WordPress SEO In 5 Minutes-What Is Keyphrase Density?
What is Keyphrase Density?
Keyphrase density or Keyword density can be defined as the number of times a target keyword appears in your text compared to that page’s total text. It can also be expressed as the percentage ratio between the number of target keyword and the total number of words in a text.
So if in a page of 100 words your focus keyphrase appears 2 times, then the keyword density is:
(Number of focus keywords/ Total Number of words) * 100
In this case, the keyword density is 2%.
Why is Keyphrase Density Important?
Keyphrase density plays a vital role in helping search engines to understand the content of your page. How does that work? When Google receives a search query, it always tries to provide the user with the best fitting web page results. When the keyphrase occurs multiple times in your content, it will help Google pick out the page’s essence. It will show your page in SERPs when someone searches your keyword.
But be cautious of keyword stuffing.
What exactly is Keyword Stuffing?
Keyword stuffing is the conscious act of repeatedly using a keyword throughout the content to rank the page higher in SERPs. It was a popular black hat SEO tactic in the past. But now Google considers it a violation of its quality guidelines. It can lead to penalties like removing the page from search results.
Keyword stuffing will also make the content look unnatural to readers. It’s essential to make your content enticing and understandable for readers. As Google prefers to show the most relevant and readable result for its users, over-optimising can cost you your ranking.
What is the Ideal Keyphrase Density?
There are no clearly specified rules explaining the ideal keyphrase density. Google doesn’t tell you how many times the keyphrase should appear in your content. There are no definite figures or statistics to rely on. So, the only way is to keep the content as natural as possible.
Majority of the SEO experts recommend a keyphrase density around 1-2%. It means the target keyphrase occurs once or twice per 100 words of text. This way, the keyphrase occurs enough times to show Google what the page is about.
Strategies for Healthy Keyphrase Density
Remember Your Content is for Readers
Reader first content is the best content. So, always write your content while thinking about your readers. Make your content top-quality, relevant and enticing. Remember to make it look natural and use keyphrases organically.
Learn where to use keywords from the complete guide on keywords.
Avoid Keyword Stuffing
Create Different Pages for Different Queries
Optimise one page for one query because optimising one page for many queries can lead to unproductive promotion. If you have various queries, create several documents and place them on pages with different themes.
Keyword stemming is used to bring new variations of the keywords from that of target keyphrase. Usually, it is accomplished by pluralisation, prefixing or suffixing related words to a focus keyword. Search engines can identify and connect these words. Using keyword stemming will help provide support to your focus keyword and bring textual variety to your copy.
Use Semantic Keywords
Use semantic keywords to prevent over optimisation of keyphrase density. These keywords are terms that are synonyms or variations related to the focus keyword. These words help to keep the context intact without the need to stuff keywords.
Use LSI Keywords
Another method to prevent over optimisation of keyphrase density is to use LSI keywords. Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) Keywords are conceptually related words that Google uses to understand the content on a web page deeply. Google uses LSI to understand your content’s meaning to match it with the user’s queries. While creating content, ensure that you are including the accurately correlating keywords. This way, Google can understand your content’s context from the LSI keywords.
Keyword – A word or phrase that defines the content on your page best, and which you would want your page or post to rank for.
On-page SEO – The process of optimising individual web pages to achieve higher ranking and earn more compatible traffic in search engines.
Keyword stemming – the strategy of altering different keywords through the use of variations. These variations are made by adding prefixes or to the root keyword.
Over-optimisation – the practice of overdoing SEO improvements to the extent that it ruins the site’s ability to rank.
Semantic keywords – Words or phrases that are related to each other conceptually. E.g. if the keyword is “search volume,” the semantic keywords could be keyword research or paid search.
Article originally published on 27/01/2021
Article revised by Tim Reynolds on 31/03/2021
Added new section: What exactly is Keyword Stuffing?
Added new terms to Jargon Buster