Is Keyword Density Still Important?

Keyword density is something that a lot of people talk about and it used to be very important. Back in the late 90s, you could rank a web page on Google by putting nonsense. If you wanted to rank a page for “Ford Mustang,” you could just write the words “Ford Mustang” 200 times on the web page and then it would rank. That is not a good practice now as it is considered spam.

Now, it’s not so much a magic number like a specific percentage of a keyword to rank for a page. It’s more SEO and people refer to it as a proximity issue. Some of the things that factor into proximity of the keyword is how much is your keyword in the title of the web page, in subheadings, and how relevant it is to your page.

The keyword being in the URL, that used to be a big ranking factor, and then we just got crazy with words like Pandora. What does Pandora have to do with the radio? Nothing. The URL keyword is not as big a factor as it used it to be, but it can be somewhat of a factor in other areas such as the title pages after the backslash, in the header, and in the H1 text.

All my clients’ web pages have an H1 header on every single web page that has the keyword I’m trying to rank that web page for. It’s just that important. Then anchor text is off page. Here’s how that works.

So, let’s say you do something super cool with church websites, and the popular website Christianity Today is going to write an article about how churches must increase media. If they write about it and they link to your website, the text that’s highlighted is called anchor text. If your anchor text says “church websites,” that’s going to be huge for your ranking for church websites. If it says “one, two, three, four, five,” that’s not relevant to anything. It’s not going to be important anchor text because it is not in close proximity to your keyword density.

I saved LSI for last, because that’s Latent Semantic Index.

Google uses the LSI, which basically means Google now knows what words are related to your words. For example, I have a client who’s a dentist. Google knows that words like dentist, dentistry, dental office, oral hygiene, dental care, flossing, brushing your teeth – all of those things are related to being a dental office. Google’s looking for keyword density of similar words on the LSI, Latent Semantic Index, with “dental office”. Now that’s how I look at keyword density. It’s not “Let’s not kill the page with a single keyword” because that can be spammy. Now it’s “Let’s put as much good content in normal, human language on that page,” but that content needs to relate to that keyword that we’re trying to rank for.

Let me ask. Anchor text. Is that what I’m thinking is when you add an anchor into a page and when I click it, you jump to something else?

No, let me give you another example. Let’s say I’m going to write an article on my website about your website, but I’m going to link to your website. Whatever text I highlight to link to your website, that’s the anchor text. Traditionally, it’s the blue link with the underline. Whatever that text says, it should somehow relate to the keywords you’re trying to rank for.

Once again, if you have 502 back links to your website, and 500 of them all say “church website”, Google’s going to look at that as spam because that’s not natural. That’s not how that would normally happen organically. So, you want a variety of keywords related to church websites, all back linking to your site.