Why I Wish Everyone Would Shut the F**k up About Keyword Density
Okay, so I know that is quite a strong title, but I feel as though it is deserved.
Allow me to explain where this post has come from.
Most of the previous websites that I have built and maintained have offered some product or service.
Therefore, to get traffic to the websites and to generate sales, it was more commercially viable to buy the traffic than relying on SEO (search engine optimisation) and organic traffic.
It just made logical sense.
I could buy the exact type of traffic that I knew had a high propensity to convert into sales, and I could turn it up or down at the push of a button almost instantaneously.
Although SEO and organic traffic were still important, it wasn’t an integral part of my primary game plan. Mainly because it takes a lot of time to build up organic traffic and you have less control over it.
I do have a good amount of knowledge on SEO, but since creating various blogs I realised that I need more in-depth knowledge – in short, I need to become an SEO expert.
Take this website for example, it is not selling any products (yet), and all the content on here is available to read for free. Therefore, paying for traffic makes no commercial sense (at this moment) as it’s an entirely different business model.
So I threw myself into learning more about SEO. I started reading books, taking part in webinars and tinkering with the settings on my own websites.
One of the thing that I keep hearing is keyword density.
It’s the first thing that pops up every time you do any search for SEO, and to be honest, I feel like I’m banging my head against a brick wall because even with my limited knowledge, I realise that there is so much more to it than that.
What is keyword density?
In a nutshell, keyword density is the number of times that your keyword(s) appear in your blog post or content.
You calculate it by dividing the number of times you have used that keyword by the total number of words in the article and then multiplying by 100 to give a percentage.
Why does it matter?
The job of Google Search is to organise the internet and to help us find the information that we’re looking for. We also want that information to be correct and up to date.
Keywords help to tell Google what your content is about and therefore plays a part in helping Google to decide whether it should rank that piece of content if someone searches for that particular keyword.
The penalty box
The place where people go wrong (and consequently why I’m banging my head against this imaginary brick wall) is that they think one of two things:
- The more times a keyword appears in the content, the higher it will rank in Google – FALSE
- There is a magical keyword density of 0.3% or 0.6% or 1% etc. that will automatically springboard them to the top of Google – FALSE
Firstly, forcing your keyword into your content as many times as you possibly can will put you in the category of ‘keyword stuffing’, which is penalised by Google and will instead make your content rank lower.
Secondly, Google isn’t looking for a specific percentage of keywords in your content.
The first couple of times a keyword is mentioned, Google will take note of this, however, after that there are diminishing returns on the impact of your keyword being mentioned over and over again. Until the keyword is mentioned so much, that the content becomes artificial, and falls into the keyword stuffing category as stated above, and Google sends your website to the penalty box.
Just be human
Although keywords are necessary to help tell Google what your content is about, there is no hard and fast rule about how many times your keyword should appear.
There are a so many other ranking factors (at least 200 of them) that Google takes into account and considers in its algorithms than just keywords.
Write your posts in the same manner as though you were explaining the topic to a friend.
Naturally, you will mention your keyword(s) a few times throughout the content anyway – and this is what Google wants you to do!
Don’t try and hack the system, because Google will eventually find out, and in the next algorithm update you will be penalised for it and all your traffic could fall to the bottom of the ocean.
So, as in the title, I wish people would shut the f**k up about keyword density. Just be human, be informative and post on a regular basis.
What do you think keywords in SEO? Let me know in the comments below.