Keyword density formula

Keyword density can also be calculated as a specific figure, should you need to. To determine the keyword density of a webpage, simply divide the number of times a given keyword is mentioned by the total number of words on the page – the resulting figure is the keyword density of that page.

Work out What the Competition is Doing

Whenever you search for something in Google, you only see what the Google Bots have decided are the best ranking website pages in order. You don’t see the hundreds of thousands of pages that have been filtered out for not containing quality information.

If you aren’t sure what keyword density levels are reasonable for your website, consider adjusting your approach to mirror what is working for your competitors right now!  Try this:

What’s the Right Keyword Density for SEO?

  • conduct a search of your target keywords in Google.
  • grab the top 5 ranked pages from the search results.
  • analyze each of them to see what keyword density is best practice in your niche.

What Level of Keyword Density is Best Practice?

There is not a single optimal or universal keyword density percentage. Each search query is unique & search engines compare (or normalize) documents against other top documents to determine their specific thresholds. Some keywords like “home loans” naturally appear as a two word phrase, whereas other terms may contain long tail keywords or whole phrases.

As a general rule-of-thumb, when it comes to keyword frequency, Google takes notice of:

  • trusted internal content, and
  • good backlinks to external content.

Google On-page Classifiers

When Google rolled out the first Penguin update in April of 2012, they also rolled out some on-page classifiers which penalized pages that had excessive word repetition.

Cheap outsourced writing tends to contain content that is fairly repetitive – in part because people who are paid by the word are incentivized to churn out cheap content reaching a paid word count, instead of articles written containing quality research. Google’s leaked remote rater guidelines tell the Google bots to rate low-quality information like repetitive content poorly.

What Is Keyword Stuffing?

About 10 years ago, when SEO was still an emerging discipline, a technique known as “keyword stuffing” became very popular. Keyword stuffing is the practice of cramming as many keywords as possible on a webpage, often in a way that feels forced and unnatural to the reader.

In this day and age the primary use of these types of keyword analysis tools is not to keep dialing up the keyword density, but rather to lower the focus on the core terms, while including alternate word forms, accronyms, synonyms & other supporting vocabulary.

  • High Keyword Density: Aggressive repetition (in terms of helping boost page ranking for the core niche/term) should be kept to a minimum as having really high keyword density increases the likelihood that the page may get filtered out by the Google Bots.
  • Low Keyword Density (with variations): The upside of using greater word variation (in terms of helping boost rank for a wide variety of related keywords) is significant as lower keyword density for your core terms increases the chances of your pages being highly ranked by Google.
  • Other ranking factors
    • Search engines may place significant weight on domain age, site authority, link anchor text, localization, and usage data.
  • Each search engine has it’s own weighting algorithms.
    • Each search engine has it’s own vocabulary system which helps them understand related words.
    • One search engine might place more weight on domain-wide & offsite factors, whilst others might put a bit more weight on on-page content.
    • The page title is typically weighted more than most any other text on the page.
    • The meta keywords tags, comments tags, and other somewhat hidden inputs may be given less weight than page copy. For instance, most large scale hypertext search engines put zero weight on the meta keyword tag.
    • Page copy which is bolded, linked, or in a heading tag is likely given greater weighting than normal text.
  • Weights are relative.
    • If your whole page is in an H1 tag that looks a bit off, it does not place more weight on any of the text since the whole page is the same level.
    • You probably want to avoid doing things like bolding H1 text as it is doubtful it will make a page seem any more relevant.
  • Excessive focus on keyword density falls short on a number of fronts.
    • When people focus too much on density they often write content which people would not be interested in reading or linking to.
    • Many queries are a bit random in nature. Roughly a quarter of search queries are unique. When webmasters tweak their page copy for an arbitrarily higher density, they typically end up removing some of the modifier terms that were helping the page appear relevant for many 3, 4, 5 & 6 word search queries.
    • Semantic related algorithms may look at supporting vocabulary when determining the relevancy of a page. If you pulled the keyword phrase you were targeting out of your page copy, would it still be easy for a search engine to mathematically model what that phrase was and what your page is about, given the supporting text? If so, then your rankings will be far more stable AND you will likely rank for a far wider basket of related keywords.

Should I Even Use Density Analysis Software?

These types of tools are still quite valuable when used with the right website content strategy. Using analysis tools can still help you uncover a lot of opportunities, including:

  • looking at competing sites and discovering some good phrases (and modifiers) to use in your page content, which you may not have noticed initially.
  • helping you to see if a your website page is way out of synch with top ranked pages, and
  • helping you determine if a particular writer is writing naturally or using excessive repetition.

What Does the Website Keyword Density Tool Calculate?

  • Initial Report: By default this tool calculates the website density categories “Keyword, Count & Density” of the following:
    • Meta Tags
    • Heading Tags
    • Link Anchor Text
    • Image ALT Text
    • Content
  • Full Report: Additional “Full Report” discloses the following further keyword density information:
    • Meta Tags
      • Title
      • Description
      • Keywords
    • Heading Tags
      • Heading Tag Level and Title
    • Link Anchor Text
      • Full Link URL
    • Image ALT Text
      • Image URL
      • Image Keywords
    • Content
      • Keywords

Gain a Competitive Advantage Today

Your top competitors have been investing in their marketing strategy for years. Now you can work out exactly why they are ranking and pick off their best keywords to replicate their success!  You can also track new opportunities as they emerge.

Enter a competing URL above to quickly gain access to their best keywords – for free.

See where why rank & work on how to beat them!


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