One of the most controversial SEO topics, keyword density refers to the percentage of your written content that is made up of the keywords you’re using to target your online market via the search engines. The debate still rages on as to what the perfect keyword density is, to get the best results on search engines and therefore optimise for the most traffic.
Natural Keyword Density
No matter how you look at it, whatever the main topic of your content is, you will, without trying too hard, achieve a reasonably respectable keyword density. For example, look back over this article up until this point.
Of the 106 words written above, the phrase “keyword density” appears 5 times, meaning the density of this phrase for the above content is 7.04%. Not bad. Doesn’t read forced, because it wasn’t forced.
In other words, write naturally, don’t think too hard about the keyword density of your content, at least not for the first draft. Re-read your content once you have finished writing it, and then check the keyword density. If at that point you feel you want a higher density, restructure sentences and reword sections to allow for more keywords.
More Content, Lower Keyword Density
Of course, achieving this density with only 106 words is reasonably simple, but 106 words is not going to get very much attention from search engines, no matter what the keyword density, as this few words indicates that you don’t have very much to say about your chosen subject and Google wants to send it’s searchers to the most informative sites on a given topic.
The more content you write, and therefore the more knowledgeable you are in the eyes of the engines, the more challenging you will find it becoming to maintain a high keyword density without sounding very repetitive to your reader.
200 words is generally the minimum number of words each page of your website should contain. Doing the maths, this means including your keywords 20 times to achieve a keyword density of 10%. Risky business, as that sort of repetition could become very tedious for your readers, sacrificing their enjoyment and reducing the chance of return visits.
Optimum Keyword Density And Spam Alerts
It is generally agreed amongst professional SEO’s that the best keyword density to be aiming for is between 3% and 6%. This figure lets the search engine know that the keywords are contextually relevant to your content.
A keyword density too much in excess of the 10% figure runs the risk of tripping the search engines’ spam alerts. Basically this means that the search engines will decide that you are purposefully cramming your content full of keywords in order to achieve better results and thus destroying the value of the writing to human readers. Google is known to penalise websites for such behaviour.
At the end of the day, how you write your content is of paramount importance in any SEO endeavour, and the keyword density of your content can massively add to, or detract from, the value of the work. Be careful.