The ideal keyword density in 2020 was 0.5% to 1% and we expect this to stay the same in 2021.
This means a keyword appearing 3 to 6 times in a 600-word article or 5 to 10 times in a 1,000-word article.
What is keyword density?
Keyword density is the number of times a specific keyword appears in a piece of content relative to the number of words on that page.
For example, if ‘sleepsuit’ appeared 18 times in 600 words, the keyword density would be 3% (for what it’s worth, that’s way too high).
Why is keyword density important?
Ask an SEO expert what steps you should take to rank high in the search engines and high-quality content will be first on the list.
It’s important to nail keyword density because mentioning keywords too often, or too infrequently, will impact the ranking potential of that content in Google.
Here’s the bottom line: go in too hard with keyword density and Google will think you’re keyword stuffing. Go in too soft and Google probably won’t pick up on the keywords you want them to.
Why does Google care about keyword density?
Quality is one of the steps to a Google-friendly site.
To rank for a specific keyword, your content needs to be both of high quality and relevant.
One of the ways to achieve the latter is by engineering keywords into your content and repeating them.
However, if you repeat them too often you will be keyword stuffing. This can get you penalised by Google.
The ideal keyword density is 0.5% to 1%.
We base this on having written hundreds of high-ranking web pages since the turn of the year.
1% is enough for Google to take notice without appearing spammy.
0.5% may sound low but mentioning a keyword at the top of an article, in the middle, and at the end is natural.
Your keyword will probably be in a heading too. So let’s call it 4 keyword mentions in 600-words or 10 in 1,000-words.