Glossary | 2 mins
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Keyword density, less commonly referred to as keyword frequency, refers to the number of times that a keyword is used on a webpage as a proportion of its total word count.
It’s usually expressed as a ratio or percentage, with higher values alluding to a higher keyword density. For example, if a keyword was used 10 times in a 1,000-word blog post, this page can be said to have a keyword density of 1%.
Keyword density is an important topic in SEO, as it plays a significant role in how Google determines a page’s relevance to a specific query containing a given keyword.
Making a point to checkkeyword density is an important aspect of any content strategy, as it will ensure your content isn’t falling short of its potential to rank, and that your site won’t be penalised for keyword stuffing (where a keyword density is too high and Google decides it’s being manipulative). Though different pieces of content will call for different keyword densities, it’s generally recommended that any piece of content should aim for a keyword density of 1-2% (1-2 occurrences for every 100 words of total copy).
To ensure you’re not going over this bracket of safety, it’s a good habit to use keyword variants (words that are similar but not identical to your target keyword) on pages that require you to mention a certain object or concept a lot. For example, if you’re writing a charcoal barbecue buyer’s guide, and targeting the term “charcoal barbecue”, you might want to use variants such as “kettle barbecue”, “charcoal bbq”, or “charcoal grill”.
By diversifying the way you mention whatever your target keyword is referring to, you’ll not only steer clear of keyword stuffing, but also help to optimise your content for secondary keywords that you may not have considered in the content planning stage.
Keyword Density FAQs
Is keyword density still important?
Though Google has become very sophisticated at discerning whether or not a page is using spammy, manipulative SEO techniques, keyword mentions and density still play an important role in its ranking algorithm.
What is a good keyword density?
Though there’s no concrete rules defining good or bad keyword density, most SEO professionals agree that a keyword density of 1-2% will generally help a page’s ranking potential without putting it at risk of appearing spammy.
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