A Short All-You-Need Guide to Keyword Densityon March 7, 2013 at 3:43 AM
Whether the question is about quality on-page SEO or about the requirement of the keyword(s) in the article, keyword density does matter. From top successful bloggers to newbie bloggers, keyword density is always a topic to discuss about. If you’re not really familiar with the term at all, here’s a small definition.
What Is Keyword Density?
Keyword density is the amount of specified keywords that appear inside an article. It is represented in percentage (%). A short example of keyword density could be this – If you have an article of 100 words, and your keyword is placed twice into the article, the keyword density of that article would be 2%.
What Is An Ideal Keyword Density?
A question that even Google can’t answer. The link goes out to a video by Matt Cutts (the head of Google’s WebSpam Team).
An ideal keyword density for an article could be anywhere between 2%-4% (as suggested by many authority sources). But this is not always true, as there are articles that rank well for highly searched keywords even though they have a very low percent of keywords in them – sometimes about 0.5% too! Yes, it’s not impossible. Later in this article, we’ll discuss how this can really happen.
Do Search Engines Care About Keyword Density?
A short answer to this is – YES, they do and elaborating that answer would bring in many facts. Search engines recognize keywords in an article to identify what the article is actually about. But there are millions of webmasters who take it the opposite way by assuming that the higher the keyword density of an article is, the better chances it has of ranking well on SERPs. But this is completely incorrect, because if the number goes too much above the normal (which has no numeric value), search engines consider that article to be one which lacks quality and that which has no potential of providing value to the readers.
Should I Have More Than One Keyword In The Same Article?
One more unanswered question. Having more than one specific keyword in an article should be somewhat challenging if the writer/author is not really “good”. This is because naturally placing both the keywords inside the content could be a task, and would require some extra attention to the content of the article. Also, not practicing it perfectly would leave the search engines confused about the purpose of the post.
It is advised that if the author is planning to rank the same article higher for more than one keyword, he/she will prominently need to focus on placing the keywords in such a way that they look ‘natural’, and not forcefully added to the article.
How Do Short-Tail And Long-Tail Keywords Matter In Keyword Density
First of all, what are short-tail and long tail keywords?
Short-Tail keywords are the words that are shorter in size. These are usually one or two words and in some cases, three words. For example – make money, keyword density, Internet marketing etc. Short tail keywords don’t often work well for ranking articles higher on SERPs as they’re often taken by homepages. But the other option we have is definitely great for ranking articles well on SERPs.
Long-tail keywords are, of course, the opposite of short-tail ones. These are phrases or even sentences. Some examples for these are – how to make money on twitter, free keyword density checker, best Internet marketing services etc because the searches are specific to what an article is about. On the other hand, the short-tail keywords are not at all specific about the requirement of the user, the keyword ‘make money’ must have an enormous number of articles because there are hundreds of ways to make money, hence millions of articles are written by thousands of people all over the web. As mentioned above that long-tail keywords are best for ranking single posts/articles well, we’ll discuss on how to do the same.
The Importance Of Having Keywords In Headers Inside The Post
Note that the ‘headers’ mentioned here are the ‘heading tags’ inside the content. You might know them by H1, H2, and H3 etc. Search engines do give a lot of importance to the header tags i.e. <h1>, <h2> etc. (as the search engines go through the HTML of your content). This is because headers define your post. They are a short summary of your articles. The most used header tags are usually H2 and H3 as there can be several sub-headings into an article – like this article for instance.
When it comes to placing keywords into headers, one has to be careful enough about the same. Here are some quick tips on how to practice the correct way of using keywords in heading tags –
- Don’t use the keywords in all the headings
- Don’t link anything from the headings, especially using the keywords
- Keep the headings unique than the other content on that page, but do include the keyword in one of them.
- Don’t repeat the headings (e.g. Strategy 1 Of Keyword Density, Strategy 2 Of Keyword Density, Strategy 3 Of Keyword Density etc.)
Keyword Density Strategy To Rank Single Posts Well
Though there are many factors that determine the ranking of posts on SERPs, keyword density is one of them. If you follow some tips from here, you’ll probably notice some change in the rankings of your articles on SERPs –
1) ALWAYS choose a long-tail keyword. This is because short-tail keywords don’t really help getting posts rank well.
2) Use keywords in headers inside the post, but in a limited number.
3) Don’t worry about the ideal keyword density. Just go with what suits the post. Just make sure you place enough number of keywords so that search engine bots can recognize what the article is actually about.
4) Try to focus on a single keyword (long-tail, of course) rather than going for more. This helps you, the writer, as well as the search engine bots to focus on the purpose of the article.
The conclusion is simple. To keep your quality content worth it, don’t stuff it with too many keywords. The keywords should define what your article is about, and not be the article itself.