Prior to all of the Google updates, keyword density was a big deal – and still is for some, who aren‘t sure what to do. Online marketers, content developers and SEO firms constantly had keyword density in the backs of their minds, trying to ensure that their websites were well-optimized for their chosen key terms and phrases. Today, according to Google, over-optimization is a no-no. In fact, sites that are overly optimized will be penalized. So, how do you know what a good measure is when it comes to placing keywords within your articles, web pages and blog posts?
It is essential that you use keywords, otherwise search engines wouldn’t be able to determine what your site is about. However, keyword stuffing, a once popular black-hat tactic, is something you should definitely avoid.
So, how should you approach keyword density today? It’s quite simple, really. Here are a few tips:
- There is no single correct answer. No one can say that you should use exactly 2% keyword density. However, it does seem that today, Google prefers sites with a 1-2% density while Yahoo favors sites that have a density of about 3%. The best thing you can do is write content that reads naturally.
- Position of your keywords matters. Rather than sprinkling keywords sporadically throughout your content, it seems that Google prefers pages on which the keyword is used toward the beginning of a title, and in the h1 tag.
- Focus on title, tags and meta description more than density in your main content. SEO experts agree that meta descriptions, tags and titles that are keyword optimized give search engines sufficient clues about your content’s topic.
- Write first and foremost for your reader. Last but not least, develop your content for your readers first. Focusing on keyword density could make your content read in a way that is a bit strange or unnatural to your reader. When a reader notices that one word or phrase seems to jump out often, it’s not a good thing. Write in a way that engages your reader and offers value, and keywords (and related keywords, also important) will fall in naturally.
Keyword density shouldn’t be completely tossed out, but it shouldn’t be your main focus, either. Use these tips when developing your content, and you should experience good results.