Ultimate Guide to WordPress SEO – Keyword Density

I’ll admit that I’m no SEO expert.  When I started this series on WordPress SEO, my goal was to outline steps that I have taken in my web experience that have helped me rank for target keywords time and time again.

In reality, SEO is a lot bigger than just making a few theme modifications and optimizationKeyword density is one of those things that I understand very little about, but am very aware of its importance.

Keyword Density has to do with making sure your static pages and blog posts have a good ratio of content to keywords.  For instance, if you were writing a blog posts about common diseases in Golden Retrievers, you would want to first, identify what keywords you believe describe your content well and that you would like to rank for, and second, make sure that you insert those keywords regularly in your post content.

Keyword Usage

In our example above, we’ll probably want to rank for the search phrase “golden retriever common diseases” — so, along with the other strategies outlined in this series, you’ll want to make sure that you are inserting variations of that phrase throughout your content.

Most SEO experts will recommend your content to keyword ration be around 3-7%, and never exceeding 10%.  So for ever 90 or so words of content, you’ll want to use your keyword or keyphrase.

Keywords as Subheadings

Remember back when I told you that heading tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.) are semantic ways of structuring your content?  H1 should be the title of the page or post itself. H2 is a subheading, etc.

Well, now is a perfect time to use the H2 tag to place emphasis on our keywords.  So, split your post into sections, and title the sections using the H2 tag.  Then, use your keyword or keyphrase between the H2 tags.

Keywords and Other Tags

Most people don’t realize that the <strong> and <em> tags are actually semantic XHTML meant for communicating that the content between them is important. In fact, the <em> tag stands for “emphasis”! So, if we strategically place our keywords and keyphrases between either of these tags, we are telling the crawlers that we considered that content important enough to draw attention to.

The Small Things

These methods aren’t going to launch you to the top of the results pages by any means, but when we talk about SEO, in many cases it’s all about gaining a strategic advantage over your competitors, and it will be the little things like this that will give you the upper hand.

Reader Interactions


    • @Tony,
      Try using <b></b> tags instead of <strong></strong>. It will give the same bold effect, without affecting the priority of the content contained within the tags.

  1. Keyword density of 3-7% used to be the accepted ratio. It is now 2-4%. If you optimize for a density above 4% you’ll see it makes for a stiff, awkward reading experience which is not what you want. 2% gives you good SEO plus a good reading experience. If you want to see a video on how to use a nifty keyword tool to quickly and easily achieve the keyword density you want, check out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4fUVGVSF2bw

  2. If I were you, I wouldn’t define so many keywords for one page. I incline to believe that 8 is the maximum number of keywords a page should have before search engines consider the whole thing as spam. Also I would try to avoid repeating a word in the keywords field. But then again, this is just my opinion.


  3. The maximum numbers of keywords I add to the title is 4. I am trying to optimize each page for at least 4 keys and getting good results. 8 keys is to much in my opinion.

  4. Hi

    Very good article. I do always try and structure my posts and do keep keyword density in mind, but my opinion is that the human in this is more important than any search engine. I also think that this is what google are trying to achieve with their algorithms. To make people write interesting, unique, well structured content that people want to read and if it is good they will want to link to it, and this in turn is what google sees and promotes the pages rank, maybe a simplistic view, but I am sure this is the best method.

    Matt Houldsworth

  5. Just made my first WordPress blog, Never realised there was so much involved, Thanks very much for this post. Perhaps I will just buy your template, Loos like a bargain to me

  6. Just finished buikding my first wordpress blog, Never realised there was so much to learn, Perhaps from now on I will just buy your template looks like real bargain to me