Sunday, September 15, 2013

Keyword Density: How Much Should You Use Your Keywords?

Keyword Density- How much to use keywords?

What is the best keyword density to rank in search engine results?
Image Source: Dr. Penny Pincher

Keyword density is a metric that describes how often your blog post or webpage contains a keyword.  For example if you write a 1000 word blog post about "Old Navy Credit Card" and use this keyword phrase 10 times, your keyword density would be 4%.  The math to calculate keyword density is simple: this keyword phrase contains 4 words, if you use it 10 times, that adds up to 40 words.  This keyword density is 40 words out of 1000 words total, which means you spend 4% of your words on the keyword phrase "Old Navy Credit Card".

How Do Search Engines Use Keyword Density?

Search engines use keyword density as a factor in deciding how to rank pages in search engine results.  If your page has a higher keyword density for the search term, that is an indication to the search engine that your page is highly relevant to the search term.  However, some bloggers and webmasters engage in "keyword stuffing"- using the keyword many times in an attempt to rank higher in the search results.  I have seen pages that have a block of text repeating a keyword phrase dozens of times. Sometimes this was done with the text set to match the background color so that search engines would see the many repetitions of the keyword, but humans would not notice it.  This sort of abuse has resulted in search engines penalizing pages for "keyword stuffing".

Keyword density is an important factor in Search Engine Optimization (SEO).  If fact, some write for hire tasks specify a range of acceptable keyword density.  If keyword density is too low, the page will not rank well in search engine results.  If keyword density is too high, search engines may flag the site as spam and greatly reduce its rank.  If the keyword density is right, the site can rank very high in the search engine results.

How Much Should You Use Your Keywords?

Until recently, the guideline was to use your keyword with a density of about 7% to 8% to maximize your page's placement in the search engine results.  It takes a bit of work to get keyword density up to the 7-8% level.  You can replace some pronouns with your keyword- for example instead of saying "it", you can say "Old Navy Credit Card".  You can also add headings that contain your keyword phrase.

Following some of the latest Google Panda updates, I have seen advice to aim for about 3% keyword density.  Google is really trying to reduce spammy results such as articles that repeat keywords a lot yet provide little information of value.  The 3% keyword density more closely matches the keyword density found in natural writing.  Getting to 3% keyword density in your writing is easy and does not take much special effort.

How Can I Check Keyword Density?

There is a free and easy to use tool to check keyword density on any webpage or blog post.  You enter your URL, and a report is generated within seconds showing keyword density for all combinations of keywords on your page.  This allows you to check the main keywords you are trying to use as well as all other possible keywords.

The tool is Keyword Density Tool from seocentro.  Below are example results from the Keyword Density Tool.  The first is the Tag Cloud which is a graphical representation of keyword use in your page.  The more frequent  keywords are larger.

More frequently used keywords are larger
Keyword Density Tag Cloud from seocentro Keyword Density Tool
Image Source: Dr. Penny Pincher

The second result is a table of keyword density.  In this example, you can see at the top of the center column that I use the keyword "Old Navy" with a keyword density of 4.78%.  You can use these results to fine tune your use of keywords to get them to the desired keyword density.

Table shows keyword density for all keywords on your page
Keyword Density results table from seocentro Keyword Density Tool
Image Source: Dr. Penny Pincher

Running the seocentro Keyword Density Tool can give you ideas for other keywords that you may want to accentuate on your webpage or blog post.  Remember that all words on your page are keywords to a search engine!  You may be attempting to rank for a particular keyword, but the search engine is looking at all of the words on your page as potential keywords. There is no reason not to attempt to rank in multiple keyword searches if it makes sense for your content.  I have pages that rank well for multiple search terms- this is desirable to maximize traffic.

After reviewing the results of the Keyword Density Tool, you may decide to reduce or increase utilization of certain keywords in your writing.  This tool is very easy to use, and you can get detailed information on your keyword density in a few seconds.  If you have some pages that are doing very well in search engine results, you can check the keyword density and attempt to match this keyword density on your other pages to boost your search engine traffic.

Another way to use the Keyword Density Tool is to check the keyword density on successful pages that rank on the 1st page of search results.  For example, I checked one of the top results for the keyword search "Kohl's cash", and found that one of the top results had a keyword density of 3.75% for the keyword "kohl's cash".

Note that there are many factors that go into search rankings in addition to keyword density such as page rank and backlinks.  But keyword density is easy for you to control by simply editing your content to give your pages the best chance to rank high in search results.

Copyright © 2013 Dr. Penny Pincher.  All Rights Reserved.  Pro Blogging Journal

1 comment:

  1. Very nice we blog and useful! I feel i will come back one day !

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