Using Proper Keyword Density

The goal of search engine optimization is to create web pages that will rank at the top of search engine results for high volume converting keywords. Using proper keyword density is one of the factors that search engines will look for to see how relevant your site is for a searched term. The formula to calculate keyword density is (NKWTW) * 100, where NKW is the number of times a specific keyword is repeated in a page of TW (total words).


When optimizing the keyword of a page one must ensure that the page’s main keyword appears in the following HTML elements and at the optimal keyword density.

  • Title Tag: The title tag should appear first in your HTML’s head section. Main keywords should appear here.
  • Meta Description Tag: Is often what a search engines will display in a listing and should contain all your keywords that appear in your title.
  • Meta Keywords Tag: This tag is no longer used by the main search engines as it once was due the spam technique of keyword stuffing.
  • Heading Tags: Heading tags e.g. H1, H2 are important to search engines as they contain the ideas your document is about. Make sure you have at least an H1 on every page in your site and that it contains the appropriate text.
  • Body Content: There are various guides on how many words should appear in your body. SEOBook suggests variations in word count from page to page to make your site appear natural to search engines. At Bruce Clay we consider the first 200 words of higher importance than the rest of the body text. In the end, the best way to determine the figure is to run a Multi Page Analyzer on your competitors that appear first in SERP (explained below).

Overloading your page with a targeted keyword may be considered search engines as spam. Keyword stuffing was a technique used in the past to obtain good rankings. Measuring keyword density using keyword tools such as WeBuildPages or BruceClay SEO Tool KDA will allow you to minimize the over repetition of non-targeted keywords, while ensuring you have the proper density of target keywords as well as not loading your page with irrelevant keywords.

There are recommended rules of thumb for the optimal keyword density but the best method to obtain this figure is to run an analysis of the top positions in SERP for a given keyword and see what Google sees as the best figure. The Bruce Clay SEOToolSet offers a Multi-Page Analyzer that a user can subscribe to.

Keyword Density

Nowadays, keyword density is less of an important variable for search engine rankings, but there are still words you have to include within your content, based on competitor research. For example, you might find that your competitors are using main topic keywords more than others. Or, you may find that they are using sub-keywords a certain way, and you may want to do something similar based on that analysis. Either way, it’s important to consider how words are being used on the page and how best to beat those competitors if you want to obtain higher rankings.

Optimize your SEO strategy: unlock higher rankings by mastering keyword density — discover how proper keyword usage boosts relevance and competitiveness in search engine results. Contact us.

FAQ: How can I effectively use keyword density to improve my website’s SEO?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is key to the success of any website in today’s digital environment. Keyword density plays a pivotal role in SEO and can immediately affect how search engines display results pages for your website. In this article, we’ll show how keyword density can help boost SEO rankings on any site.

Step-by-Step Process for Effectively Using Keyword Density to Improve SEO

  1. Understanding Keyword Density:

Before diving into the practical aspects, let’s clarify keyword density. Keyword Density refers to the ratio between crucial phrases or keywords and total words on a website, usually expressed as a percent.

  1. Quality Over Quantity:

While stuffing your content with keywords is tempting, this approach needs to be updated. Although Google doesn’t penalize for keyword stuffing, they will most likely ignore your page and not allow it to perform well because of this. Focus on using keywords naturally, ensuring they add value to your content and make it reader-friendly.

  1. Research and Select Relevant Keywords:

Utilize keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner or SEMrush to quickly identify the most pertinent phrases or keywords for your content.

  1. Strategic Placement:

Place your selected keywords strategically throughout your content. They should naturally fit into your text and enhance the reader’s experience. Include them in titles, headings, and the meta description.

  1. Keyword Density Formula:

Calculate keyword density using the formula:

Keyword Density = (Number of Keywords / Total Words) x 100

For example, if your page has 500 words and you’ve used your target keyword 10 times, the keyword density is (10 / 500) x 100 = 2%.

  1. Ideal Keyword Density:

While there is no universal ideal keyword density, a safe range is generally between 1% and 3%. However, this can vary depending on your niche and competition.

  1. Monitor and Adjust:

Regularly check your content’s performance using tools like Google Analytics. If your rankings need to be improved, consider adjusting your keyword density, but do so sparingly.

  1. User Experience Matters:

Remember that user experience is paramount. Quality content that keeps visitors engaged will lead to better SEO results, so don’t focus solely on keyword density.

  1. Use Synonyms and Variations:

Rather than overusing a single keyword, incorporate synonyms and variations to make your content more diverse and engaging.

  1. Meta Tags and Alt Text:

Remember to optimize your meta tags and alt text for images with your chosen keywords. These elements play a vital role in SEO.

  1. Mobile Optimization:

Ensure your website is mobile-friendly. With the increasing use of smartphones, search engines prefer mobile-optimized sites.

  1. Backlinks and Internal Links:

Building high-quality backlinks and incorporating internal links can improve your website’s SEO. Use keywords in anchor text where relevant.

  1. Regular Updates:

Keep your content fresh and up-to-date to maintain its relevance and improve SEO over time.

  1. Avoid Duplicate Content:

Search engines penalize duplicate content, so make sure your content is unique and not copied from other sources.

  1. Seek Professional Guidance:

Consider hiring an SEO agency or expert if SEO becomes too time-consuming and complex to manage independently.

Search engine optimization relies on understanding and employing keywords appropriately; however, it must also consider user experience and produce high-quality content for long-term success. Staying up-to-date with algorithm updates and trends to maintain high rankings on search engines.

This article was updated on November 23, 2023.

See aperchorowicz's author page for links to connect on social media.

Comments (3)
Filed under: SEO
Still on the hunt for actionable tips and insights? Each of these recent SEO posts is better than the last!
Bruce Clay on May 8, 2024
The Always Up-to-Date SEO Checklist
Bruce Clay on April 4, 2024
What Makes an SEO Program Successful?
Bruce Clay on April 3, 2024
How Can I Improve My Website Rankings Through SEO?

3 Replies to “Using Proper Keyword Density”


Your forgot what I think is the best tool out there:
They have other interesting tools as well.


Is this post from 2001? Keyword density as you outline it , talking about the “proper density”, hasn’t been a ranking factor for a long time. The engines certainly do language analysis but the simplistic way you’ve outlined has been disputed by many in the SEO space for quite a while. I’m surprised to see Bruce Clay writing about this.

I think your last point is the most salient. As Google becomes more and more advanced in the way it indexes pages, aspects such as keyword density will largely become irrelevant.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Serving North America based in the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area
Bruce Clay, Inc. | PO Box 1338 | Moorpark CA, 93020
Voice: 1-805-517-1900 | Toll Free: 1-866-517-1900 | Fax: 1-805-517-1919