Written by Aaron Rains February 21st 2024

What is Keyword Density?

Keyword density has always been a strategy that SEOs have used to help search engines better understand the Content on website pages or a way to manipulate search engines into thinking this is the best page for specific keyword queries.

The idea is to use a keyword or specific phrase of the keyword in your page content a certain number of times or percentages. This, of course, is based on the number total word count of the page content. This brings me to my question: is keyword density still important?

I recently met with Bruce Clay, “working with a client”; he is considered the Godfather of SEO and said Keyword density does matter today if you want to rank higher in organic search results for specific keywords.

bruce clay

Modern SEO: It’s Not About Keyword Number

Dating back to when Google launched RankBrain, algorithms or machine learning have been able to base search results on user intent, not using keywords.

Context and Semantics: Algorithms can understand page content like humans can without identifying keywords.

User Intent: Search engines can deliver Content or results based on user intent. What Content best answers or serves the purpose of what the user is looking for?

Readability: Writing naturally and making it easy to read for search is a better experience than stuffed keyword content.

With that all said, how can keyword density still matter? During my meeting, we discussed how keyword relevance signals and keyphrases can improve your on-page Content.

Relevance Signal: Sprinkling your keyword can help algorithms understand the importance of your page content. Implementing your keyword subtly in the heading and a few times during the page content can bring relevance to your writing.

Keyphrase Usage: Besides using your main keyword within your page content, consider adding longer tail keywords that help with search intent and give search engines a better understanding of your page topic.

The takeaway is to write user-friendly Content that helps users find what they are looking for. Naturally, adding a relevant variety of keywords is a natural process of how we go about writing page content. When considering writing a page or blog, we usually start with an outline to guide our thoughts. Keyword density can be an outline based on search terms.

How do you improve keyword density?

  • Keyword Research
  • Naural Integration
  • User Experience

Keyword Research:

You can use any keyword tool or software to help you identify keywords that people are searching to find your Content or services. Popular tools are Semrush and Ahrefs, which cost money, but you can use Google’s keyword planner for free.
Make sure your keyword strategy is relevant to your page content. Do a manual search to see what types of content show for the keyword you are trying to rank. Ovide keywords that are high in volume and board, as it can be hard to understand the search intent. Longer tail keywords tend to be more targeted and convert rapidly.

Natural Integration:

  • Title Tags: Make sure the meta title of your page has your main keyword within the 80-character limit.
  • Meta Description: Incorporate your keyword into your meta descriptions, which should be 150 to 165 characters.
  • Headings: Use H1, H2, and H3 with your longer tail keyword phrases.
  • Body Content: Sprink your keyword and loner variation throughout your page copy.
  • Image Alt Text: Add your primary keyword with your image alts within your source code.

User Experience:

Quality Content: Make sure your page content is focused on search interests and personas who want to read your Content or buy your services.

Avoid Keyword Stuffing: Don’t overuse your primary keyword through your page copy. The rule of thumb is to look for redundancy with your primary keyword within your copy.

Important Considerations:

  • Keyword number: Remember there is no exact number of keyword density to focus on.
  • LSI keywords: Employ Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) keywords; these are search terms related to a topic or phrase similar to your primary keyword.
  • Tools are helpful: Plenty of free keyword density checkers help you identify the usage of specific keywords. TF-IDF is my favorite, but it costs a monthly fee.

Keyword Density Example:

  • The primary keyword is “Best Home Exercises.” Below is an example of the proper keyword Content.
  • Title: Best Home Exercises: Get In Shape At Home
  • Heading: Best Home Exercises to help you lose weight
  • Within the Content: “Looking for best home exercises that can be done right in your home? Here are some ideas…”

As algorithms and search engines become more human, keeping users in mind when producing Content for your website is essential. Keywords do play a role, but Google has clearly said over and over that if you want to rank better, write informative Content that is helpful to the search intent. If you have questions or need help with keyword strategies or dealing with keyword density, contact me today, and let’s discuss how I can help.