This search engine optimization (SEO) guide answers the question, “what is a good keyword density for SEO?”
Below, you’ll find out what the ideal percentage is for keyword density to improve a website’s search engine rankings and get a list of other factors to consider about keyword density in SEO.
There’s also a section with additional resources that explain more about the fundamentals of keyword density to help you create the most effective search engine optimization strategy.
What Is a Good Keyword Density for SEO?
A good keyword density is 1-2 keywords for every 100 words of text. This results in a keyword density of around 1-2% which is considered to be a good percentage for on-page SEO without keyword stuffing.
However, keep in mind that there is no best keyword density for SEO. Some web pages rank high in the search engine results pages (SERPs) for their target queries with a 1% keyword density while others have 5% or more.
If you’re using your keyphrases naturally throughout the content while also optimizing specific HTML elements on the page for keyword prominence, then you should have no issues with over or under-optimizing the web page for a specific keyword density percentage.
With that being said, most SEO experts agree that less than 3% density is a good number to aim for the target keywords on the page with 1% being the average sweet spot for SEO.
Is High Keyword Density Bad?
High keyword density is bad because you’ll potentially overstuff the content with the target keyword. As a result, the readability and user experience can suffer and search engines may see high keyword density as an indicator of web spam called keyword stuffing.
Is Low Keyword Density Good?
Low keyword density is not necessarily good because it may indicate that the content has low relative importance for the keyword. As a result, low keyword density could impact the indexing and ranking of the content in the SERPs for relevant search queries.
As mentioned before, there is no ideal keyword density for Google’s algorithm or any other search engine. However, a good practice is to aim for at least 0.05% to 1% keyword density as a bare minimum for the SEO keywords you’re targeting on the page.
What Happens When Keyword Density Increases?
When keyword density increases, it indicates that the web page is more likely about that keyword topic. The higher the keyword density value increases the more times a specific keyword appears on the page, indicating it’s an important term for the subject matter.
However, if keyword density increases too much, then it could lead to a manual or algorithmic penalty by the search engines. Machine learning and information retrieval systems use a numerical statistic called TF-IDF (Term Frequency-Inverse Document Frequency) to quantify the importance, relevance, and the typical number of times a keyword phrase is used in a web page document compared to the collection of similar documents in the search index.
That means if your content has a significantly higher percentage of keyword density than competing web pages, then it may seem unnatural and cause a spam filter to be applied to the content.
Does Keyword Density Affect SEO?
Keyword density does affect SEO although it’s no longer a direct ranking factor for search engine algorithms. Good SEO focuses on both keyword usage and keyword prominence which together affect the indexing and rankings of content in the SERPs.
In the early days of the Internet, keyword density mattered a lot for on-page SEO because search engines counted the frequency of a term in the HTML document to measure how relevant it was for users’ search queries.
However, that flaw in earlier versions of search engine algorithms led to a spamming technique called keyword stuffing, where website owners would repeat a keyword phrase multiple times in the content in an unnatural way to increase rankings in the SERPs.
Modern search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing now use a process called semantic search to understand the intent and meaning behind the content on a web page; not just the number of times a keyword is used in the content. This means that keyword density is less important for ranking a document in search engines and has been replaced by semantic SEO practices.
Semantic SEO refers to the practice of optimizing content for a topic instead of a keyword. This is done by including semantically related phrases, entities, and facts that are closely related to the subject matter to establish relational relevance.
To bring it all together, good keyword density is important for SEO, but it can’t be taken out of the context of written copy. Instead of just trying to use the keyword as many times as you can on the page, the content must also meet user search intent, have high topical relevance, and include the connected entities the search engine crawlers expect to find in the content.
Learn More About Keyword Density
The links below explain more about keyword density and how to use it correctly for better search engine optimization. Use these resources to expand your knowledge on the subject.
Good Keyword Density for SEO Summary
I hope you enjoyed this guide answering the question about what is a good keyword density for SEO.
As you discovered, the ideal percentage for keyword density is 1-2 keywords for every 100 words of text which is around 1-2%. This keyword density range is considered to be a good average percentage to aim for with on-page SEO without reaching the term frequency level that’s considered to be keyword stuffing.