Keyword Density Definition & Meaning

What Is Keyword Density?

Keyword density is the percentage of times a keyword phrase appears on a web page divided by the total number of words on the page. Keyword density percentages are used in search engine optimization to measure the frequencies of terms and phrases in the content.

Keyword density is also known as keyword frequency and keyword repetition, which is a partial ranking factor for search engine optimization (SEO). If the keyword density for a target term or phrase on a web page is too low, then the content may have trouble ranking for it in the search engine results pages (SERPs).

Search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing use the frequency of keywords to help understand what the content is about so the algorithms can index and rank the page for relevant search queries. However, keyword density in and of itself is not a direct ranking factor for modern search engines because it is too easy to spam with keyword stuffing (i.e., loading a page with a high percentage of keyword phrases in an attempt to manipulate organic search rankings).

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A good keyword density to follow for on-page SEO that represents natural language is to use the primary and secondary keywords one to two times per 100 words. This density level will keep the keyword usage around 1-2%, which won’t be flagged as spam (i.e., keyword stuffing).

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Go to the SEO Glossary to find more terms and definitions that relate to the field of search engine optimization.