Search engine optimization and digital marketing are ever-shifting, ever-evolving fields. With changes in search engine algorithms, keywords themselves have also evolved. Originally designed as a guide for the robots that crawl and index pages for search engines, today’s keyword research has evolved to encompass much more than just a handful of words that tell the robots what’s on a page.
One of the more important modern SEO concepts to come out of all of these shifts (and occasional upheavals) is the concept of keyword harmony. In order to understand what keyword harmony is and how to measure it using keyword density checks, we have to take a step back and look at what keyword density checks are and how they work. Let’s take a closer look.
What is Keyword Density?
Keyword density is a measure of how frequently a keyword appears in a given piece of content. It’s generally expressed as a percentage and is calculated by dividing the number of times a keyword appears in a text by the total number of words in that text, and then multiplying that result by 100.
For instance, if a 500 word article contains 10 instances of a keyword, the keyword density would be 2%.
This raises the question: What’s the best keyword density? There is no one size fits all answer to this question, but in general, keyword density should be around 1-3%. Keep in mind that Google and other search engines don’t just look at keyword density alone as a measure of whether or not to rank a page and at what place to put it organically. These days, Google is more interested in the intent and context of content rather than the keyword frequency alone.
That said, in an ultra-competitive search engine landscape, every edge matters, which is why keyword density is important.
What is Keyword Harmony?
If keyword density is the percentage of which a given keyword or phrase appears in a content piece, keyword harmony is the art of balancing the use of those keywords to make sure that the content is both search engine friendly and reader friendly. When your content has hit peak keyword harmony, it provides value and readability to your audience and it’s designed to rank well in search engines.
With this in mind, what role does keyword density plan in achieving keyword harmony?
Why Do Keyword Density Checks Matter?
Doing regular keyword density checks before you publish a piece helps you strike the right balance in keyword use. Too many keywords, and search engines will flag you for trying to manipulate the rankings. Too few keywords, and you run the risk of not being found for relevant searches at all.
How Do You Check for Keyword Density?
There are numerous tools that allow you to check for keyword density. Some of the most popular used by search engine professionals include tools like Yoast and SEMRush. If you need a simple, easy-to-use article keyword density checker, try Originality.AI’s free content optimizer tool.
With Originality.AI’s keyword density tool, you can input your content and compare it with up to ten competing URLs. As a result, you’ll receive a content optimization score and an ideal score along with a GPT prompt to help you reach your target.
Beyond Keyword Density - Tips to Optimize Your Content
Now that you better understand what keyword harmony and keyword density are, let’s take a look at how to optimize your keyword density to achieve keyword harmony in the pieces that you write.
- Prioritize Quality Content - Beyond keywords, density and other search engine ranking factors, always prioritize creating content that provides value to your audience. Your keywords should fit naturally into the content you’re writing and not seem forced.
- Use Synonyms and Variations - Don’t repeat the same keyword. Use synonyms and variations to make the content sound more natural.
- Understand Search Intent - Know the intent behind the keywords you’re targeting. Are users looking for information? Comparing between several options? Looking to make a purchase?
- Use Keywords Strategically - Use keywords in your title, headers and in the first 100 words of your content.
- Let Your Content Flow Naturally - Read your content aloud. Does it flow naturally or does it feel forced or awkward? If the latter, try reducing how frequently you use your keywords.
- Monitor and Adjust As Needed - SEO is not something you can set and forget. Regularly monitor your content performance and adjust your keyword strategy as needed.
Once you’ve understood the basics of keyword harmony, it’s time to move onto more advanced methods.
- Understand User Needs: Before you even begin to craft your content, go beyond user intent and find out what users are looking for. You can use Google’s “People also ask” or AnswerThePublic to find related topics.
- Keyword Clustering - Enrich the context of your writing and group related keywords while using them naturally throughout the content. This will also help your content reach a broader range of searchers.
- Optimize Meta Tags - Although not relied on by search engines as heavily as they once were, include keywords in your meta tags and descriptions. Every little bit helps!
- Use Keywords in Alt Text - Don’t forget to add keywords and relevant text in your alt tags for better performance in image-based SEO.
- Internally Link Keywords - Use keywords as anchor text for internal links. This helps improve the infrastructure of your site and distributes more of that authoritative “link juice”.
- Build Topic Authority - Rather than focus on single keywords, look to build topic authority. Google’s own EEAT (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) guidelines attest to the importance of this strategy.
- Consider Voice Search - As voice-based search becomes more common, look to incorporate long-tail keywords and conversational phrases that people might use when searching with their voice.
- Avoid Keyword Cannibalization - Targeting the same keywords across multiple pages can lead to keyword cannibalization, where your pages compete against each other. This dilutes their potential as a whole.
- Optimize for Mobile Users - Ensure that your keywords and content are optimized for mobile searches. Google’s own mobile-first indexing gives greater priority to mobile-based searches.
- Use Semantic HTML - Proper use of HTML tags like headers keeps your content structured, easy to navigate and helps you emphasize key topics and keywords.
- Keep Your Content Fresh - Regularly update your content with current information and relevant keywords. Search engines love up-to-date content.
Monitor and Adjust
Keep in mind that even with these strategies and techniques, you’ll need to monitor and adjust your content and keywords over time.
- Track Your Keyword Rankings - Tools like AHrefs, Moz and even Google’s own Search Console can show you how your keywords are performing so that you can adjust your strategy accordingly.
- Analyze User Engagement - Use analytics to see how users are interacting with your content. High bounce rates can show that the content isn’t resonating or optimized well. Make sure your content’s readability is in line with your target audience’s demographics by using Originality.AI’s free readability checker.
- Competitive Analysis - Don’t neglect your competitors. Take a look at their keyword strategy and learn from their successes and mistakes.
- A/B Testing - Experiment with different keyword densities (still keeping it within the ideal 1–3% range) and placements to see what works best for your topic. Here again, it’s worth continually testing and monitoring as there is no one-size-fits-all approach to the right keyword density for every niche.
Your New Content Optimization Plan
Now that you better understand how keyword harmony works and the role the keyword density plays in helping you to optimize your content, try Originality.AI’s free content optimizer tool to see where you stand and what you need to improve on. See how your content compares with up to 10 of your competitors and get a GPT prompt to help you reach the ideal keyword density to improve your ranking. Try it now for free