Does Keyword Density Matter?

Does Keyword Density Matter?

First, what exactly is keyword density? Basically, it’s the number of times a specific term, word, or phrase occurs in relation to the number of words on a given page. There was a time when the percentage of a keyword’s usage in the content affected a website’s ranking, and many experts suggested a 2% to 5% usage was optimal. Today, this is not necessary, and we know that keyword density doesn’t really matter anymore in terms of ranking. So, why are we still talking about it? It’s because keywords still matter in other ways, and the usage of content is something to always consider for SEO.

Keyword Stuffing

It is true that mentioning a keyword a few times can be beneficial, but if you start packing that word or phrase in here and there just to make a certain number of mentions, that can be seen as keyword stuffing. Plus, doing this will likely make your content sound robotic and not flow as well as it could. Your content should never sound artificial, so if you’re using keywords, make sure you’re doing it wisely. For more information on good content creation for SEO, visit one of our other blogs here.

While keyword density doesn’t matter, keyword stuffing does. Google’s Webmaster Guidelines acknowledges keyword stuffing with a section titled “irrelevant keywords.” Search Engine Journal cites this section, stating that: “Filling pages with keywords or numbers results in a negative user experience, and can harm your site’s ranking. Focus on creating useful, information-rich content that uses keywords appropriately and in context.” This is clear verbiage about the importance of content over keyword.

What Does Matter

Even though keyword density doesn’t technically affect performance with search engine results, there are still reasons to keep it a priority. Consider checking out the top-ranking content for the keyword you want to use. Analyze how and where it’s being used and then apply that to your own content. This creates a more purposeful use for that keyword. Also consider using the keyword as the topic-driven content where you can focus on valuable information surrounding that keyword, rather than simply placing it in odd spots to fulfill a number. Shift your focus away from needing that keyword so many times to a topical discussion. This is called topic clustering and shows you have good information on the subject you’re trying to showcase. You can also link articles covering the same topics to give your site even more authority. This tells search engines and proves to your audience that you know about the subject and have researched the pertinent and valuable information out there.

When it comes to SEO, there are a lot of considerations. It can be tricky to navigate the guideline-filled waters of the search engine sea. Utah SEO is well versed on the ins and outs of search engines and how to use content to your advantage—both for SEO and for your audience’s attention. Get on the right path with your website by reaching out to our professionals.