Mastering the Proper Handling of Keyword Density

So what is keyword density in SEO?

Keyword Density is a fundamental concept of Search Engine Optimization. It directly influences the visibility of your content on search engine result pages. Yet, its relative importance has changed throughout the years.

In this article, we will talk about the definition and significance of keyword density. We will also give you some tips to improve it.

Keyword Density

It refers to the number of times a keyword appears in the text of a given webpage. It is expressed as a percentage and also known as the keyword frequency. The frequency with which a specific keyword appears on the web page.

Keyword Density Formula

You can calculate the keyword density in SEO with the help of the keyword density formula. Here is how you can measure the keyword density of a  particular keyword on a given web page.

  1. Find the number of times a given keyword appears on the web page. You may use the Ctrl+F command for it.
  2. Find the total word count of that page. Many online tools can help you with that.
  3. Divide the first figure with the second figure.
  4. The resulting figure is your keyword density. ‘

Keyword Density Formula

However, you do not need to do all this when you are using the SEO Yoast Plugin. The plugin serves as a keyword density checker or the keyword density tool.

It tells you the keyword density. But you have to enter your focus keyword in the respective text box.

What Makes Keyword Density Important?

Google is always striving to show its users the content that exactly matches their search intent. They look for web pages that fit best with the query of the user.

To check if the answer to some user’s query is on your web page, Google first needs to understand what your webpage is all about. That is why you have to choose the focus keyword you want to rank your copy for.

But, it must appear naturally. Otherwise, forcefully including the key phrase comes under the black hat practice of keyword stuffing. We will also talk about that in sections to come.

For now, understand that Google is wise enough to understand the context and analyze if keywords make sense where they show up.



It stands for Term Frequency & Inverted Document Frequency.

The parameter is used in text mining and information retrieval. It determines how important any term is in the document.

Search engines use the variations of TF-IDF to quantify the relevance between the search intent and the page content. However, many other SEO factors also influence the final decisions.

What is the Right Keyword Density?

Keyword Density is pretty much like many other SEO aspects. There are no clearly defined rules. There are no Google guidelines that will dictate how many keywords should be there on one piece of content.

Moreover, there are no rules to draw any fine line between practical keyword density and non-practical keyword density.

The SEO Yoast plugin recommends keyword density between 0.5% to 2.5%.

Some considerations can help you ensure proper content optimization for SEO. You can improve the visibility of your content.

Keyword Stuffing

Keyword stuffing was a popular technique almost a decade ago. Back then, SEO was an emerging discipline.

This practice forcefully includes as many keywords as possible in the content to increase search engine visibility. It does not matter if it feels unnatural to the reader.

The typical method was to include a lengthy footer at the bottom of the web pages. These footers used to have dozens and sometimes even hundreds of keywords. All these phrases were slight variations of some focus keywords.

Today, this technique has gone obsolete. Google algorithms are getting smarter day by day. But this unusual practice did provide SEO professionals an easy and effortless way to rank back in the late 2000s and early 2010s.

It made it so easy to rank on Google for any keyword. This cheap hack to engineer the result pages of search engines helped a lot.

However, the situation is upside down today. SEO is one of the most competitive industries. Google has even panelized many websites for this notorious keyword stuffing practice.

There is so much to uncover from ranking signals. They refer to the factors Google uses in its algorithms to rank websites.

How to Do Your Best with Keyword Density?

As mentioned earlier, there are no hard and fast rules. There is no ideal standard figure for keyword density in SEO.

The ideal frequency as per SEO Yoast is between 0.5% to 2.5%.

Be careful not to over-optimize. Do not use the keyword so often that your copy looks spammy.

Then comes the next question. How many keywords should be used in a single copy?

Total word count can help you decide. One focus keyword is enough if the copy contains 200 to 250 words. Most of the SEO experts recommend using only one keyword per 200 words.

You can add on as the total word count increases. Writing a 2000 words blog post, you may target a total of 10 keywords.

There is one more thing to remember. Ensure the uniform distribution of keywords throughout the content. If there are five sections, try to make keywords appear in every section.

For example, you may use all keywords in the first or the last paragraph and never use them again. It is a terrible mistake. Keywords should appear at different places in the content.

Try to include keywords at the following places.

  1. Title of the Article
  2. First Paragraph
  3. Last Paragraph
  4. At least one heading

Keyword Variants

Using synonyms is also a great way to avoid repetition. They convey the same meaning but do not count to the keyword density. That only counts the exact keyword. Find as many lexically similar words as possible.

Keyword variants are slight variations of focus keywords. A user who intends to buy an appropriate car may type one of the following phrases.

“used cars for sale”

“second-hand vehicles for sale”

“cheap cars for sale”

The intent behind all the searches is the same. The user wants to find and purchase a second-hand car.

However, the keywords seem to differ widely. That demonstrates the importance of using keyword variants or lexically similar words. That leads to multiple ways in which a potential lead may find your business during a google search.

However,  keyword variants can be harmful when just crammed into a web page. They should be naturally distributed on the entire website. If you have expert and experienced content writers on board, you can avoid this.

Keyword Density Checker

It is a tool that helps you calculate the keyword density on any given web page.

Some websites still suffer because of involuntary keyword stuffing. Google does not want you to include the keywords where it does not make any contextual sense or is mere repetition.

Keyword Density Checker lets you figure out if you are safe. You can check it by giving the actual text or the link to the web page.

The features go far beyond using multiplication and division and giving you the keyword density.

It analyzes all top keywords used on the web page and provides useful SEO statistics about them. It finds one phrase keyword, two phrase keywords, and also three-phase keywords. You also get to know the page load time.

The Final Verdict

It is best to rely on hard data rather than assumptions, when it Comes to SEO. The decisions about keyword density, keyword targeting and content marketing are crucial.

Conduct A/B test your site copy, content, and ads. Be careful not to harm the visibility of your site or ads in search results.

If traffic declines, use tests to figure out things. You need to know that either you should reduce or expand on keyword density to improve rankings.

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Caroline Neils

Thanks for your interest in Caroline Neils, a highly rated writer with over 7 years of professional experience in article writing, technical, business, and freelance writing. With a background in computer sciences and an MS degree, Caroline is well-equipped to handle technical topics and terminologies that non-tech writers may struggle with.

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