Search engines have changed so much over the years. With Google’s search engine algorithms becoming more advanced with each update, many of the rules of SEO have evolved along with these updates. These changes are so big that they are even given animal names like “Panda,” “Hummingbird” and “Penguin.”
Amidst all these changes has been a more significant push for more helpful, desirable content on websites. There used to be so much poorly written and constructed content on websites in an attempt to fool search engines into ranking these websites higher.
Now, the name of the game has changed, and so has the idea of keyword density in website content. Here’s what you need to know about keyword density in 2018 and why you shouldn’t be so caught up in worrying about it. It is still a factor in SEO, but not one you should spend all your time on for several reasons.
Keywords Still Matter, but Keyword Density is a Different Story
Don’t get us wrong. Keywords are just as relevant as ever in deciding what direction to take your business website in. They give you a good idea of what people are really searching for online. It would be a waste of time to try to develop content around things which aren’t being searched for all that much. In this stage of crafting your SEO strategy, keywords are still critical for drawing the right audience and traffic to your website.
However, what you should always focus on with SEO and content marketing is increasing the levels of traffic to your site and having as many of those visitors become new leads. That’s the whole objective of SEO and content marketing. It’s less about trying to rank #1 for some keyword your competitors aren’t using much in their content.
When you think about it, there’s a valid reason why they aren’t focusing so heavily on that keyword. They know that there are not many people searching for that thing and it wouldn’t be something that would lead to more traffic on their site.
In contrast, keyword density is an idea that dates back to many years in the SEO world. Back in 2011, content was heavily abused by black-hat SEO con artists who wanted to flood Google with as much spam as possible to manipulate their rankings. Back then, content would be inundated with keywords and not in a good way. The keywords would be mentioned many times throughout the articles and posts, often not making much sense to the reader.
This was all due to a misunderstanding on how keyword density is supposed to work. Some people took the formulas, so literally, they went overboard in using keyword stuffing to create the content.
It’s still fine to mention your keywords a few times here and there so people know your content is relevant for their needs, but both content marketing and SEO have largely changed since this time. Relying on keyword density formulas alone to increase the number of leads on your site won’t cut it now.
Instead of Worrying About Keyword Density, Create Content that Matches User Intent
One of the amazing things about Google is how smart it has gotten in determining where your website will show up when people find products and services. It’s intelligent enough to know what similar topics your articles, posts, and landing pages are going to appear. Knowing this, you can create content about one topic, but have it appear in closely related search results.
Here’s an example of what we mean.
Let’s say you’re writing a blog post about why someone should hire a local plumber. Just mentioning the keyword “local plumber” over and over would be useless and wouldn’t tell the search engine much of anything about what your content is supposed to achieve.
Now, if you wrote that same content with the intent of convincing someone of the benefits of hiring a local family plumber, you’re already heading on the right track with your content.
You’re now solving someone’s problem. When you get into this mindset of creating content this way, you can also mention other related topics in your content too based around the intent of the user. It’s still important to have your main keyword specified in the meta description and title tag of your post.
From our experience, Google will still use that to display your content URL in the right searches. However, you will also find if you wrote a beneficial, well-researched post, a lot of the issues with keyword density will resolve on their own. When you use a plugin like Yoast SEO or the new SEO Writing tool by SEMRush to go over the strengths and weaknesses of your content, you’ll pass the keyword density tests with flying colors anyway.
Other Ways to Match Search Engine User Intent
You’re on a roll now with creating excellent content for your website, but there are a few other things to keep in mind. Not all content or SEO is going to work for every situation.
2000-3000 word posts and pages will work fine if you have an in-depth guide or ebook for people to read. However, for a sales landing page, that’s going to seem like a novel, and not many people are going to want to spend much of their time going through all of that. How do you know what kind of content to create for all these situations?
The answer is pretty simple. You have to think about who your audience is and what they are going to want to read. Look at what your competitors are doing and figure out how they are outranking you in searches. Do they have a lot of long-form content on their site or are they getting the right search volume they need from their shorter sales landing pages?
It’s okay for some of your blog posts to be shorter sometimes depending on the topic. The blog posts we develop for our site, for example, vary from 500 words to 3000 words given the topic and what we want to accomplish. Longform content also has its place in SEO and having high-quality posts on your site using this method is encouraged, but don’t beat yourself up over this part.
Whether or not your content is longer or shorter, as long as you focus most on quality and helping other people solve their problems, you’re good. Quality always trumps quantity in SEO and making sure you have a clear goal and vision for your content is what’s going to take you very far at the end.
Keyword density isn’t something you should be fretting over so much in 2018. In most cases, you likely already have your keywords mentioned in your content enough times.
What’s more important is being consistent and having a clear goal and purpose for what you’re trying to achieve in SEO. Contact our SEO and content marketing professionals at 470-440-3434 or email [email protected] for more information about what we can do to improve the SEO on your website. We’ll even throw in a free SEO website audit and consultation too!