What is Keyword Density?

Pavlos Filippidis Internet Marketing

What is Keyword Density?

Last week I was talking to a few clients about the importance of having quality content on their websites and how can certain tools help you improve your content and rankings on the major search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo organically. Such tool that can help you on improving your content and rankings on search engines is keyword density. It is considered an old school technique for many, although a lot of search engine optimisation specialists will argue that keyword density is a great tool which is still highly applicable if used carefully for most search engines.

Keyword density is simply an indication of the number of times a particular keyword appears on a page and is always expressed as a percentage of all the words that appear on a page.

For instance, suppose you have a page which contains 100 words of pure text and you use a particular keyword 6 times in the page, then the keyword density for this page is calculated by dividing the number of occurrences of this keyword, i.e. 6, with the total number of words on the page, i.e. 100. Therefore, the keyword density in this example is 6 / 100 = 0.06 or expressed as a percentage 0.06 X 100 = 6%.

You should be very careful though with the amount of keywords you use on a single web page and not over do it. If you continually repeat certain keywords or keyword phrases on a single web page, chances are that search engines will consider that your website is not real and consider it as a spam website and remove it completely from their lists. You should also note that there are different levels of tolerance that apply between the different search engines as to the degree of density permitted before a penalty is imposed. Some argue that the density may be as high as 10%. Safer, however, is that somewhere between 3% and 6%. This rule should apply to all pages of your website and for all keywords.

How to calculate the keyword density of your web pages?

Search engine optimisation professionals have tools either developed in house or elsewhere that automatically calculate the density of all keywords and keyword phrases on all pages of a web site. If you want to check yourself keyword density for a page you can either use some free online tools available on the internet or use Microsoft’s Word.

To check the keyword density on Microsoft’s Word follow the steps below:

Copy the entire contents of the page in Word.

From the “Tools” menu select “Word Count”. Make a note of the total number of words in the page.

From the menu “Edit” select “Replace”. Fill in the “Find” a keyword and in the “Replace with” use the same keyword so you don’t change the content of the page. Press “Replace All” and note the number of replacements made.

Divide the number of replacements to the number of words you found earlier and there you go. You have your keyword density. Make sure that you also include page titles.