It’s a question many digital marketer, blogger, and other that deals with SEO is dying to know the answer.
Back in the 2011 and few years after, keyword density seems like a magic formula for SEO. You have to know your keyword and you have to put it out there, as many as you can, to make your site relevant. Otherwise, search engine wouldn’t see what your post is actually talking about, and they wouldn’t bother recommend it to their user as well.
As time goes by, however, the competition become severe. Every day, many entities launched their own website and blog. All of them competing to be in the first page on search engine result. All of them want to apply the same keyword strategy.
And then, misusing happens. Some website think that repeating the same keyword 100 times in a 1000 words post will help search engine find them. You may want to find out the best diet routine for your body type and enter ‘body type diet’ in the search query and click the first link in the search result, only to find out that it’s really just an article that sells diet pill with ‘body type diet’ repeated 500 times without any information on how you can do that and what’s the health benefit and how it works whatsoever.
Back then, it probably worked. However, there are consequences. The post would likely sound forced and redundant. Worse, it sounds like spam, it screams like the website wants the visitor to be useful for them instead the other way around, and no one like to be used by anybody, especially not by a scam website.
That’s why, in recent years, people start to think less of keyword density, and prefer to focus on the other aspects of a post that would make them more visible for search engine, such as web quality and authority.
Is keyword density already obsolete?
Search engines realizes that competition in keyword density can ruin user’s experience while using their services, and has started voicing out their dislikes on this, as early as from 2014.
Google even started to give penalty to websites that over stuff their keyword. If your website got detected, Google may demote your website ranking, or remove it altogether from its search result. It’s disastrous.
Which means, over stuffing keyword these days will more likely put your website out of business rather than propel it to Google search result first page.
But is the concept of keyword density itself obsolete? We don’t think so.
First, keyword density one of the way to let search engine knows what your post is talking about. It helps them to match your post with query entered by people. If your post is talking about leather wallet, but you mention the word only once or twice, Google algorithm may decide that you haven’t covered the topic thoroughly, and rank your website lower than it should.
Second, keyword is also related to the quality of your blog post. If you want information about herbal tea, you’ll want to know that the post you’re reading is really talking about herbal tea, and not wandering too far to talk about something completely irrelevant. Putting keyword in post can help you to stay in the topic.
So, we believe that keyword density is not obsolete. Over stuffing keyword is.
Is there such thing as right keyword density per post?
Experts have split opinion on this. Some believe that keyword density is not relevant anymore for SEO, that one should not put too much effort on this aspect because it doesn’t really help, therefore it doesn’t matter how many keyword you put in your post.
Some other believe that keyword density still matters, although maybe not as much as people believe. However, you can’t just stop caring about it altogether. We happen to believe in this side of the debate.
Sure, it’s not the only one factor to rank your post up there in search engine, but if you can maximize your effort in all of the factors, then why not do it? It doesn’t take much to maximize the usefulness of your keyword in a post.
- Keep the keyword density around 1.5%-4%
Keyword density is defined as how many times you put your keyword in the post divided by overall words your post has.
The interesting thing is, each website seems to have different ‘right keyword density’. Based on our experience handling different website, as well as talking to other website owners, there is no one number that defines ‘the right keyword density’.
Some of our posts rank high when they have 1.5% keyword density. Our colleague’s post in different website ranks well when they keep the keyword density around 3-4%.
However, putting more than 5% keyword density can put you at risk to be penalized by Google.
So, our suggestion for you to know the right keyword density for your website is to experiment with density between 1.5-4%
- Put the keyword in the right place
You can still make a natural, readable post with 1.5-4% keyword density if you know where to put it right. We like to put our keyword in these position
–The title, because it’s the first thing your visitor will see
–The beginning of the post, again because it’s the part where you secure your reader
-The end of the post, to wrap the post nicely and keep the post in the topic
-Anchor text, because link to other relevant website makes your post more trustworthy
So, keyword density, we believe, is still relevant – if you know how to use it right. The key here is not to over stuff the keyword, make your post natural and useful to improve its quality, and to put the keyword in the right place.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with the keyword density to find out the right number that works with your website. And do tell us the result of your experience in the comment section below. We can make a nice discussion out of it.