It’s 2013, Stop Worrying
about Article Keyword Density

Chances are if you write content or copy for your website or a client’s website, that you are focusing on providing value to readers but also writing with the hopes that the article will be found online for various reasons.  What good is amazing content if no one ever sees it right?  The primary method of organic exposure is through search engines via search engine optimization or SEO for short.  The web is full of information about SEO, and quite frankly some is great while other tips are either outdated or completely off-base and could do more harm than good.  One of those is the old notion of stuffing keywords repetitively into an article at a certain percent per amount of words in order for that page to rank favorably.  Let me tell you, it’s 2013 and you should not be focusing on keyword density inside your articles; Google is smarter now and there are several areas you should be shifting your attention to versus repetition of keywords.

I will confidently say that some people can effectively mesh keywords into an article favorably and unnoticeably, but most cannot and fail miserably at doing so, especially when it becomes a game of numbers versus just writing naturally and with quality.  A sentence that reads “This is advantageous for Pennsylvania dog grooming because of how…” is one example where the author is clearly forcing the keywords versus having them occur naturally.  This is easily sniffed out by both the reader which detracts from your credibility and search engine algorithms.

How You Should be Writing

Each piece of content or copy that you write should be focused on the visitor and providing quality and you can’t effectively do that when you are worrying about keyword density while you are writing, or trying to stuff it back in there once you are done.  You should be writing with a mindfulness of your chosen keywords to target, but in a natural way.  How do you do that?  Well it’s not particularly easy and usually the articles that receive the most exposure are the ones we didn’t stuff full of keywords or even try to optimize; so why is that?  It’s because when you take your attention away from word counts, or keyword density counts, you are able to put your knowledge on the page in words automatically.  Without knowing it you are including keywords in the article in a localized way but likely not verbatim and you are also including synonyms to exact match keywords which is also extremely beneficial when it comes to SEO content generation.

Produce Content with a Purpose

I know it’s difficult to sit down for every piece of content that you write and make an outline and goal but it will improve the effectiveness of your content and how well they perform and rank.  You need to have a desired goal from your article whether it’s to promote a product, a service or just to provide useful information to a potential visitor.  Once you have your goal and outline of topics to cover you need to research the competition and the keywords surrounding the topic of the article.  If you follow these steps and write with a purpose your efforts will be worthwhile in the long run from the extra effort.  With the keywords fresh in your mind, but without constantly looking at them you will be able to naturally produce content that contains keywords and synonyms of the keywords inside your text.  When I say produce content with a purpose, you are now effectively shifting your purpose from “I need to have 2.4% keyword density out of my ‘x’ amount of words” to “I’m creating content that visitors will find engaging, natural and useful.”

Where it’s Acceptable to Focus on Keywords

If you’re totally confused and throwing your fists in the air saying SEO is all about keywords, you need to understand that while SEO is traditionally all about keywords, that onsite SEO has evolved and you need to steer far away from spam-type tactics such as keyword stuffing and density focus.  It’s acceptable to place keywords in your titles; URL’s and header tags (H1, H2, etc.) and I’d even suggest using synonyms and spacing your keywords out in order to ensure a more natural approach.  What do I mean by spacing them out or using synonyms?  Well using our example above for the keyword “Pennsylvania dog grooming,” spacing this keyword out in a title may look something like this, “Pet owners in Pennsylvania love ABC dog grooming.”  This is more natural and easier read than say “Pennsylvania dog grooming has happy customers.”

It’s still acceptable to focus on keywords in your article body as well, but I’d recommend only including keywords verbatim a couple of times throughout the article (don’t go overboard!) and only if they flow naturally.  If they do not, then don’t do it and utilize my tips and techniques above.  You will also find tremendous value in using synonyms as well as other variations throughout your content because this is where long-tail traffic is harnessed.  For example, instead of always using ‘dog grooming’ you could use large dog grooming, grooming for small dogs, dog haircuts and so on.  Not everyone searches the exact keyword you are targeting and if you can include variations it will significantly improve the SEO value of your content, appear more natural and you’ll likely rank easily for these long tail variations as well.


Keep your focus on the content and not on how many words you are using (you can count words at the end) or how many times you included your keyword(s).  Approach each piece of content with a clear and specific goal and make sure you write for the visitor by placing yourself in their shoes and what you’d want to read if you were searching for the same topic.  Only use keywords verbatim if it’s natural; if not then use them spaced out in both content and titles in natural way.  Include synonyms wherever possible as these will improve the overall SEO value for the main keywords and bring additional long tail traffic.  And finally, if you’ve had enough and simply don’t want to be bothered with all this technical mumbo jumbo anymore, Webdigia offers professional copywriting services for any industry, project or vertical.

About the author

Bryan Conte

Bryan is a professional copywriter and internet marketer. When he's not creating amazing content, he's either buried neck deep in code, or learning something new. Knowledge is power! Google+

Posted on by Bryan Conte in Blog