Firstly, need to make sure you know what a keyword is.

Briefly, a keyword is a term someone would type into a search engine when looking for something. So, the first thing to notice is that although we talk about a keyword it could in fact be a phrase or group of words for example, “internet marketing”. In this article, I will talk about “keyword” to mean a single word or a group of words.

This means that when building a web page we need to know what the keyword for that page is. Notice that I am talking about a web page and not a website – each page can have its own keyword and a site can therefore have many keywords.

Technically, the keyword is stored in the HTML as what is called a meta-tag, and then it is used throughout the content of the page. 

That is the basic definition.

Keyword Density Calculation

Keyword density is a statistic, that is stated as a percentage of the total number of words on the page, that tells you the number of times the keyword appears on the page. For example, if your keyword appears 10 times on a page of 750 words the density would be 1.33% (10/750*100). It is worth pointing out that the word count is the actual content of the web page it does not include the HTML.

So, it is easy to calculate:

  1. Put the content of your page into an editor such as Microsoft Word.
  2. Use the editor’s word count facility (for Word it is Review -> Word count)
  3. Count the number of times the keyword is used
  4. Divide that by the total number of words and multiply by 100.

You should be aiming for a keyword density of no more than 4 – 5% but you should also be aware that the search engine also expects the keyword to be used “properly” i.e. as in normal language and not forced. 

Remember that each page on your site will have its own keyword (or there may be cases where it has more than 1) so you need to do the calculation for each page.

Why is Keyword Density important?

Well, the main reason we explained above – it means the search engine knows to show your page when someone enters the word. 

So, I hear you ask – why can’t I just have the keyword lots of times on the page? The search engines rank pages based on the content on the page – if you have the keyword too many times it is known as “stuffing” and you will get penalized for it – your page won’t appear in the search results so you have defeated yourself.

In Summary, keyword density is one of the means of getting your web page found on search engines.

If you have any questions or comments please complete the form below and I will get back to you.

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