What Is Keyword Density? And Why Does It Matter?

SEO Writing

One of the questions we most commonly get asked by clients is “what’s an optimal keyword density?”.

Keyword density is a familiar sounding phrase that’s kind of lost relevance in the modern world of SEO – so today we’re going to quickly clear a few misconceptions up.

What Is Keyword Density?

Keyword density is a reasonably simple concept. As you might have guessed from the name, it’s the number of times a keyword appears in a body of text (in this case, a blog post). Keyword density is measured as a percentage – if you mentioned your keyword twice in a body of text 100 words long, you would have a keyword density of 2%.


What Is A Good Keyword Density?

5 years ago this would have been a valid SEO question, back in the day around 3% to 5% was considered acceptable (depending on who you asked) but as the years have gone by and Google has gotten smarter – it’s now irrelevant.

Older SEO techniques involved trying to “keyword stuff” (force) keywords into a post to make Google realize the content is relevant to the topic (in an attempt to achieve this golden 3% to 5% density).

However, this no longer works.

What’s Changed?

These days Google is smart enough to figure out the topical relevance of a piece of content without having to read a bunch of keywords. It’s close to understanding the natural language version of a page instead of just matching phrases.

Stuffing keywords into an article artificially when you’re writing an SEO article is a big no-no in the world of SEO today.

If Google catches you doing it too much, you’ll get penalized in the search results and have a much lower position than you would otherwise have achieved.

So Does Keyword Density Matter? What Should I Do?

Yes keyword density matters, but not in the way you’d think…

You should never attempt to stuff keywords into a blog post for the sake of SEO. Write your best quality content that flows naturally. Forget the concept of keywords exists almost entirely.

Google’s advice is to “write for humans, not for robots” – and in 2018, that’s exactly what you should do.