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Search engines mainly use keywords and their variations to determine what a web page is all about.
While a high keyword density could mean a page elaborates more on a given topic related to the keyword, stuffing keywords unto a web page can also get it penalized.
The keyword analyzer tool on Serpana provides results for the keyword density and the keyword spread.
Calculations for the keyword spread are determined based on the analysis of a wide array of data.
A high keyword spread would mean a web page has not been stuffed with a given keyword.
The goal is to achieve a high keyword density and a high keyword spread.
You can analyze the web pages of your competitor to see why those pages are performing better than yours in search engines for different search phrases.
Serpana also offers an Advanced SEO Page Analyzer. Check the results from this and that from the Keyword Density Tool in order to beat the competition.
Calculate Ideal Keyword Density Percentage for SEO
What is The Competition Doing?
Whenever you search for something in Google you only see what ranks. You don't see the hundreds or thousands of pages that have been filtered for pushing too hard.
If you are in the dark on what density levels are reasonable, consider patterning your approach after what is working right now.
search for your target keyword in Google
grab 5 of the top ranked pages from the search results
analyze each of them in a separate tab using this tool
Keep in mind that some highly trusted brands rank more based on their brand strength than the on-page content, thus if you are creating content for a newer & less-trusted website you would likely be better off putting more weight on results from smaller & lesser known websites which still managed to rank well in Google.
What Should My Keyword Density Be?
There is no single optimal or universal keyword density percentage. Each search query is unique & search engines compare (or normalize) documents against other top documents to determine some of their specific thresholds. Some keywords like 'credit cards' naturally appear as a two word phrase, whereas other terms may be more spread out. Further, some highly trusted websites with great awareness, strong usage data & robust link profiles can likely get away with more repetition than smaller, less trusted sites can.
As a general rule-of-thumb, when it comes to keyword frequency...
from a trusted corpus of internal content (like someone's internal site search, or a database of select known trusted content authors), higher is generally better
from a broad corpus of external content (like general web search, where many people have an incentive to try to game the system), less is generally better
Google On-page Classifiers
When Google rolled out the first Penguin update in April of 2012, they also rolled out some on-page classifiers which penalized some pages that had excessive word repetition.
Lazy & uninformed cheap outsourced writing tends to be fairly repetitive - in part because people paid by the word to churn out cheap content have an incentive to bloat the word count, no incentive to trim the fat, and no incentive to do deep research. Google's leaked remote rater guidelines tells raters to rate low-information repetitive content poorly.
In this day and age the primary use of these types of analysis tools is not to keep dialing up the keyword density, but rather to lower the focus on the core terms while including alternate word forms, accronyms, synonyms & other supporting vocabulary.
High Density: The upside of aggressive repetition (in terms of helping boost rank for the core term) is fairly minimal & high keyword density increases the likelihood that the page may get filtered.
Low Density (with variation): The upside of greater word variation (in terms of helping boost rank for a wide variety of related words) is significant & lower density on the core terms decreases the risk of the page getting filtered.
The video to the right discusses optimizing your on-page SEO strategy both for conversions & to include keyword variations in the content.
Good vs Optimal vs Overdoing Keyword Density
Due to web spam, density by itself is a fairly poor measure of relevancy (see slides 17 through 20 in this 2004 PDF from Google's Amit Singhal).
Early / primitive search technology was not very sophisticated due to hardward & software limitations. Those limitations forced early search engines like Infoseek to rely heavily on page titles and other on-page document scoring for relevancy scoring. Over the past 15 years search engines have grown far more powerful due to Moore's law. That has allowed them to incorporate additional data into their relevancy scoring algorithms. Google's big advantage over earlier competitors was analyzing link data.
Dr. E. Garcia explained why density was a bad measure of relevancy in The Keyword Density of Non Sense.
Other ranking factors
Search engines may place significant weight on domain age, site authority, link anchor text, localization, and usage data.
Each search engine has it's own weighting algorithms. These are different for every major search engine.
Each search engine has it's own vocabulary system which helps them understand related words.
Some might place more weight on the above domain-wide & offsite factors, while others might put a bit more weight on on-page content.
The page title is typically weighted more than most any other text on the page.
The meta keywords tags, comments tags, and other somewhat hidden inputs may be given less weight than page copy. For instance, most large scale hypertext search engines put zero weight on the meta keyword tag.
Page copy which is bolded, linked, or in a heading tag is likely given greater weighting than normal text.
Weights are relative.
If your whole page is in an H1 tag that looks a bit off, and it does not place more weight on any of the text since all the page copy is in it.
You probably want to avoid doing things like bolding H1 text as it is doubtful it will make a page seem any more relevant.
Excessive focus on density falls short on a number of fronts.
When people focus too much on density they often write content which people would not be interested in reading or linking at.
Lots are queries are a bit random in nature. Roughly 20% to 25% of search queries are unique. When webmaster tweak up page copy for an arbitrarily higher density, they typically end up removing some of the modifier terms that were helping the page appear relevant for many 3, 4, 5 & 6 word search queries.
Semantic related algorithms may look at supporting vocabulary when determining the relevancy of a page. If you pulled the keyword phrase you were targeting out of your page copy would it still be easy for a search engine to mathematically model what that phrase was and what your page is about given the supporting text? If so, then your rankings will be far more stable AND you will likely rank for a far wider basket of related keywords.
Should I Even Use Density Analysis Software?
These types of tools are still quite valuable when used with the right strategies. The above points were referenced trying to fix old issues from outdated tips & was really just mentioning how 'optimizing' for some arbitrary exact density often misses the mark.
Using analysis tools can still help you uncover a lot of opportunities, including:
looking at competing sites and discovering some good phrases (and modifiers) to use in your page content, which you may not have noticed at a cursory glance
helping you to see if a page is way out of synch with top ranked pages
helping you determine if a particular writer is writing naturally or using excessive repetition
we also created this tool to help you compare pages side by side.
When I first got in the SEO game I remember some tools trying to tell me to tweak into these stupid arbitrary exact percentages & realizing (after the fact) how futile that was only fuled my rage toward such software. So we created this free tool to serve the legitimate functions of keyword density tools AND warn against some of the futile (& even counter-productive) uses as well. ;)
Usage Notes on How to Calculate Keyword Density
Default settings: By default this tool...
includes the meta tags
does not show words that are part of the default stop list or terms with 2 or less characters in them.
You can click the check box to turn any of these features on and off.
if a word appears as part of a longer word, the stem may show up under the word count of the core word
this is particularly common for things like the plural version of the word also being counted under the signular version of that word
to help visually highlight where terms appear on the page, you can use our SEO toolbar's highlighting function
Gain a Competitive Advantage Today
Your top competitors have been investing into their marketing strategy for years.
Now you can know exactly where they rank, pick off their best keywords, and track new opportunities as they emerge.
Explore the ranking profile of your competitors in Google and Bing today using SEMrush.
Enter a competing URL below to quickly gain access to their organic & paid search performance history - for free.
See where they rank & beat them!
Using the Keyword Density Analysis Tool
Content matters, not only from an end user perspective, but also from a search engine perspective. The words used on a webpage, including what type (keywords or stop words), how they are used (alone or within phrases) and where they are used (link text or non-link body text), can all influence the value of the page in search. The Keyword Density Analysis Tool, a free SEO tool from Internet Marketing Ninjas, enables you to run a keyword analysis of an existing page on your website. Alternatively, you can even use our free keyword density tool to run a keyword density analysis of a very successful competitor. The keyword density analyzer tool is extremely useful in helping users to refine the keyword distribution within the existing content of their site.
To use the keyword density analysis tool, type or paste a full URL in the text box to view the keyword density analysis of that page. The Keyword Density Analysis Tool returns a detailed report on the text content of the page. The report generated by the keyword density analyzer tool includes:
Number of total words on the page
Number of linked words
Number of non-linked words
Number of stop words or very short words used in the non-linked text
The SEO keyword density tool displays this data followed by two tables containing keyword density usage. The first table of the keyword density analysis shows the most often-used keywords found in all text used on the page, broken down by descending lists of one-word, two-word, and three-word phrases, with a usage frequency count for each word or phrase.
In the keyword density tool’s second table, a subset of the first, the keyword research tool provides keyword density data specifically on non-linked text on a page (which is important because link text is interpreted by search engines as a description of the linked page, making the non-linked keyword text distinction an important facet of the page’s value in search).
In both tables produced by the keyword density analysis tool, the top 10 words and phrases in each column are shown. If there are more data available, the SEO keyword density tool displays a Show/Hide link at the bottom of the column, enabling the additional data to be shown.
What text is counted
The Keyword Density Analysis Tool counts text found in the on-page body text, as well as text used within and heading tags. As a result, you can use this free keyword density tool to see which words and phrases are already used frequently on the page and mirror those words and phrases in the most valuable metadata tags, such as , heading tags, and alt text to improve the keyword relevance.
After running the keyword density tool, you may also find that you need to tweak the content of the page to ensure the most important keywords are used with reasonable frequency–but not to the point of keyword stuffing, which can generate search engine penalties. Use this free keyword density tool to gain insight to the page content you already have. The keyword density tool can also help guide your SEO site review efforts to getting what you actually want and need on the page.
Internet Marketing Ninjas is pleased to offer this free keyword density analyzer tool to SEOs and webmasters. If you found the SEO keyword density tool useful, be sure to check out the other valuable SEO tools available online.
Keyword Density Checker
Using this keyword density tool doesn’t help fix your mistakes, but it does identify your mistakes so you can make the appropriate corrections. What’s unique about this keyword density tool is that you can enter a URL or paste an article, choose the number of keyword results to display, and how many words per phrase (up to 3 words).
In a matter of seconds, your results will display and you can see both the count and density starting with the most frequently used words and phrases. (Keyword density is a calculated percentage based on the number of times a word or phrase is used, compared to the overall word count for that page.)
Keep in mind that SEO elements (including keyword density) should always take a backseat to quality on your web page or article. Otherwise, all SEO efforts are in vain because only pages that are interesting, entertaining, informational, or valuable in any other way will maintain a sustainable presence in search engine results.
However, it is just as important to use this keyword density tool and avoid the extreme of over-optimizing or under-optimizing. While there aren’t any proven guidelines set forth by Google for keyword density, you should keep your primary keyword(s) between 2 and 3%, and secondary keywords (long tail search phrases) between 1 and 2%.
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