The Ideal Keyword Density for Ranking

The question we have in front of us is what is an appropriate or ideal keyword density? You will find so many blogs and texts that are covering this topic right now. And we as SEO professionals had to give you our piece of mind. Also, we will include some articles where you can continue your research later on. Even while there are no concrete standards for keyword density further than the ever-relevant “do not keyword stuff” guidance, many search engine optimization (SEO) specialists advise employing about 1-2 keywords for every 100 characters of material. That translates to a keyword density of somewhere between one and two percent.

Let’s take a look at SEO

When we look at search engine optimization (SEO), we can see that keywords are a vital part of every strategy. With the right implementation, keywords will improve the ranking on search engine result pages (SERP). Without them, the webpage will be unable to rank. If you use them the wrong way, it can even lead to penalties. This is why we need to understand keyword density significance. In theory, keyword density can help you leverage your website’s on-page optimization. However, the ideal density is a relative term when it comes to keywords. Since many search engine ranking algorithms are changing over the years, the concept of ideal keyword density for rankings is different than it used to be. It might not impact your SEO the way you expect, especially in the post-Panda world.

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The ideal keyword density theory

You can find many resources and tips about SEO. Among them, various experts are discussing the ideal density of keywords throughout the page. Some will claim that the perfect range is somewhere between 1-2%, while others will go as high as 5%. The truth is, everyone is making assumptions based on their personal opinions. This leads to the conclusion that no one is definitely sure about the perfect percentage.

To prevent abuse and exploitation from various parties, the exact information is kept secret. However, everyone is right when they say that keyword density is important. Not so much as it used to be, but it still plays an important role. Does it affect Google rankings? The answer is both yes and no. Maybe not in a simple way that will make it a major ranking factor, as we would expect. But, in combination with other elements like the quality of content, user experience, and such, it makes a website more relevant.

A monitor with search terms when you browse.
There is a lot going on “under the hood” when we search terms in browsers.

Keyword – what is it?

Let’s say something about what the keyword is. In general, it can be a single word or a certain combination of words in which the meaning of the content is defined. For the website, those words are keys that help search engines connect the page with the relevant terms. The better the optimization is in general, the higher the page will rank when users are searching for a term. For example, if you have a business like a pet shop in Miami, the keyword for your website’s homepage will probably be something like “best pet shop in Miami”.

So, what is keyword density?

Simply put, it’s the number of times the keyword is showing on a page, or in the article. It’s usually a percentage that represents the frequency of the keyword in relation to the number of all words. This density, it’s something search engines use to determine the relevance of the page or the article.

A laptop with various tools on a desktop.
You can find plenty of available tools online to help you with SEO.

How to calculate the keyword density?

Calculating the percentage of keyword density is nothing hard. In essence, you take the number of times the keyword appears on the page and divide it by the sum of all words on a particular page. Finally, you multiply the given number by 100 and the result is the percentage number. For example, if some page has 1500 words, and the keyword is showing 30 times, then the keyword density, in this case, would be 2%.

“(30 / 1500) * 100 = 2” where the final result is a percentage (%).

“(number of times keyword repeats / sum of all words) * 100 = percentage result”

Of course, this can be tremendous work to do for websites that have a lot of content. Or, if you need to manage multiple Google Business accounts, for example. In that case, you can use one of the keyword density checker tools from websites like:


This is the listing of just some of the best keyword density checker tools in 2020, that can help you analyze the keyword density of your webpage.

Is there an ideal keyword density?

Unfortunately, there is no straight answer to this question. Search engines do not publicly announce the right number. So, it’s up to you and the specialists to try to find the best practices. However, most people believe that this number is somewhere between 1-2%. This is, probably, the safest range you should use in most cases. If you use less, you risk low ranking. If you use more, search engines might interpret it as “keyword stuffing” and issue a penalty to the page.

Here are a few “agreed assumptions” experts are collecting over years:

  • There is no “one percentage fits all” to rank high
  • Ideal keyword density, or optimal, can differ from page to page
  • Natural content with a few keywords is probably the best practice
  • Repeating or “keyword stuffing” is considered a bad practice
  • The focus should be on creating high-quality and engaging content

What is keyword stuffing?

At first, when SEO was still a relatively young term, keyword stuffing was a widely spread and popular technique. Filling the text, content, and web pages with keywords was simply overwhelming. Given that this practice produced plenty of unnatural and awkward content, the user experience was terrible.

Today, this process of repeating the same keyword over and over again, finally came to an end. Since search engines are, even now, implementing advanced AI algorithms to help with ranking, stuffing is obsolete. Even if someone continues to do it, it’s counterproductive. Overall, you should focus on better user experience and quality content to improve your ranking.

To conclude, many experts are saying that there is no ideal keyword density, and search engines agree. Instead of focusing on keyword density as a sheer percentage, optimization should be oriented toward general quality. This means creating content, the usefulness of information, and better user experience are the future. However, even though keyword density is a remnant of old optimization techniques, it still has its value. Eventually, you can use it as a marginal value to avoid bad practices, like stuffing. Also, you can focus on using varieties, like long-tail keywords, LSI keywords, and such. Which, in the long term can lead to better results, and better ranking, after all.

Traffic sign “stop” as a warning.
People should stop using bad practices, they can only hurt their ranking.

Keyword density tools

While you may determine keyword density on your own by tallying up the total number of times a given keyword appears on each page of your site, doing so can rapidly become laborious and resource-intensive once your site grows and the number of pages increases. To facilitate this, keyword density tools have been developed. Options that could be considered include the following :

  • SEO Review Tools Keyword Density Checker
  • Copywritely Keyword Density Checker
  • SEOBook Keyword Density Analyzer
  • Semrush’s On-Page SEO Checker
Tools on the table
Nowadays there are tools for everything!

SEO Review Tools Keyword Density Checker

To use this no-cost, browser-based keyword density analyzer, all you need to do is enter a URL or some text from a page, and then prove you’re not a robot by clicking the appropriate box. This is a wonderful approach to gaining an overview of the current keyword density, even if it doesn’t provide in-depth analyses of some of the other choices. This checker in SEO Review Tool provides a visual alert for words that appear too frequently, allowing you to quickly identify which ones should be reduced. It also allows you to filter out certain phrases and breaks down the keywords by word count. This is not everything you need to know about keyword research tools. Keep reading.

Copywritely Keyword Density Checker

There’s a chance this is the greatest resource available for newcomers. The keyword density analyzer in Copywritely highlights your most frequent terms in different colors. Unlike some of the other available tools, this one doesn’t let you choose whether or not to incorporate meta descriptions or filter out stop words. That said, it serves admirably as a stepping stone tool. Copywritely is a wonderful alternative for a speedy, glance-able keyword density check due to its ease of use and straightforward design. After that, you may sign up for a Copywritely service to edit your work and double-check for mistakes. Another thing you need to pay attention to is the competitors’ keywords! It is crucial when analyzing your keywords.

SEOBook Keyword Density Analyzer

The SEOBook Keyword Density Analyzer is another free tool you can use to conduct the same thing, however, it does require an account to access. This is ideal for the ones who do not like commitment. Search Google for your target keyword, collect data for the top five pages that use the same keyword, and compare your keyword to theirs using this tool to see how you fare. As to why we like this tool – Keyword density analysis in SEOBook can be performed with or without meta-data and with or without common “stop words” (such as “does,” “a,” “the,” and so on). An optional minimum word length restriction is also available. That lets you choose a maximum allowed a number of characters for each word.

Semrush’s On-Page SEO Checker

The “keyword phrase usage” feature of Semrush, a robust on-page SEO checker, does a keyword density check. Along with gauging keyword density, the application provides comprehensive site crawls, reports, and scans,  as well as automated SEO checks and reports. Plus, you can use it to evaluate how your keyword density stacks up against that of your competitors. A monthly subscription begins at $119.95, so it’s not cheap. Semrush is more than simply a keyword density checker. It’s a robust SEO tool that can aid you in every step of on-page SEO. That includes comparing your site to the competition. Finding out how frequently rivals use a given keyword is now possible. Following the norms of your field will bring you closer to their levels of performance. Now you need to research keyword optimization for SEO. This will help you improve your ranking.

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We have one more thing to say before we go…

Before we say goodbye

There is no way around using keywords in your SEO campaign. That’s why we devote so much blog space to discussing them. For a website to go to the top of SERPs (search engine results pages), it has to have relevant content, an optimized design, and rank well for the appropriate keywords (SERPs). As a result, it’s not surprising that a great deal of search engine optimization guidance revolves around keywords: Doing your homework before choosing and ranking for keywords can increase user engagement and overall sales. Why? The reason is pretty simple –  keywords drive searches. People demand search engines return relevant results when they type in a keyword that matches their broad purpose while looking for a product or service. While search engines like Google increasingly think about things like location and page.

Authority, which is measured in part by the number of people who visit your page and then in part by “dofollow” connections from credible websites that refer back to your page, and an ideal keyword density continues to play an important role in website success. Here’s the catch: You can’t simply “pack” quite so many keywords into your article and expect dependable results. It doesn’t work that way. This method is called keyword stuffing. It is a black-hat SEO tactic that can lead to punishments and possibly removal from the SERPs.

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