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. If your pages need to appear in the results, Google needs to understand that your web page content matches the query. When the keyphrase occurs multiple times in your content, it will help Google pick out the page’s essence. Usually, while creating content, the keyphrases will occur multiple times naturally. Let’s say you wrote content about “importance of SEO” and choose that term as keyphrase; you will be using it multiple times in your content.
It definitely doesn’t mean repeating your keyphrase too many times is healthy. High keyphrase density is also dangerous. The content will look unnatural to the readers. It will also alert Google that you might be stuffing keywords in your copy to manipulate search engine ranking. Your content should be 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
Here are some strategies to make your keyphrase density in your content optimised.
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.
Avoid keyword stuffing
Before publishing any of your content, check its keyword density and other on-page SEO factors. Ensure the page have a sufficient number of target keyphrase so Google can understand what your page is about. Always be careful to not involve in keyword stuffing which will affect your site ranking negatively.
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.
Keyphrase density is important, but remember high-quality content is the most important. Ensure you have used enough number of keyphrase in your content. But also ensure you didn’t make them too obvious or over-optimised. Keywords can get daunting at times; a professional SEO can help you untangle the confusion. Contact us or email at email@example.com, and our SEO experts will help you with your queries on keywords or SEO in general.
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.
Tim Reynolds is the Chief Solutions Consultant and SEO specialist at Codesquad. Talking SEO strategies, analysing client business needs and managing projects – all in a day’s work for Tim. He loves a challenge and when he isn’t engaged with a project or developing SEO strategies, you can find him with soldering iron in hand “making stuff.” If you are looking for 100% SEO compliance, Tim and his team won’t rest until you get there.