The Beginner's Guide to Keyword Density

May 05, 2022

By Caroline Forsey

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When you’re writing SEO-optimized content, how many keywords are enough? How many are too many? How do you know? And what happens if Google and other search engines determine your site is “stuffed” with keywords?

In our beginner’s guide to keyword density, we’ll cover the basics, dig into why it matters, and offer functional formulas and simple tools that can make sure your keyword strategies are working as intended.

Why Keyword Density Matters

Keywords are a critical part of your SEO strategy .

Along with relevant content and optimized website design, ranking for the right keywords helps your site stand out from the crowd — and get closer to the top of search engine results pages (SERPs).

So it’s no surprise that a substantial amount of SEO advice centers on keywords: Doing your research can help you select and rank for top-performing keywords in your market, in turn boosting user engagement and increasing total sales.

Why? Because keywords drive searches. When users go looking for products or services, they’ll typically use a keyword that reflects their general intent, and expect search engines to serve up relevant results.

While tools like Google now take into account factors such as geographical area and page

authority — defined in part by the number of visitors to your webpage and in part by “dofollow” links from reputable sites that link back to your page — keywords remain a critical factor in website success.

The caveat? You can’t simply “stuff” as many keywords as possible into your content and expect reliable results.

This practice is called keyword stuffing, and it’s a black-hat SEO practice that can lead to penalization and even full-on removal from the SERPs.

During the wild west days of the first search engines, brands and SEO firms would write low-value content and cram it with keywords and keyword tags, along with links to similarly-stuffed pages on the same site. Not surprisingly, visitors grew frustrated and search engine providers realized they needed a better approach.

Now, keyword stuffing has the opposite effect — search engines will penalize the page rankings of sites that still choose to keyword stuff.

By the Numbers: The Keyword Density Formula

How do you calculate keyword density? The formula is straightforward: Divide the number of times a keyword is used on your page by the total number of words on the page.

Here’s an easy example: Your page has 1,000 words and your keyword is used 10 times. This gives:

10 / 1000 = .001

Multiply this by 100 to get a percentage, which in this case is 1%.

There’s also another formula sometimes used to assess keyword usage: TF-IDF, which stands for “term frequency-inverse document frequency”. The idea here is to assess the frequency of a keyword on specific pages (TF) against the number of times this word appears across multiple pages on your site (IDF). The result helps determine how relevant your keyword is for specific pages.

While TF is straightforward, …read more

Source:: HubSpot Blog

      

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