What is keyword density?

27 October 2013

If you’ve ever talked to a Search Engine Optimisation expert about the ways and means of increasing traffic on your website, one common phrase you’ll hear is “keyword density”. The online marketers know what they are talking about, but a layman will be scratching his head as to what is keyword density and how it impacts the flow of traffic on their website. Here are the answers to your common questions concerning keyword density.

What is keyword density?

Keyword density is referred to as the percentage of certain word or words or phrase or phrases contained within the total number of words on a web page. Such word(s) or phrase(s) are known as keyword(s) or keyphrase(s). The keywords are, generally, targeted words that the users are most likely to type in the text box of popular search engines, like Google, to reach your website. The rule is simple. The greater the number of keyword(s) or keyphrase(s) in the text, the greater will be the keyword density. For instance, consider an article of 500 words, wherein the keyword “flower” appears 10 times. The keyword density of that article for the keyword “flower” is 2%, i.e., 10/500 * 100.

Why is Keyword Density Important?

Keyword density is an important parameter in your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) campaign. The assumption is that the algorithm of search engines works in a way that favours ideal keyword density, i.e., if a user queries for a keyword, he will be shown the results of web pages that contain the keyword in an optimum density. The more near to the ideal keyword density, the higher the rank of that web page.

It was an over-simplistic method of getting the higher ranks for any website. However, over the years, the Search Engine algorithms have improved dramatically. They deploy different techniques of measuring keyword density and importantly, keyword density is not the sole factor determining the rank of a web page.

Here are a couple of reasons why keyword density is important:

1. The ideal keyword density will keep your web page in the good books of Search Engines. Otherwise, keyword stuffing or keyword inadequacy may lead to negative ratings from the Search Engines, which gets reflected in the Search Engine rankings.

2. The SEO experts consider keyword density as an important factor in determining the efficacy of their SEO campaign. The keyword density is a vital parameter for writing content of the web pages and the marketing articles submitted to the article directories.

What is the perfect keyword density?

The perfect keyword density is varies because different search engines employ different techniques to measure keyword density. Therefore there is no straightforward reply to this question. However, a commonly accepted figure of 2%-4% is generally advised by the marketers to the copywriters. Some strategists still rely on heavier keyword density (10% and even more).

The important aspect that should never be forgotten in the context of keyword density is that your keywords should not appear to have been stuffed in the text, which destroys its context. The quality of the content should not be compromised as the modern Search Engines lay a much greater emphasis on the quality in determining the perfect keyword density.

You can easily determine the keyword density of your text with the help of freely available tools. However, never lose focus on the richness of your content, which is both user-friendly, as well as Search Engine friendly.

Hope this gives you a good insight to what is keyword density. If you need further help why not have a look at our Search Engine Optimisation page?