Optimum SEO Keyword Density ? A Real-Life Case Study

So you've built your website, you know what keywords you want to target (i.e. what words your customers are searching for), and you're ready to write your copy. You've been told that you should use your keywords frequently so that you appear in search results for those words. But what does "frequently" mean?

How many times should you use your primary keyword? This case study helps answer that question.

Some background on "Keyword Density"

In order to understand optimum keyword usage, we first need to have some way of measuring keyword frequency. In the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) world, frequency is actually referred to as density. Keyword density is a measure of the number of times your keyword appears on a page expressed as a percentage of the total wordcount of that page. For example, if your page has 100 words, and your keyword phrase appears 5 times, its density is 5%. So when you hear someone say "keyword density", that's normally what they're talking about. (TIP: You can automatically check the keyword density of your page at LiveKeywordAnalysis.com.)

However, there is another, more complex measure of keyword density which takes into account the text components in the HTML of the page (i.e. the meta tags: Title, Keywords, Alt Text, Description, and Comments). When using this measure, you don't just count the words your visitor sees; you also count the words in your meta tags. For example, if you have 100 words on your home page, 10 words in your Title tag, 20 words in your Description tag, 70 words in your Alt tags, and 10 words in your Comments tag, your total wordcount for the page is 100 + 10 + 20 + 70 + 10 = 210. Similarly, when counting keywords, you don't just add up the number of times a visitor will see your keyword, you also count the number of times that keyword appears in your meta tags. For example, if your keyword appears 5 times in the home page copy, 3 times in the Title tag, 5 times in the Description tag, 30 times in your Alt tags, and twice in your Comments tag, your total keyword count is 5 + 3 + 5 + 30 + 2 = 45. So with a total wordcount of 210 and a keyword count of 45, your keyword density is 45/210 x 100 = 21%. It is argued that this measure of keyword density is more relevant as the search engines measure density in this fashion. (TIP: You can automatically check the keyword density of your page using this more complex measure at GoRank.com.)

As you can see, you need to be very aware of which measure you're talking about when you're talking "keyword density". But let me reiterate; mostly when people talk about keyword density, they're talking the simple measure.

What is the optimum keyword density

And now down to business? What keyword density (of either kind) should you be targeting on your website?

There's a lot of debate surrounding this issue because the search engine companies don't disclose the details of their algorithms (as that would allow people to abuse the system). Instead, people working in the SEO world are left to figure it out based on their experience.

A recent article by respected SEO and Blog expert, Wayne Hurlbert, (see Keyword Density: SEO Considerations) suggests that Google sees pages with a keyword density of greater than 2% as spam. It was this article which prompted me to analyze the keyword density of my copywriting website.

CASE STUDY

The Website: This case study analyzes the website for my advertising copywriting and SEO copywriting business, Divine Write ? http://www.divinewrite.com. For my primary keyword, my site is now on page 1 of Google.com (out of approximately 900,000 search results).

Number of pages on site: At the time of writing, my website contained a total of 53 pages.

Primary keyword phrase: "copywriter"

Average keyword density: Using the simple measure of keyword density discussed above, the average keyword density of my copywriting website is 1.9%. Using the complex measure it's 4.9%.

Keyword density range: Using the simple measure, my density ranged from 0.4% to 7.6%. Using the complex measure it ranged from 1.6% to 17.5%

Some comments on the figures

? The figures and corresponding ranking detailed in this case study may not be directly relevant to every site. There's a lot I don't know about the algorithms and there are bound to be other factors at play which I don't know about.

? With regard to Wayne Hurlbert's article, it would seem that he is referring to keyword density as calculated using the simple method discussed above.

? The range figures are noteworthy because they suggest that you don't need to be paranoid about having some pages with a very high density and some with a very low density.

Conclusion

A simple keyword density of 1.9% can be enough for a first page ranking in Google.com (assuming you have enough quality backlinks ? see http://www.divinewrite.com/SEOCEO.htm and http://www.divinewrite.com/seoarticles.htm for more information).

Happy SEO writing!

Glenn Murray is an advertising copywriter and SEO copywriter and heads copywriting studio Divine Write. He can be contacted on Sydney +612 4334 6222 or at [email protected]. Visit http://www.divinewrite.com for further details or more FREE articles.

In The News:

SEO in 2020: Going Beyond Google  Search Engine Journal
How Hackers May Be Hurting Your SEO  Search Engine Journal
5 Ways SEO & Web Design Go Together  Search Engine Journal
How to Beat Big Brands in SEO  Search Engine Journal
Long Tail Keywords and SEO  Search Engine Journal
Lawyer SEO Benefits When Using SEO Vs PPC  Legal Desire News Network
What Does It Mean to ‘Do SEO’?  Search Engine Journal
What Is Technical SEO?  Business.com
Can SEO Be Made Predictable?  Search Engine Journal
Why should get to know BERT?  Bizcommunity.com

How To Avoid The 3 Biggest Title Tag Mistakes With Search Engines

Your title tag is the most important 3 to 12... Read More

The Hottest Tip On Getting A Web Site Listed Quickly by Yahoo, Inktomi, MSN, FAST and AltaVista

Every webmaster knows that the free search engines are a... Read More

See How The New Kicked Up Google Sitemap Can Get You Indexed Faster and Ranked Higher!

Does Creating a Google Site Map and Telling Google About... Read More

Link Popularity Explained and How To Build Links

Link popularity is the single most influential factor for determining... Read More

How You Can Easily Compile A Gigantic Keyword List

It doesn't matter what kind of marketing you are involved... Read More

Webmaster-Friendly Google Operators

There are a lot of operators (commands you can enter... Read More

Search Engine Optimization that Works in the Long-Term

Search engines are constantly tweaking their ranking algorithms and when... Read More

How To Design A Search Engine Friendly Website

There are many websites that fail to target their required... Read More

How My Page Rank Went From 0 to 5 In One Update - How Yours Can Too

Increase Your Google Page Rank!Page Rank. We all know what... Read More

Googles Back Door... Get Your Website Indexed Quicker!

It's the buzz word's going across the internet marketing guru's... Read More

How To Get Listed In Google For Free

Google does not accept payment for inclusion in their main... Read More

Search Engine Optimization For Blogs

Blogging software is really a simple Content Management System (CMS)... Read More

Search Engines - The Dominant Factor

Let's face facts - Search engines are starting to rule... Read More

SEO Expert Guide - Sitewide Optimization (part 4/10)

In parts 1 and 2 you learnt how to develop... Read More

Search Engine Visibility - The Mantra of Corporate Profitability

The corporate fundamentals are par excellence! The product is unsurpassable... Read More

The Write to Link Popularity

Incorporating writing as a means of boosting your link popularity... Read More

Five and a Half Ways to Amp Up Your Search Engine Optimization

Statistics show that 85% of pages visited on the Internet... Read More

10 Ways to Tackle Keyword Research and Selection

You need to be extremely careful with keyword research so... Read More

The Best 7 Steps To Get A Top Google Ranking Guaranteed

Google returns more search results then any other search engine.... Read More

Look Out MSN Search, Here Comes Gbrowser

It is official, the search engine wars are in full... Read More

Search Engine Traffic Domination - How to Turn the Search Engines into Your 24/7 Salesmen

Getting your website returned by the search engines as a... Read More

Common Sense Approach to Search Engine Optimization

Most web surfers start their sessions at a search engine... Read More

Why Articles Are Not The Route To High Search Engine Rankings

If you have any interest in getting high search engine... Read More

Is New MSN Search More Precise? Just Ask Google

MSN finally unleashed its new search technology to the world... Read More

What Is Waiting for Us? Tomorrows SEO Industry

Today, SEO is swiftly approaching saturation point. More and more... Read More