The Myth of Keyword Density
Most SEO experts recommend 1% to 2% keyword density. The goal of keyword density is to optimize content, rise through Google’s rankings, and get more eyes on your brand.
However, many people don’t know what keyword density is. That’s why we’re here to discuss SEO tips, provide a keyword density guide, and discuss the keyword density myth. Let’s get started.
What Is Keyword Density?
The goal of all SEO tips is to get your content to rank higher on popular search engines, such as Google or Bing. Consider your own personal search experience. If content doesn’t appear on the first page of Google, it might as well not exist.
However, major search engines like Google Chrome account for dozens of factors when ranking content. The algorithm is complex, ever-changing, and sometimes frustrating.
There’s a lot of information out there about optimization. However, one bit of information that persists is the keyword density myth.
Here’s how it works. Certain keywords included in your content indicate the topic’s purpose and signal user value to Google. The more valuable and applicable the content, the higher it will rank.
So, it makes sense to use as many keywords as possible—right?
Not so fast!
Keyword density is defined as calculating how many times a keyword phrase occurs within a given piece. For instance, say that you’re writing a 1000 word piece on sustainable fashion.
If you use the keyword ‘sustainable fashion‘ 10 times within that piece, your keyword density is 1%. Many SEO experts recommend between one and three percent keyword stuffing.
The Keyword Density Myth
Don’t believe everything you hear—that goes for SEO tips, too! The algorithm changes regularly and it’s important to stay on top of it. That means tactics and SEO recommendations will change too.
In the olden days of the Internet, keyword stuffing was quite popular. In the above example, the phrase ‘sustainable fashion’ would be inserted at every possible opportunity.
Reading the same phrase in every single sentence is a painful user experience. However, many content creators were doing it in the infancy of the Internet.
Search engines don’t even measure keyword density. The calculation we did above to achieve 1% keyword density is irrelevant.
Some people say that you’ll get penalized if your density is too low. Others say that you’ll rank higher if your density is higher.
That’s not how it works. Say that you wrote an entire piece, and the text is ‘sustainable fashion‘ repeated over and over for a thousand words. The keyword density is 100%—but that content is useless and will be penalized.
To be clear, search algorithms don’t penalize based on keyword density. Instead, they penalize because of the lack of variation in the text, and how poor the resulting user experience is.
Keyword Density Tips
After busting the keyword density myth, how are you supposed to optimize your content? For starters, consider the calculations we did above.
As discussed, search engines don’t care if your keyword density is 3% or 5%. Instead, keyword density serves as an internal tool. That way, you make sure that you’re using your top keywords often enough.
If you aren’t using your keywords, search engines don’t know what value you provide to users. That’s a dangerous place to be in.
Here’s our recommendation. You should select a primary keyword and use it in the article’s introduction, one header, and then the conclusion. This is the bare minimum for your primary keyword.
When it comes to secondary keywords, you should assemble a list and insert them where it makes sense. Context is everything. If a keyword sticks out like a sore thumb, remove it. User experience is king—especially when it comes to marketing. At Digital Logic, prioritizing users is what we do best.
When it comes to a keyword density guide, it’s crucial to leverage high-quality keywords. This will make a big difference when catering to your audience.
What terms are your audience actually searching for? When they think of your products and services, what words are they using to find them?
Keyword density, when it comes to high-quality SEO, is all about signaling value to both the algorithm and the user. You want to indicate the main angle of your content, and what topics you’re trying to cover.
If you’re trying to balance quality content and keywords, consider user intent. Do some research on the search queries that are actually being inputted.
Boost User Engagement
When you are able to closely match keywords and search queries, you will boost user engagement. It will also improve the search performance of your content.
It’s also important to give your keyword-optimized content a fighting chance. That’s why you need to pay attention to how content is formatted.
Start by writing your content in short paragraphs. White space makes it easier on the eye. When someone sees a wall of text, they’re likely to click away and find content that’s more scannable.
In today’s day and age, people scan more often than they read. If they see something of value, they may settle in and read the entire thing.
That’s why you should use the following:
- Strategic bolding
- Easy-to-read font
- Visually appealing colors
The idea is to make the lift as easy as possible for your readers.
When creating keyword-optimized titles, avoid clickbait! Misleading headlines result in a frustrating user experience. When someone clicks on a headline and gets something totally different, they feel like their time has been wasted.
In other words, you’ve violated their trust by lying to your viewers. That’s a poor way to launch a customer-brand relationship.
When considering keyword stuffing, prioritize high-quality search terms and user-friendly SEO. Your users are what will fuel your rankings in Google’s algorithm, and will help demonstrate your brand’s overall value over time.
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