Questions? +64 3-288-0216

Check Your Keyword Density Before It’s Too Late

Written on July 3rd, 2014 by

When you’re focusing on creating content around your chosen keywords, it’s easy to get carried away and overuse them.

The number of times your keyword is used compared with the rest of your content is referred to as keyword density — and it’s something you need to be very aware of.

Between using keywords in headlines or sub headlines and keyword variations, you can quickly cross the border into the dreaded land of “over optimization.” If you want search engines to scrutinize your site, there’s no better way than using the same keyword over and over again.

Not all keyword density violations are necessarily SEO related. In many cases, the writer just doesn’t use enough variations or synonyms of their. Sometimes, it’s hard to not repeat the same phrases in your content because there is just no other way you can describe what you’re talking about and still get the point across.

That being said, with a little bit of planning, you can optimize your keyword density and walk that fine line between good SEO and drawing a penalty from the search engines.

Back in the Day

The reason we need to be so aware of our keyword density is because of old-school SEO tactics.

In the “good ol’ days” of the early 2000s, one of the most effective SEO tactics was stuffing your keywords in as many places as possible. The more times you could squeeze that targeted phrase in your title, description, headlines, sub headlines and content, the better chance you had to rank for a keyword.

But the nice folks over at Google (and other search engines) are pretty darn smart and figured out that one. They decided to use keyword density as one method to determine whether a site was trying to game their algorithms and therefore ranked higher than it should.

Most SEOs now understand that you can’t do that. Not only because the search engines don’t like it, but also because your content gets boring and repetitious — and doesn’t help conversions one bit.

Find the Balance

So, where should your keyword density land to be in line with SEO best practices?

Well, there is no set percentage. Everyone’s favorite web spam fighter, Matt Cutts, explains here in this video:

Think of keywords like aspirin. If you have a headache and take two, you will get the ideal result. Taking eight will not help your headache go away quicker. At some point you hit the top of that marginal utility curve and will actually see negative results.

Write naturally and use related terms to make everyone happy.

Keyword Density Tools

Although you don’t need to fret over hitting a particular keyword density, you still want to know if a targeted phrase is being mentioned too much.

You can by all means figure out your keyword density the old fashioned way: Count up your keyword occurrences and divide them by the total word count. But who wants to do that?

Luckily, Traffic Travis has an awesome built-in keyword density analyzer that quickly breaks down your content; identifies one-, two-, three- and four-word keyword phrases; and figures out your keyword density.

Here’s how to find your site’s keyword density using Traffic Travis (get your free download here):

From the main screen, open up your project and click on the “My Site” tab.

Once you have identified the page you want to analyze, click on the “Page Warnings” column entry. This will take you to an analysis of the page’s SEO factors. Scroll down to find the keyword density breakdown.



Get your free copy of Traffic Travis today and keep an eye on that keyword density and so much more!