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Keyword Optimization: How Important Is Keyword Density in Search Engine Optimization Marketing?

Updated on February 3, 2011

Keyword Optimization: Why Keyword Density Still Matters

As an SEO copywriter, I do my best to stay up to date with what’s going on in search engine optimization marketing. One of the debates going on right now among SEO experts is how important keywords and keyword density is in writing SEO copy.

In discussing SEO writing and the changing rules of search engine optimization marketing, the article An Introduction to the New SEO Copywriting on the highly respected copywriting blog,, states:

While keywords are still vital, search engine algorithms have evolved to treat the trust and authority of your domain, what others think about your content, and the words they use to describe it in links as more of an indication of quality and relevance.

As this demonstrates, while keywords are important in writing SEO copy, other factors play a major part also.

Besides keyword density, what are some of the factors of search engine optimization marketing webmasters need to be aware of to get their sites to rank well? As outlined above, there’s:

Search Engine Optimization Marketing: Factors that Matter Other than Keyword Density

(i) The trust and authority of your domain: As in, the quality of the content on it and how long it’s been around;

(ii) There’s backlinks. This plays into the “what others think” factor listed above. If web surfers think you have quality content; they’ll pass it along; and then there’s

(iii) Anchort text; as in, does the link really click out to even more relevant, quality content?

In essence, besides keyword density, there are a “community of factors" that go into putting together a successful search engine optimization marketing campaign. No one factor is evaluated in a vacuum.

Keyword Density & Search Engine Optimization Marketing: Why SEO Experts Disagree

In my opinion, the reason the disagreement about keyword density in SEO copy even comes up is because a lot of search engine-optimized content is simply horrible. In their quest to get to the top of search results, many online marketers use crappy, keyword stuffed copy that doesn’t make any sense.

What they’re trying to do by doing this is write a piece of copy with a certain keyword density so that search engines will return that page high in results. And, they abandon the end user in the process, writing strictly for search engines and not “real people.”

SEO experts are now saying this is not necessary; that keyword density matters less than writing quality, relevant, link-worthy content.

Why Keyword Density Still Matters in Search Engine Optimization Marketing

As an SEO writer, I agree with this – to an extent.

In my opinion, keywords (and achieving a certain keyword density) are still important in writing SEO copy.

But the copy should always be written with the end user in mind, not search engines. This means incorporating keywords naturally into copy so that it flows and reads well.

Not to complicate this discussion too much or beat a dead horse, as we’ve said here, but search engines also judge how relevant a web page is (hence how high to rank it in search results) based on other factors of a domain as well.

To illustrate using an example, take my freelance writing site, Obviously, it’s a niche site, has been online for a long time (since 1999), and has a lot of content about freelance writing on it.

So if I publish a piece of content about “freelance writing” on my site – and don’t optimize it to any particular keyword density – then the article still has a chance of ranking pretty high in search results because the site has been around a long time and has hundreds of pages of copy about this subject on it.

But if you have a brand new site about freelance writing – even if you optimize every piece of content for a certain keyword density -- my site may still outrank yours (at least for a while) because of the factors listed above.

Hence, keywords and keyword density are – in my opinion – very important to start getting good search engine rankings.

As a site matures and adds more copy, keywords and keyword density may not matter as much as other factors in your search engine marketing optimization efforts. Again, I just wanted to point out the debate raging and why I think keyword density is still important.

Keyword Optimization: Tool for Calculating Keyword Density

Want to easily calculate keyword density for a piece of SEO copy? Here’s a nifty little keyword tool for doing so.


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    • Riob profile image

      Riob 7 years ago from United States

      Nice hub,thanks for share

    • searchengin profile image

      searchengin 7 years ago from New Zealand

      I liked this hub very much!

    • G Miah profile image

      Gous Ahmed 8 years ago from Muslim Nation

      Excellent information, thank you!