If you have ever searched online for help in writing content for your websites, chances are good that you have seen the phrase “keyword density” several times. No matter where you look on the internet, there is always some SEO Company who is claiming that the most important question to answer when writing web content is this: What is the keyword density of the content?
Keyword density is measured by how many words in your content are a part of your targeted keyword or keywords in the form of a percentage. For example, if you use the keyword “web content” once in a 200-word webpage and no other keywords, the page is said to have a keyword density of .5%. Different SEO companies theorize different ideal percentages for a webpage’s keyword density, usually ranging from 2% to 18%.
However, striving towards hitting some “magic density” of keywords is often counterproductive to the goals of your website. While directing web traffic to your site is always a good thing, it is important to remember what you want to accomplish with the traffic that comes. If you are attempting to sell a particular product off a webpage, stilted, forced-sounding content is going to get you nowhere. After all, potential customers do not care about the keyword density of your site; they care about whether or not your site has the information and/or product that they are looking for.
While keyword density is important to getting search engines to “see” your site, it does not convert potential customers. For this, you need quality, targeted web content. This targeted content focuses less on keywords and more on key concepts which you want a human reader to come away with when they look through your website. Over-optimized content is uninteresting and unhelpful to the customer, and the customer is thus much less likely to want to pursue the website or the company associated with it any further.
Web Content Should Answer Two Questions:
- What is the goal of the content? “Improve page rank” is not a valid answer to this question. Rather, this refers to what you want the content to do for your company when people read it. Are you trying to sell a product, or just trying to encourage them to explore your website further? Are you trying to describe what it is your company does, or simply trying to make the customer more informed about a given topic? Whatever the goal of a given piece of content is, it should be specific. A specific goal will yield the focused content which your site needs to convert customers.
- Who is your audience? This is an important but often-overlooked question. Visitors to your website are all going to be unique, and so you want to point your content at those who are most likely to do what you want them to do (thus accomplishing your goal). Content with a goal in mind is focused, but targeted content requires that you are also speaking to the specific audience you are trying to convert.
Which keywords and their densities should be a consideration only after answering these two questions. Especially with Google’s Panda algorithm, it is more important than ever to ensure that your website contains quality content. It is true that the content needs to be written with keywords in mind, but by targeting your web content first, you will ensure that your message comes across naturally and fully on your website.
What do you think? Do you have anything to add? What do you think is important when writing for your website? Let us know.