There are more than 1.6 billion websites online today. Even if your website or business focuses on a seemingly small niche, odds are that there are still thousands, if not millions of sites dedicated to the same topic.

Standing out from the crowd requires SEO optimized content. Unfortunately, with so many factors going into SEO and the algorithms that determine sites’ rankings always changing, this can be a challenge.

One challenge in particular that website owners struggle with is keyword usage. Too many keywords leave your content sounding stuffy, while too few may cause it to rank poorly on search engines.

Keep reading to learn what you need to know to master keyword density on your site.

The Perfect Keyword Density

The perfect keyword density would ensure that your web content doesn’t come across as spammy, yet perfectly aligns with what Google’s algorithms or other search engines are looking for.

Unfortunately, the perfect density doesn’t exist.

This is partly because Google’s algorithms are so secretive. The company rarely gives insight into what they are looking for when determining a website’s ranking. Even the top analytics experts are merely guessing or experimenting with their own websites.

It’s also impossible to determine a perfect density of keywords because so many other factors affect ranking. You could have the right number of keywords and still have a poor ranking because of a bad link, too short of content, too many pages, etc., etc., etc.

Because there is no way of measuring the success of one strategy on its own, free of influence from others, you can’t narrow it down to set a number of keywords to aim for.

Realistic Numbers to Aim For

An exact number may not exist, but that hasn’t kept experts from narrowing down densities that seem to perform well.

As a rule, most experts agree that between 1 percent and 3 percent keyword density is ideal. For shorter content, that lower number is usually best. So if a piece of content is 500 words in length, this would mean that you should use your keyword 5 times.

If your keyword is difficult to use in a natural way in your content, even 5 times can be too many. While it may not hurt your page’s ranking, it can cause readers to feel that your content sounds overly promotional.

To avoid this, try to diversify your use of the keyword by using variations of your keyword phrase. 

Smart Keyword Placement and Usage

While there may not be an exact number of keywords to boost your content, there are other guidelines you can follow to improve your keyword strategy.

One is to consider the placement of your keywords. Spacing them out in your content can help keep them from becoming too noticeable to readers.

You’ll also want to include your keyword at least once in a header, once in your introduction or first paragraph, and once in your conclusion or final paragraph. These placements are important for targeting those algorithms that are searching your page to determine its value and where it should rank.

Mastering SEO and Keyword Strategy

Certain SEO strategies, like not using too heavy of a keyword density, including a few internal and external links, and avoiding repetitive content will likely all remain smart choices in the future. But other strategies are constantly changing to keep up with Google’s algorithm updates.

Staying up-to-date on these changes and updating your strategies can be overwhelming and time-consuming. That’s where professional digital marketing help comes in. Our experts do the research for you, keeping your site constantly optimized for the latest algorithm updates. Check out our services today to learn more.