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How to Calculate Accurately Keyword Density

Updated on November 5, 2012

Keyword density is a word you often hear in about in relation to online writing. Calculate the amount accurately for an article, blog post, or other piece online.

Let the analysis fun begin!
Let the analysis fun begin! | Source
Welcome to the world of Search Engine Optimization.
Welcome to the world of Search Engine Optimization. | Source

What Is Keyword Density?

The phrase is not as vague or complicated as you may think. Remember when you first started to write online. Did you think, "Nah, I don't need to learn about that term"? Well, turns out that the density is important for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Yes, another term you likely heard about shortly after beginning to write online

The Definition

Keyword density refers to the number of times you use a specific term or phrase within a web page as a percentage of the total text on that page.

In The Context of SEO

As it relates to SEO, the density helps determine the relevance of the web page to the specific term or phrase. A web page that has a high SEO rank sits closer to the top of search results on Google or other search engines than a page lower on the optimization scale.

Remember that editing your post to improve its relevance to certain key terms is only one factor in improving SEO for that web page. Combine the equation (yes I am getting to it) with writing quality content, increasing number of backlinks, and HTML strategies.

More about Google

  • Did you know Google releaved mod_pagespeed 1.0? Read what the technology means for your website.
  • Google recently opened up its usability labs to a BBC reporter. Have you seen the video?

Keyword Percentages

Over the years, Google has dropped the number of key terms it "likes" you to use per page. When Google "likes" your page, your link ranks higher in a query using the search engine and you get more views of what you wrote. As Google is the most popular search engine right now, your best bet is to use the percentage it favors.

(That majority rule, however, may soon be under dispute as Yahoo! makes significant changes that may increase its popularity with users).

The consensus for SEO on Google is that your web page have density of 1 to 3 percent. If you go above this number, the search engine may flag your web page as spam and penalize the article by sending it lower in search result rankings. Some SEO professionals argue 2 to 3 percent is preferable; I will leave you to haggle about the 1 percent given the small difference.

Use the equations to figure out percentages for your latest blog post or article.
Use the equations to figure out percentages for your latest blog post or article. | Source

Equation

There are separate equations for a keyword and a key-phrase.

Keyword Density (KD):

KD = (Nkr / Tkn) X 400

Nkr is number of times you repeated key term

Tkn is total words in the post

In simple terms, divide the number of times you used the specific term by total number of words (400 in sample above), and then multiply that total by number of words in the text.

Key-Phrase Density (KPD)

When you use a string of words as "key" to the text, you have a key-phrase. An example is customer acquisition services. Here is the equation:

KPD = (Nkr X (Nwp / Tkn) X 400

Nkr is number of times you repeat the phrase in the 400-word text

Nwp is number of words in the key-phrase

Tkn is total words in the post

Of course, you can use a calculator to figure out the answer, if you prefer. The key-phrase equation may have you wondering though about how a three-word phrase takes up a considerable amount of the text when used repeatedly. The issue is whether a phrase like customer acquisition services should become one grouping rather than three separate terms when analyzing density. For this reason, you can use a key-phrase more times than the above formula allows.

The Benefits

Does calculating keyword density take time?

Absolutely. It can be harder to calculate than writing the article. The time you spend on the task, however, is invaluable.

You learn the basics of Search Engine Optimization and improve the ability of your web page to get natural or organic ranking by top search engines such as Google. The effort can translate into more reads of your post and more traffic to your website. That is a valuable return.

Comments

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    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      An interesting insight to this hub title I have learned something new here a well-approached and an informative hub.

    • ChristyWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Birmingham 

      5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Glad to be able to help with the valuable SEO information here, Mary, F, and Vanaya!

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 

      5 years ago from Nepal

      When I write online, I try to limit my keywords to 10-12 for 500 words article. Thanks for the headway.

    • FSlovenec profile image

      Frank Slovenec 

      5 years ago from San Francisco, CA

      Nice work well written I can use the information right now..thanks

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      This is great. Knowing about keywords and SEO is one thing but actually having a formula to use is another. I have a feeling this formula is going to start being a mantra for a lot of us.

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • ChristyWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Birmingham 

      5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I'm pleased the hub helps you with SEO. Take care, and thanks for the Angels as well

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      5 years ago from sunny Florida

      This is very useful and helpful. I have to bookmark it so I can go back to it and review. I knew some of this but not the formulas so back to the drawing board on that part.

      Thanks for sharing this...

      Sending you some Angels this 30th day of the new year :) ps

    • ChristyWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Birmingham 

      5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks lrc7815! Glad to provide useful information to readers.

    • lrc7815 profile image

      Linda Crist 

      5 years ago from Central Virginia

      Another great and useful hub. Two hubs and I'm a fan.

    • ChristyWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Birmingham 

      5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi Rajan, your hubs are excellent so adding the keywords would boost them even more! One formula is for single words while the second one is for phrases (usually 2-3 words).

      Thanks for the great comments sweetie1, TT, and Collins!

    • profile image

      Collins 

      5 years ago

      Hello ChristyWrites,

      Thanks, i was looking for such information and this is useful.

      Collins,

      Nairobi, Kenya

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 

      5 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      Christy, this is great. I'm bookmarking this so I can use it again and again. Nice job!

    • sweetie1 profile image

      sweetie1 

      5 years ago from India

      Very nicely written hub. The way you shown by the equation make it so easy to understand. I dont get much page views since Google changed their methods couple of months ago.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      5 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Very useful info here, Christy. I need to work on the SEO of some hubs of mine that are doing less satisfactorily. Do we calculate a key word phrase a single entity or otherwise?

      Voted up, useful and interesting and sharing.

    • ChristyWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Birmingham 

      5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks everyone for the wonderful feedback. I am glad that the hub helps many of you understand keywords and key-phrases, as well as how to use them within Google. I hope the info helps boost your hubs if needed!

      Jon, you have given me another idea for a future hub. Do you use the Google Keyword Tool?

      Carol, if your article is about cooking rice, see if you can find similar words to use in place of the phrase. Redundancy is something to avoid in writing regardless of SEO. Instead of cooking try 'making' or 'preparing'. Use an online or paper thesaurus to help if you are stuck for words. Hope that helps!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      5 years ago

      SEO is one thing that online writers, marketers, techs, etc. need to keep on top of at all times. This article is a great piece of news for me and I appreciate your sharing. It is something to keep in mind as we write. This will defintely help to get your articles boosted in the SEO.

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 

      5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Great overview of this important topic!

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 

      5 years ago from Arizona

      My question here is...say you decide on keywords you want to use. What if the title of the article requires you use another phrase a lot. ;;;for clarification purposes. For example...cooking rice..you may need to mention that phrase several times as you are cooking rice. Does that count as using a phrase too much. I am probably not clear. I understood what you wrote, but not about phrase usage. Probably more confusing then ever. Thanks for writing this. I may have to read it about ten more times..but you did a great job on explaining and I am sharing on facebook..voting up.

    • one2get2no profile image

      Philip Cooper 

      5 years ago from Olney

      Very useful hub...thank you.

    • Jools99 profile image

      Jools Hogg 

      5 years ago from North-East UK

      Christy, this is a very useful hub. I still don't have much of a clue about SEO but I really need to get some! I have decided to go over some of my least viewed hubs (and there are MANY!!!) and rejig them using this formula to see if I can improve my traffic. Thanks.

    • JON EWALL profile image

      JON EWALL 

      5 years ago from usa

      ChristyWrites

      You covered keywords and density , can you expand your hub to the value placed on certain keywords?

      Writing articles with higher value keywords will increase your income.

    • profile image

      lovedoctor926 

      5 years ago

      Useful information. I had some knowledge of SEO, but had no clue about percentages or equation. This is a hub worth revisiting. thanks for sharing.

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 

      5 years ago from New York, New York

      Wow, some very good and valuable information here. Thank you as always for sharing, because it truly has given me some enlightenment on this. Of course I have shared and voted up too :)

    • flashmakeit profile image

      flashmakeit 

      5 years ago from usa

      Thank you for writing this article because I really was confused about keywords until I read this article and I am sure it will help a lot of people.

      Vote up and sharing.

    • ChristyWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Birmingham 

      5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks Bill! Your support means a lot as you are a pro in this field. Have a great night my friend.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Believe it or not, Christy, I actually know this. I do SEO articles for a living, so you finally did a hub about something I had some knowledge of. LOL It was bound to happen sooner or later, right?

      Great info my friend!

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