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Local SEO Keyword Density

Posted on 5.21.2008

How Much is Too Much of a Good Thing?

by Nick Stamoulis

Effective local Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is comprised of many different factors but the keywords and phrases you choose are the biggest considerations of all. Once your keyword research has helped you determine which keywords and phrases will help you rank well, the next thing to think about may be how often to use them in your site’s content. It can be a tricky balance because the search engines and your readers are looking for different things:

- Search engines look for keyword density – to help determine a given page’s relevance to what was entered into the search field. Density helps influence a page’s rank, to a point. Too many keywords on a page will be construed by search engine crawlers as ‘keyword stuffing’ or an attempt to artificially influence page ranking. This usually results in the site being penalized and nearly impossible to find using a search engine.

- Readers want keywords and phrases – also so they can quickly find what they’re looking for on a page but unless the keywords appear in the copy naturally and the content flows well, they’ll be turned off and look elsewhere. People don’t want to be manipulated any more than search engines do but the pages that tend to rank better are written for people first, search engines second.

So What’s the Best Local SEO Keyword Density?
Ask seven different Internet marketing professionals and you’ll probably get seven different answers to this question. On average, it’s recommended to have somewhere between 3-5% keyword density on a page to please both search engines and readers. There are some folks who claim positive results with keyword density at 10% but that’s not recommended as it’s way too close to keyword stuffing and, more important, that many keywords and phrases simply will not make an easy read for your viewers.

In the end, keyword density is far less important than the quality and depth of your keyword research and your understanding of how your target audience and how they search for things online. Instead of concerning yourself with how often a keyword or phrase appears on a page, you’re better off focusing on how well you present your information and the value that it has to your readers.


About the Author: Nick Stamoulis is the President of the Internet Marketing Company, Brick Marketing who is Website Magazine's “Local Thursdays” weekly contributor and blogger of the Search Engine Optimization Journal
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