“How many keywords to use on a webpage” is a question that has caused many restless nights for online marketing business owners and SEO experts for quite some time. Thankfully these days it is not as much of a nightmare as it was in the past.
Generally, the answer has varied from time to time, and person to person. Opinions often fluctuate every time a search engine updates their algorithm it uses to rank websites. Since this occurs usually once or twice a year for the major search engines, SEO experts often end up feeling like they are in the middle of a game of keep away with search engines, trying to ‘get the ball’ before they can pass it off again.
The amount of keywords on each page is known in online marketing as the ‘keyword density‘ of a page. This usually represents the amount of times the keyword appears compared to the total amount of text on the entire page. In 2004, Google wanted a keyword density of 10% to 15%. In 2005, the number decreased to 1% to 3%. If you had a site with 10,000 pages for example, this wasn’t too appealing since every page have had to be changed to accommadate Google’s wishes.
SEO has generally been a war between search engines and the experts in the industry which try to do anything they can to get around the loopholes of search engines. Search engines know people are trying frantically to get high rankings by figuring out their complicated algorithms. They often don’t mind if people do it ethically, but they are concerned that people will find a loophole in their algorithm, and get low quality pages ranked very high. To avoid this, they constantly make changes.
Google obviously has the most traffic for all subjects, including an online marketing business; so you always want concentrate on optimizing around it. It has been said by some that Google has given up on keyword density, and has now incorporated new ranking methods. Large updates for both its servers, and ranking methods have changed. Keyword density and linking are now considered to be less valuable in the ranking of a website now (or so the experts say).
The question is no longer ‘how many keywords to use on your pages’. It is now where and how you use them. The first thing to concentrate on is creating text on a page without worrying about keywords initially. Write like you would normally write if you weren’t paying attention to keywords. Make sure you create an article or piece of text with at least 200+ words though. The next step is to incorporate your keyword phrase at least once and not more than twice in your first paragraph. Also use it a few times in your text, but only where it fits. Lastly, try to incorporate it at least once in your final paragraph, since some search engines seem to think this is important. Keep in mind that this is general information and nothing is set in stone.
People will always have different opinions on this subject and some swear by keyword density, but the experts think it doesn’t matter. The only time it seems to be an issue is when you use keywords too often.
For more information about Keyword Density, visit our SEO Guide page.