A Quick Guide to Keyword Density

Succeeding in SEO without focusing on keywords is tough. If you want to rank high on a search engine results page, your content, including title tags, must contain relevant keywords. However, to increase their reach, many site owners stuff keywords where they are not essential.

What is Keyword Density?

Keyword density in SEO means the number of times a particular phrase appears on your content. The density is calculated by dividing the frequency of a specific phrase by the total number of words used on the web page. Keyword density is important since it tells search engines whether you are stuffing keywords to manipulate the ranking.

What is the perfect keyword density for SEO?

You may have heard SEO experts warn against stuffing keywords. However, there are no rules on the minimum percentage of keywords you can use in specific content. Incorporating keywords one to two times per 100 words is a good practice. It means keywords density of 1% to 2% in content is acceptable.

Keep Your Keyword Density Calculator Handy

So how does a keyword calculator work? It’s a simple calculation that would give you the ratio or percentage of the keyword to your total word count. 

This is how the keyword density formula works: (KWU/TWC)*100; 


KWU= Keywords used

TWC= Total Word Count.

To put it in numbers, this is how the calculation would look like:

 If your total keywords used would be 20 and total word count would be 1000; then the formula would be: (20/1000)*100 

= 0.2*100= 2%

This would mean that your keyword density for a particular keyword or phrase is 2% of the total word count.

When you think about it, 2% seems like a rather small percentage. Is 2% enough and what should be the ideal ratio of keywords in any content? 

Knowing the optimal keyword density helps you understand the benchmark ratio or percentage for ideal keyword density optimization.

Knowing the Optimal Keyword Density

There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to optimal keyword density as long as the keyword density percentage is healthy.

There are different schools of thought when it comes to optimal keyword density. For some, it ranges between 0.5% to 0.8%. Some experts would want this number to be higher; from 0.5% to 2.5%. However, most experts would agree that it should ideally be less than 3%.  

This means for every 100 words that you use to describe your content, you need to use the keyword at least twice.

Check what Matt Cutts has to say about Keyword Density

What Exactly is Keyword Stuffing?

Imagine reading a blog and finding a phrase being repeated with or without context. Every SEO service provider knows that adding the right keywords to a blog or webpage content will help them get better results and rank better in search engines. When these keywords are repeated over and over again, it’s known as keyword stuffing. 

Just because you add a particular key phrase or keyword multiple times doesn’t guarantee that you will be given top rank in Google’s search. This black hat SEO technique may seem like a good idea but will only lead you into the doghouse with Google. You will be violating their quality guidelines, which can lead to penalties and the removal of your webpage from their search engine. 

Not just that, there are also possibilities that your reader would just wonder why a content piece from a trusted source would have keywords repeated often, which would cause them to lose interest in your content. 

Best Practices for Good Keyword Density

  • Think about Your Audience

The adage, the customer is king rules in every industry. Focus on who you are writing for and try to encapsulate their interest first. Once you know who your target audience is, content flows smoothly. Thinking about search engines and rankings will only give you writer’s block, and you will lose the consistency that you have been working on.

Try to put yourself in the reader’s shoes and see if the piece would interest you. Then get an idea about how you would want the content to flow. If the keywords flow smoothly while writing the content, then half your work is done.

Once you have completed your content piece, you can check where you can naturally add the keywords. This would help you reach your keyword density without making it look forced.

  • Add Your Keywords in the Right Place

Once your content flows right, you need to add the keywords and reach optimal keyword density. Before you randomly go on adding keywords to your content, you need to know the right places where you can add them.

Start with the headline: Ensure that the keyword is placed at the beginning of your headline so that the first thing a reader sees while searching is the keyword. This also helps the algorithm of Google to know what your content is all about and allows your content to get a higher search ranking.

In the main body: This is where you can optimize the keywords to reach keyword density. Use it in such a way that it goes well with the flow of your content.

In the URL: Placing keywords in the URL will help you get better rankings, as Google’s algorithms first read the URL.

  • Avoid Keyword Stuffing

You need to avoid keyword stuffing so that you don’t get in trouble with the search engine algorithm and break the flow of your content. 

One of the best ways to do this is to use variations of the keyword within your content. The idea is to look for words that are close enough for the keywords. In addition, you would need to use synonyms, i.e. words that mean the same thing. This would help in avoiding keyword stuffing, and your content would still rank on top of the search.

If you are wondering how this would work, it’s simple. Search algorithms look for related words and not the same words. For instance, if you are writing a content piece about cheap holidays and want to avoid this word, use the word budget-friendly or affordable. It means the same thing, and you have successfully avoided keyword stuffing and still have kept your keyword density at the right ratio. 

  • Create Quality Content

 The above-mentioned tricks would only work if your content is high-quality. Before thinking about keyword density or even avoiding keyword stuffing, you need to have an idea about what your body of content would be.

If they fit in right along with the flow, then you are in luck. If you find yourself struggling to add them, let your words take their course. Finish your content first. This would mean that you have already finished the majority of your work. Once done, read the same and see where you can add the necessary keywords by replacing some already existing ones. This allows you to make necessary changes without compromising on the quality. 

Checking for Keyword Density  

Now that you have an idea about the best practices, how would you check for keyword density? You can do it the old-fashioned way of searching each keyword and then dividing the same by the number of words. 

But this process is quite cumbersome. You would not only lose interest in your work but, at some point, just give in. So how can you check for keyword density?

There are many online tools available at your fingertips to help you with this. 

SEO Review Tools Keyword Density Checker: All you would need to do is type your URL or content and this keyword density checker tells you the ratio of your keywords in your content.

SEOBook Keyword Density Analyzer: Apart from giving you the percentage of keyword density, this free tool also pulls data from the top pages using the same keywords and searches for target keywords in Google. 

Alexa’s On-Page SEO Checker: You will need to enter the URL of your landing page and the keyword that you are targeting. You can only use this checker once your page is live. This helps you understand if you have fully optimized the keyword. You can use their free trial to know if this works for you.


In conclusion, keyword density is important when it comes to keyword optimization. However, you will need to find the right balance between keyword density and keyword stuffing. One way to maintain this balance is to use SEO services, which will help add the right keyword and look into its placement and the flow of content. This way you would be able to boost your rankings and meet your ideal keyword density.

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A Quick Guide to Keyword Density