What is the ideal SEO keyword density?

By February 25, 2015Copywriting, SEO
What is the ideal SEO keyword density?

Is there an ideal SEO keyword density? The short answer is no………………… and yes.

By that I mean there is no magic formula, such as every tenth word should be a keyword and instantly you will appear on the first page of a Google search. Good SEO doesn’t work like that. It’s not so prescriptive. There are no hard and fast rules. However, there are general guidelines on how keywords can be effectively embedded into online copy to boost rankings.

Modern search engines, such as Google, work on the law of diminishing returns. The first couple of times a keyword appears on a website it will help to substantially boost your rankings. Include it a few more times and there might be a further improvement but it won’t be as substantial. Continue to repeat a word and your ranking will plateau and eventually decline. Cramming content and online articles with keywords is a practice known as keyword stuffing and is not the way to get noticed on Google or to endear yourself to your online audience.

For people looking for advice and information about a product or service, there is nothing more annoying than copy where the writer has obviously tried to crowbar in as many mentions of a keyword as possible… “If you are interested in pink thingamabobs then we can offer some good advice on pink thingamabobs because we are a leading supplier of pink thingamabobs etc. etc. etc……..”

For those of us who pride ourselves on crafting copy that is not only optimised for SEO but also reads well and is informative and entertaining – we regard this type of prattle as lazy and self-defeating. It is more likely to have a negative impact on a business’s page rankings than get them up the list.

The way to approach the challenge is to think about the keywords that you would like in your copy and then ensure that the article you are going to write will be long enough to accommodate a couple of mentions of each keyword while still sounding natural. A good way to test whether your article sounds natural is to read it aloud or to get someone to read it aloud to you. This way you will soon hear if where it comes across as clunky or forced.

A preoccupation with cramming as many keywords into a short a space as possible is an unhealthy obsessions and could end up damaging your rankings and visitors’ experience rather than enhancing them. But don’t just take our word for it… Here’s Matt Cutts, (former) head of Google’s web spam team, talking about keyword density:

For a sensible conversation on marketing, web design and search engine optimisation call us now on 01787 464023 or email hello@silver-monkey.co.uk

Author Harry Fitzgerald

Took just 18 months to elevate himself from marketing apprentice to SEO legend, inbound marketing expert and social media marketing guru. Prefers protein shakes to coffee. Fights people in cages in his spare time.

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