What is the optimal keyword density?

by hentis
24 replies
  • SEO
  • |
I am using Yoast SEO plugin which comes very highly recommended. It suggests that keyword density should not be more than 2,5%. Harsh Agrawal from Shout me load recommends approx 1.5% and if you google the question his article is 1st or 2nd place.
The also i have come across quite a number of articles suggesting that keyword density is not really an important metric for ranking in the serps. I surely hope I have not wasted all the effort of ensuring my posts are all keyword optomised.

So to boil down to the bedrock of my question - What is the optimal keyword density?
#density #keyword #optimal
  • Profile picture of the author michaelkoehler92
    I just like to keep it around 1-1.5% with this keyword density the article would never look stuffed.
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  • Profile picture of the author guyfromnb
    I'm using Yoast too. Love that tool. I personally just make sure that my keyword is at least in the first paragraph of my post and in one of my image. Then I just write naturally not worrying about keywords. Can always check after when editing if I have a few LSI keywords in my text. But that's it for me.
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
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    What is the optimal keyword density?
    87% guaranteed.
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  • Profile picture of the author hentis
    yukon. So you have 20000 posts and you are a war room memeber.

    Here is seven golden stars for you.

    I noticed that you are purposefully adding crap answers to my posts. Is there some problem you have with me? Did I offend you before?

    One would expect someone like you to hand out good advice. Not trying to f up all the newbies on the forum.
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    • Profile picture of the author yukon
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      Originally Posted by hentis View Post

      yukon. So you have 20000 posts and you are a war room memeber.

      Here is seven golden stars for you.

      I noticed that you are purposefully adding crap answers to my posts. Is there some problem you have with me? Did I offend you before?

      One would expect someone like you to hand out good advice. Not trying to f up all the newbies on the forum.




      Don't flatter yourself.

      Your post is about keyword density therefore you added crap first.

      Crap in, crap out.

      Learn SEO and stop counting words like you're some 3rd world hack.
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      • Profile picture of the author hentis
        Originally Posted by yukon View Post

        Don't flatter yourself.

        Your post is about keyword density therefore you added crap first.

        Crap in, crap out.

        Learn SEO and stop counting words like you're some 3rd world hack.
        Learn how to behave in society. I'm very sorry that you got bullied so much at school. That must have been difficult for you.
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        • Profile picture of the author yukon
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  • Profile picture of the author dave_hermansen
    There is no such thing as an optimal keyword density. If the targeted phrase is in the title tag and on the page somewhere, you have hit the only keyword density that is required. More important than the number of times your main phrase appears is the other related words that appear, the thoroughness of the content and the amount of engagement.
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  • Profile picture of the author ColinB
    I wouldn't concentrate so much on a specific density. Id focus on placing keywords in the header and first paragraph and in image tags. After that, focus on your content quality. Hope this helps.
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  • Profile picture of the author adnanfareed
    I am also using Yoast SEO and I am a big fan of it. I think if you use your target keyword in the title of the post, in the first paragraph and with image than its enough. If you use your target keyword in the above mentioned places then you don't need to worry about the keyword density.
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  • Profile picture of the author mattsuth
    Originally Posted by hentis View Post


    So to boil down to the bedrock of my question - What is the optimal keyword density?

    I've done a lot of work around this and Google has never released a definitive answer. They favour content that is written with the customer in mind so it's not about how many keywords are added to your content.


    Adding a word or phrase multiple times throughout your copy won't get it noticed any more or any less, as long as it's in there so the Google bots can index it, you're doing fine.


    If your copy is stuffed with keywords and not user friendly this will have the opposite effect and you'll actually get penalised.


    My advice with this is to write your content naturally, and then go back and add your key words and phrases once you've finished. This way you'll have a customer-focussed piece that's easy to read AND keeps Google happy.


    Good luck with it all, it really can be a minefield!
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  • Profile picture of the author XenG
    I don't want to be too calculated when it comes to keyword density. I just do the basic - one in the first paragraph, one in the body, and one in the last paragraph. And then I spread all related keywords all over. That's it.
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  • Profile picture of the author shaunybb
    Hey hentis


    To be honest don't even worry about keyword density, you want to worry about


    powerful, engaging content to stand out,


    I use yoast seo and the only metric I look at is "is it green"?


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  • Profile picture of the author desireedavid
    Keyword density is not such a big deal nowadays. Google favors quality content over keyword density. But yes, 1-1.5% is the ideal. With such a small number, I doubt that you would really need to worry about it.

    Write your article naturally, and worry not about keyword density. When you write your content, make sure that grammar is correct and that you observe proper sentence construction. If you try to use keywords so much that the quality of your article suffers from it, then that is a bigger problem to worry about.

    I use Yoast as well, and I love it. Make sure to use your keywords in your tags and title, and you'll be fine.
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  • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
    There is no "optimal" keyword density. Not in any way that can be definitively tested and proven.

    Just look around in the SERPs. You will find a wide range of variations. I've ranked pages with over 12% keyword density, so take that for what it is worth.

    Here is the other thing that nobody knows.... If Google was tracking keyword density, and they have never verified that they do, what counts? Do words in the code count? Do title tags count? Do keywords in image file names count? What about the URL for that link to your Facebook page? If you allow comments, do all of those count because over time that could drastically change your keyword percentage?
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    • Profile picture of the author yukon
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      Originally Posted by MikeFriedman View Post

      There is no "optimal" keyword density. Not in any way that can be definitively tested and proven.

      Just look around in the SERPs. You will find a wide range of variations. I've ranked pages with over 12% keyword density, so take that for what it is worth.

      Here is the other thing that nobody knows.... If Google was tracking keyword density, and they have never verified that they do, what counts? Do words in the code count? Do title tags count? Do keywords in image file names count? What about the URL for that link to your Facebook page? If you allow comments, do all of those count because over time that could drastically change your keyword percentage?


      Don't forget the text-to-HTML ratio.

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      • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
        Originally Posted by yukon View Post

        Don't forget the text-to-HTML ratio.

        Don't be silly. Text-to-HTML ratio is only counted outside of the <html> tag.
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  • Profile picture of the author saravjeet
    Keyword density is the percentage of times a keyword or phrase appears on a web page compared to the total number of words on the page. In the context of search engine optimization keyword density can be used as a factor in determining whether a web page is relevant to a specified keyword or keyword phrase.
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    • Profile picture of the author hentis
      Originally Posted by saravjeet View Post

      Keyword density is the percentage of times a keyword or phrase appears on a web page compared to the total number of words on the page. In the context of search engine optimization keyword density can be used as a factor in determining whether a web page is relevant to a specified keyword or keyword phrase.
      Copy and paste implies that you do not have any ability to form your own thoughts or words. Even a robot can at least alter words slightly.

      So in essence you just ranked yourself lower than a basic robot.
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      • Profile picture of the author SEOGhost
        Originally Posted by hentis View Post

        Copy and paste implies that you do not have any ability to form your own thoughts or words. Even a robot can at least alter words slightly.

        So in essence you just ranked yourself lower than a basic robot.
        Hentis, why are you being so mean to saravjeet? Were you bullied as a kid in school? Grow up and show some compassion towards our wise robotic friend from the far East! Stop being a robotophobic bigot!
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    • Profile picture of the author SEOGhost
      Originally Posted by saravjeet View Post

      Keyword density is the percentage of times a keyword or phrase appears on a web page compared to the total number of words on the page. In the context of search engine optimization keyword density can be used as a factor in determining whether a web page is relevant to a specified keyword or keyword phrase.
      You are so wise, sir! I thought keyword density was how many times your article had the word "key" in it. Thank you for clearing that up for me! Now, I can go edit my articles and take the word "key" out of all of them and they should be in the top spot of Google in seconds!
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      • Profile picture of the author hentis
        Originally Posted by SEOGhost View Post

        You are so wise, sir! I thought keyword density was how many times your article had the word "key" in it. Thank you for clearing that up for me! Now, I can go edit my articles and take the word "key" out of all of them and they should be in the top spot of Google in seconds!
        I will give you a very special present if you rank in seconds.

        And I am mean because this is not a f*ck*ng chat room.
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  • Profile picture of the author seodennis
    Hello hentis,

    The keyword density on longer an indicator of keyword relevance in a web page now. However, you still can rely on the suggestion from Yoast tool.

    The point is Google understand and evaluate the content quality of a web page by not only based on the keyword you put but also the semantic context of your keyword through the page. Google looking for other related or synonyms of your targeted keyword. That is why the keyword stuffing no longer works, and Google penalizes the keyword stuffing practices. So focus on how to create the content that contextually support your targeted keyword.

    I wrote an article about the keywords contextual content. Write SEO Friendly Content with Keywords Contextual Targeting | SEODennis
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  • Profile picture of the author guyfromnb
    I personally make sure that my keyword appear once in my first paragraph. Other suggest also another time at the end. I use LSI keywords, synonyms and related keywords for the rest. I n my sub-headings and text. I'm using Yoast too.
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  • Profile picture of the author SEOtraveler
    I`d recommend you to stick to the idea of creating content naturally, and think quality in the first place. You may also take some top-performing articles for your target keywords and use any tool out there to analyze the approximate keyword-usage of those, then make some adjustments in your content accordingly, without aiming to stuff it from the beginning, and pay attention to the context. Also, a good point to focus on keywords in the alt-texts (and, possibly, rank images as well).
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