Keyword DensityIf you Google “what is the optimum keyword density” you will get a wide variety of answers. Some say you have to have right around 1%, others say that you need as close to 3% without going over. However, I have recently been finding that many more people say there is no such thing as the proper keyword density. This is true, to an extent.

What exactly is Keyword Density?

Whenever you write content, you will obviously be focusing on a keyword (keep in mind that it is not always a specific word, but more often a group of words). If you try to stuff your content with these words, it will be unnatural and the search engines will move you down in the ranks. So suppose I wanted to write a quick post on battleaxes, and I thought I could bring my ranks up by repeating the word “battleaxe,” or some variation thereof, a few thousand times, then the complex algorithms that check your posts would move me down in the ranks rather than up.

To maintain your status in the search engine ranges, you have to write high quality content that reads naturally. This means that you need to focus on your keywords, and use them an “optimum” number of times. But what is the optimum keyword density?

The Optimum Keyword Density for your Page

The answer is: whatever reads and flows the best. When you write about a particular subject, you are going to naturally use that word, or string of words, multiple times. When you are finished writing, it should sound slightly more formal than conversational (depending on the subject and who you are writing for of course). By creating content that reads naturally, you naturally find the optimum keyword density.

This, however, is subject to vary depending on which keyword you are using. It also varies depending on how well you can write. Sloppy writers will find that their keyword density “naturally” varies from near nothing, to over3%.

Assigning a Number to Optimum Keyword Density

As humans we don’t like the idea of going with whatever feels natural. Instead, we want hard and fast numbers so we can double check if we are doing our work the right way. Rather than leaving it vague, I will give you the hard and fast numbers.

Your content should have a density between 1% and 3%. Now you may say, “Wait a minute, you just said there is no optimum density!” And that is true; however, here is the reasoning behind those numbers.

If you use your keyword once in 500+ words, your reader is going to get lost. By the time they reach the final paragraph some readers may not even remember what the page was about. One mention of a keyword in a 500 word page equates to a density of roughly .2%. Likewise, if you pack your page so full of content that you are using the word 15 times in a 500 word page, you will be going over 3%. The idea behind these hard and fast numbers is that research has shown 1% – 3% is where the article will read naturally.

Optimizing Your Site with Keyword Density

When you set out to write a page of content, you will first want to make sure that you have done your keyword research. This lets you determine which word to focus on for the time being. When you begin to write, just let everything flow naturally, as though you were having a conversation with the reader (but without all of the sentence fragments, slang, and repeats found in spoken language). After you have finished with your piece, run it through a keyword density tool to see how it fares. If you come up outside of that 1%-3% range, re-read the piece to see if it sounds natural; or better yet, have a peer read it.

Sound like too much work? That is why there are people like me. As a writer in Billings, Montana I have dedicated my career to creating content that not only flows and has the right density, but is also search engine optimized. Email me or call 406.860.4407 to learn more about what I can do for your site.

By the way, the density on this page is 3.14% and it still reads naturally.

Keyword Density

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