So you’ve done keyword research. You’ve used all the right tools like Google Keyword Planner and Moz to define the keywords you want to use on your website, and you know how to use them in your content. But how do you know how many keywords to use in your content and how to space them out? And what in the world is keyword density anyway?
Keyword density is the percentage of times a keyword or key phrase appears on a page of a website in comparison with the total numbers on a page. Knowing how to strategically place them in your content is important. Keep reading to see some insights that will help you find a balance between having just the right amount of keywords in the right places.
The more you use your keywords in your content, the higher you’ll be ranked on search engines, right? Actually, that’s not the case. When search engines were first developed, keyword density was a chief component, but as search engines have evolved, they’ve started giving priority to many other factors that help drive quality content to the top of search engine results pages. The overuse of keywords—also known as keyword stuffing—will actually cause a page to be penalized.
More Than On-Page Content
While using keywords in the content on your website is important, it’s also critical to include them in other "invisible" areas of your website. This includes the permalink, H1 tag, H2 tag, and meta description. Make sure to start and end your page with keywords, and look for opportunities to include them in headers to help them stand out.
When you’re writing to optimize your content for the keywords you’ve worked so hard to define, it’s easy to make your writing sound more complicated and robotic than it needs to be. To simplify the process, I like to start out by writing content without even thinking about the keywords I should be using. Once I’m finished writing, I read through my content to check that it has a good flow, gets the point across, and is easy for anyone to understand. Then, I’ll go back in and add keywords where they make sense, spacing them out evenly throughout the content.
Utilize Keyword Density Tools
Not sure how to check your keyword density? There are plenty tools to help! If you’re a WordPress user, there are a variety of plugins you can install to check your density. If you’re not a WordPress user, there are plenty of other free keyword density tools. These tools will help you see areas in your content where you’re being repetitive, or where you can include more keywords.
Ultimately, it’s important to have a good balance of relevant words and phrases throughout your content, so you’re easily found on search engines, However, it’s even more critical that your content flows and makes sense to the audience you’re trying to reach. Although Google uses hundreds of signals to rank websites, keyword density is certainly part of it, so it’s important to properly use it.