2. On Page SEO for Beginners
Article #2.20

Woo your audience by optimising keyword density in your content!

Content creation is not that difficult as a task as creating content for Search Engine Optimization. There is high demand for quality content that has been optimized for SEO. The web is an ever growing space that constantly needs fresh high-quality content. If you want your organic traffic to grow, then concentrate on your content marketing strategies.
A part of your content marketing strategy is to make sure you have the right amount of keyword density in your web page copy. How many times you need to use your keyword, where to use etc. Let us know more about it.

What exactly is keyword density?

Keyword density is the number of times a particular word or phrase is present on a web page in comparison to the total number of words on that page.
When writing an article or some content for your web page, remember- ‘spices add flavour to a dish and make it more appealing to our senses. In the same way, keywords are like spices to our content. Keyword density is good but, to create rich content, there should be variety in the keywords used.

If you just want to calculate the keyword density, you can use the following formulas:

  • If you want to calculate the density of a word in a document-

    Nkr- Number of times you repeated a word.
    Tkn- Total number of words in a document.
  • If you want to calculate the density of a phrase in a document-

    (Nkr * Nwp/ Tkn) *100
    Nkr- Number of times a phrase has been repeated in a document.
    Nwp- Number of words in the phrase.
    Tkn- Total number of words in the document.

Your readers are more important than Search Engines, write for them!

Search Engines are not humans. They do not read your content; they just evaluate it, based on text, language analysis and other factors. If you use the right mixture of keywords, link juice and backlink strategies, you will manage to get a good rank on SERPs. Content is a powerful marketing tool. Since, it’s your customers who are going to read it; the best advice is do not mess with your content. You have to grab the attention of the customer in the first few words, and you cannot achieve it, if you are writing for Search Engines and not for your customers.

Post the Panda Update, Search Engines now give more importance to quality content. Hence, do not overload your site with keywords unnecessarily. Keyword stuffing was the norm in the past. Rich, quality and unique content is the norm of today. Make sure your keywords flow naturally through the text as if you are having a conversation with your reader. When a person visits your page, your goal should be to make him stay long enough to read the content.

Effect of keyword density on my rankings!

Many people are in the impression that it is better to put a keyword multiple times on a web page. Do you want your website to be marked as spam? I think you don’t. Hence, do not overuse.
Instead of overusing them,

  • Select keywords-
    Writing for your customers is the key to success. Do your thorough keyword research and create articles and content that is optimized for SEO, and something your readers would love to read. Use keyword research tools to select an appropriate list of keywords that would work well for your content. Make use of the tools discussed above to check the density of keywords and phrases in the document. Make necessary changes according to the results. This will help you enhance your copy in the best possible way.
  • Keywords to target-
    If you are new in the business then remember that the big guns are already optimizing for the most popular keywords and you don’t stand a chance for those keywords. Hence, choose keywords that have a good search volume but, are still not that popular. Use them 2-3 times for every 100 words in your content.
  • Word count-
    Write at least 250 words for every web-page. This way you can use your keywords nicely in the content.  Try and include your most important keywords in the beginning of your web page. This way Search Engines will know which keywords are to be given more importance on your web page.
  • Places to incorporate the keywords-
  1. Title Tag
  2. Meta Description Tag
  3. Keyword Meta Tag
  4. Alt Tags
  5. Comment Tags
  6. Heading Tags
  7. The the main text of the web copy

Well, Keyword Density does not play that major role in Seo rankings which once it used to play. But even today, Google uses keyword density to determine a web page topic. If you use the keywords in excess, undoubtedly you will be penalised by Google.

What is the ideal keyword density I should keep on my page?

Keyword stuffing is defined as a practice of inserting keywords in the content multiple times to manipulate site’s ranking in the search engines.

According to the data provided by Sean Si in his blog on Seo-Hacker.com, Google recommends a keyword density between 1% - 2%, while Yahoo recommends 3%. He took the data from gorank.com and came to this conclusion.

Google’s keyword density can be seen on the image below-

Yahoo’s keyword density can be seen in the image below-

There is no ideal percentage as such. Matt Cutts of Google says that it is better to write a long copy so that you can weave in your keywords naturally into it. Thus, your content won’t look artificial or stilted. He says, “Read your copy aloud or ask someone else to read it.” If the copy does not annoy or bore the other person then you are doing well.
Stop obsessing about keyword density and instead start writing a better copy. Since keyword density will vary with the area of your work to the sites you are competing with, etc.

Below is a link of the same video-


Now if I am writing the article for the reader, what do I need a keyword density checker tool for?

Fair question, As we know that we write for the reader and not for the search engines, People might think that using keywords many a times won’t create much impact on users. So, why not to write it as many times as we want.
Don’t you ever think that way!
We need the tool because when we are writing an article, in the flow of writing, unintentionally we might use words many a times leading to keywords stuffing. The tools will simply help us to keep a check that we are not doing that mistake. Moreover, Search Engines will definitely recognize the malpractices done by you and will penalize.
Hence, using Keyword Density tool will only ease out our work.

So, Here is a free tool by rankwatch for checking your keyword density


What exactly is Latent Semantic Indexing and what role does it play in keyword density?

Latent Semantic Indexing is an algorithm used by Search Engines to detect words similar to the main keywords in the content. This helps Search Engines understand what your content is about and thus returns with relevant results.

LSI keywords plays an interesting role in SEO. The role is not particular to content but a lot more:

  • Content creation- In the earlier days, we used tactics, like keyword stuffing to make our content rank higher on SERPs.  For example, you are a furniture manufacturing company, called Black Rose, so you include Black Rose again and again in your content trying to outrank your competitors. Google penalizes sites for using such spam techniques. If we do not use the ‘keyword stuffing’ technique then how do we optimize our content for Search Engines? Well, this is where LSI keywords come into the picture. Instead of using the same keyword multiple times, use its synonyms. This lends a more natural touch to the content and ensures smooth flow of text. LSI keywords lend a fresh and rich feel to your content.
  • Reader engagement- Would you, as a reader, like to read content that features one word multiple times? Or would you rather read content that is engaging? There is a plethora of information available on the internet. If you are not able to grasp the interest of the user, someone else will. LSI keywords create a variety of words that can be used in the content. Interesting content engages readers.
  • Improve Search Engine rankings- Search Engines are always on the lookout to provide unique content to the searchers. LSI keywords help you create unique content on the same topic by using a mix of several keywords. Search Engines prefer content that has a natural feel to it. They also determine the quality of the content by checking its primary keywords and its LSI variations. More keywords also widen your horizon of content creation and save you from keyword stuffing. This always helps for better rankings.

Remember, Don’t make the mistake of stuffing your content with keywords. Keyword stuffing is looked down upon as ‘Spammy’ by Search Engines.

Finding out keywords are simple:

The easiest way to find or search for LSI keywords is GOOGLE. Google is the Holy Grail for searchers. So, type in a keyword in the search bar and, as you type, Google automatically shows the synonyms in a drop down menu under the search bar.

Another way to pick LSI keywords is to browse the search results for a particular keyword. Google, at times, highlights certain keywords in its search results.

Some tools which helps in generating LSI Keywords :

This tool comes with a feature that can create LSI keywords for the main keyword. You can specify three keywords at a time to generate LSI keywords. This plugin works like a dream.


For Advanced Users - Difference between Synonymous LSI (sLSI) and Relating LSI (rLSI)!

LSI keywords can be further classified into two categories:

  • Relating LSI
  • Synonymous LSI

Relating LSI: Let’s take an example of Orange. The relating LSI keywords which Google will identify will be help to identify that whether your article is about Fruit or the color. If keywords such as Orange shoes, orange dress, handbag , orange umbrella etc. are found, it means the article intent is of Orange as Colour and will rank accordingly. Alternatively, if keywords such as juice, Toffees, ice candy’s are found, Google will interpret that it is referring to the fruit.

Articles which have more of rLSI keywords indicates that it is naturally written. It is a great SEO secret to include more rLSI keywords in the content which complements its targeted keyword phrase, that to when you are trying to rank for competitive terms.

Synonymous LSI: This group takes apart latent semantic indexing at the finest level, i.e. micro-level. Undoubtedly, LSI keywords are really hard to target. But, once you get them, it’s time to rekindle your articles to prepare them for higher rankings. Google will automatically relate with the synonyms of the keywords, to be able to return with better and relevant results.
So now you see, LSI reflects upon the search results at a keyword-level. A very important point to note is that Google gives the same weight to the LSI keywords, as it gives to its synonyms counterparts.


Remember the law of diminishing returns? You must have studied it in your economics class in school. The law states that if you increase a single factor while keeping all other factors constant, then at some point, your returns will diminish. The same law holds when we look at keyword density in quality content in SEO. Any keyword with high density can result in negative SEO. Write content that matters to your market and thus Search Engines will reward you.


Future of Marketing: Infographic Series

Future of SEO

We asked 25 industry experts, 4 questions regarding the future of SEO. Visit the Infographic to know the insights of Neil Patel, Rand Fishkin and 23 other.

Future of Content marketing

We asked 21 experts 5 questions about the future of content marketing; from their best strategies to rank content to their favorite tools - read it all here.

Future of Social Media Marketing

We interviewed Top 20 experts, 5 questions regarding the future of Social Media Marketing; From primary strategies you use to engage with your social media followers to boldest predictions for The Future of Social Media Marketing. We have it all here!

Future of SEO in India

We asked 23 experts about the state and future of SEO in India. See what the experts had to say on the subject.

  • PENGUIN 4.0 (Real-time) UPDATE

Google Algorithm Updates Timeline

Integrate your Google Analytics account and see how the various algorithm updates have affected your websites' traffic.

Get free Marketing and Business Advice

Even if you don't visit RankWatch on a regular basis, you can get the latest posts delivered to you for free via RSS or Email. :