Does Keyword Density Matter In Your Blog?

by A.D Paterson on 28/09/2009

For almost as long as there has been SEO (search engine optimization) the experts have been telling us that you need to optimise the focus of the keywords you use, as well as have a reasonable keyword density throughout the content. So, just how important is the density of your keywords?

The search engines take a lot of things into account when they assess your site, or blog, but most of them are a closely guarded secret known only to the search engines themselves. However, it is known that there are a number of things you can do to your content to improve your site’s ranking.

The search engines will be looking at the content you have on your blog to see if you actually use the keywords you’re trying to rank well for. This has proven to be good in some ways, but not so good in others. In the past people realised the search engines were doing this, so they decided to make sure the content was full of the words that they were trying to rank for. The search engines aren’t so easily fooled, these days.

If you use too many keywords, or at least use the same one too many times, the search engines will start to look at as being ‘unnatural’ or, as far as they’re concerned, as keyword spamming. Even if it doesn’t look unnatural to the search engines there’s a danger that it will be completely unreadable by the people you’re trying to attract, and if they can’t read it they’re far more likely to just leave rather than buy anything you’re trying to promote.

A generally accepted keyword density is somewhere between 1 and 3% of the content, that may not sound like a lot, but, if you have an article that’s 300 words long, and target a 2% density, then you’ll be looking at using the keywords six time. If you were targeting a single word as your keyword then you could easily go over that, but, if you’re using a long tail keyword phrase, then six times should be plenty.

The best places to use your keywords have been shown to be in the title, first sentence of the first paragraph, and the last sentence of the last paragraph. Generally the first paragraph will be an introduction to the article you’re writing about, so it’s perfectly reasonable to have the keyword there. The last paragraph will normally be a summing up or conclusion for your article; again it makes sense to find your keywords there too.

So we can conclude that keyword density does matter. If done right it helps the search engines to index you, without them thinking that you’ve stuff the content full of keywords just to get indexed. Secondly it makes the post/article readable if you keep the keywords to a sensible number. If people don’t find good, useful, readable content on your site they will just leave – and that won’t help you sell anything – so keep the keyword density down.

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