How to Calculate Keyword Density in 2020

Importance of Keyword Density in SEO

What should be the Keyword Density

Keyword density is essential for SEO because Google tries to show a list of the most relevant web pages on SERP to a user based on their search query. 

If their search phrase is present within your content, you’ll get a chance to rank on SERP. In other words, the presence of key phrases within your content helps Google understand the context of your content better. 

Suppose you want to rank for any particular keyword related to your niche. In that case, you’ll have to write content or optimize existing ones with the target keyword. 

You also need to ensure that the particular keyword appears naturally a few more times through your content. 

Sometimes, using the exact keyword multiple times within a piece of content may dilute the effectiveness of the entire article; therefore, what you can do instead is use synonyms of your focus keyword to avoid repetitiveness.

What is Keyword Stuffing?

Keyword stuffing is when you keep repeating the same keyword multiple times within your content to the extent that it looks entirely unnatural. 

Earlier, keyword stuffing made reading and deciphering articles hard for the audience, but now search engine bots can detect these irregular patterns and ban the page from the search results altogether.

The following instances are known as keyword stuffing:

  • Deliberately repeating words or phrases
  • Adding words that are out of context
  • Using keywords that are not relevant to the topic of the page
  • Lists of phone numbers without substantial added value
  • Blocks of text listing cities and states a webpage is trying to rank for

Some other practices of keyword stuffing that are carried out by some people are:

  • Repeating the same phrase in the page’s code, meta tags, alt attributes, and comment tags
  • Using text that is of the same color as the page background and hiding it from readers but making it visible to the search engine crawlers. 

Example of Keyword Stuffing

Here is a simple example to understand the concept of keyword stuffing clearly: 

“If you’re looking for the best office bag, look no further. Our brand offers the best office bag that you could want for business or pleasure. With padding in our liners and a special pocket for your car keys and chargers, this is the best office bag.”

Since keyword density is measured,

KR=3, TW=47, NWK=3

KD = ( KR / ( TW -( KR x ( NWK-1 ) ) ) ) x 100

KD = (3 / (47 – (3 x (3-1)))) x 100

KD =  7.31%

Since the maximum threshold should be within 1.5% –  2%, the above example is a case of keyword stuffing-something that Google strongly doesn’t recommend. 

Keyword Density: Best practices to Avoid Keyword Stuffing


To promote a healthy keyword density, here are a few best practices to follow:

Assign a primary keyword to each web page

To begin with, choose a primary keyword related to your content with low competition. 

Once you assign a primary keyword to a webpage, don’t target the same phrase to rank another web page.

This will prevent your web pages from competing against each other for a single keyword and keep your content unique.

Write more than 300 words

To improve the chances of ranking your web page for a given keyword, try writing more than 300 words of content in the body copy. 

Google prefers ranking content that is relevant, accurate and answers the user queries.

Add secondary keywords, LSI keywords, and long-tail keyword variations in the copy

Another way to justify the relevance of your primary keyword on a web page is by adding secondary keywords, LSI keywords, and long-tail keyword variations in the body copy. 

Add your keyword on the right page elements

While doing keyword optimization, it is necessary to note the important places where you must include your keyword- such as the page title, title tag, meta description, first paragraph of the body, on the image Alt tag, etc. 

Use the Appropriate Keyword Density in Your Copy

As mentioned above, try keeping your keyword density around 2% to stay within the best keyword optimization practices laid out by Google. 

Content Quality

Write your content as naturally as possible. Don’t try to write content centered around your target keyword, instead write the content and then try inserting the keywords naturally. 

Make necessary changes in the verb tenses of the keywords to make the content look meaningful. 

Always keep in mind the user-experience before implementing any on-page optimization for keywords. 


Keyword density is one of the most misunderstood concepts when it comes to keyword optimization. 

If you can understand the importance of keyword density for a web page to rank on SERP, you’ll be able to maintain a healthy balance for keyword placement and prevent keyword stuffing. 

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