optimal Keyword Density
While there are simply no hard and fast rules for key word density beyond always-relevant “don’t keyword stuff” advice, many SEOs recommend using around one keyword for each 200 words of copy.
Your content may perform similarly with slightly more or slightly less, yet general wisdom holds that will Google and other search engines react well to keyword density around 0. 5%.
It’s also really worth remembering the value of keyword variations — words and phrases that are similar, but not identical, to your major keyword. Let’s say your website sells outdoor lighting solutions. Whilst your highest-value keyword for SERPs is “outdoor lighting”, stuffing as many uses of the keyword into as many webpages as possible will reduce rather than improve overall SEO.
Rather, consider keyword variants; terms that are close up to your principal keyword but not an exact duplicate. In the case of “outdoor lighting”, variations such as “garden lighting”, “patio lighting”, “deck lighting” or even “landscape lighting” can help your own page rank higher without running afoul of keyword-stuffing rules.
Not sure what variants obtain the most sense for your website? Use the “searches related to” area at the bottom of Google’s SERP for your primary keyword. Here’s why: Google has put significant time and effort into knowing intent, so the “searches related to” section will show you comparable terms to your primary keyword.
Keyword Density Tools
As you can do the math upon keyword density yourself simply by calculating the total word and keyword counts across every page on your website, this can quickly become time- and resource-intensive as your website expands plus page volumes increase.
Key word density tools help streamline this process. Potential options consist of:
1 . SEO Review Tools Keyword Density Checker
This particular free tool is browser-based — simply input your internet site URL or page textual content, then complete the “I’m not a robot” captcha to execute a keyword density verify. While this tool doesn’t offer the in-depth analytics of other available choices on the list, it’s a good way to get an overview of current keyword density.
2 . SEOBook Keyword Density Analyzer
Like the tool above, the SEOBook Keyword Density Analyzer will be free — but it will require an account to use. Along with basic keyword density reports, this tool also lets you search for your target keyword online, pull data for 5 of the top-ranked pages utilizing the same keyword, then analyze them to see how your key word stacks up.
3. Wp SEO Post Optimizer
If you’d prefer a WordPress plugin to get keyword density assessment, think about the WordPress SEO Post Optimizer. This tool comes with a cost — $19 — but inspections a host of SEO conditions which includes keyword density to help make sure your content can rank highly on the SERPs.
4. WPMUDEV SmartCrawl
Another WordPress pluging, WPMUDEV SmartCrawl is totally free for seven days and then costs $5 per month. Along with key word density assessment the tool includes automated SEO checkups and reports, assessments with regard to titles and metadata together with in-depth site crawls, tests and reports.
Key(words) towards the Kingdom
Want to improve your SERP position and boost web site impact? Start with strong key phrases.
The caveat? Keyword stability is key to search success. Simply by finding — and regularly assessing — the key phrase density of both particular pages and your site in scale, it’s possible to boost related SEO impact and avoid the particular ranking pitfalls of overly-dense keyword distribution.