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How To Calculate The Keyword Density Of Your Articles
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We’ve been all over this keywords thing backwards and forwards–yes, it’s good to know your keywords when you’re doing article marketing, but depending on how you use them things can either go very right or very wrong.

How can things go right?

Well, whenever you’re building a website or doing any type of online marketing (including article marketing), appropriate use of your keywords can draw desirable attention from Google. This means that when folks are typing your keyword terms into a search box, Google knows to associate your website with those words, which means you’ll rank higher in the search engine rankings.

How can things go wrong?

Sometimes in an attempt to catch Google’s attention, writers will forget that they first need to please a few other groups of people:

a) Publishers–Quality publishers are looking for quality articles that will be useful to their readers. If a publisher does not find value in your article (if it appears as if your article is merely a vehicle to display your keywords), then they will decline your article pronto. Getting into that sort of situation kind of defeats the purpose of article marketing, doesn’t it? :-)

I’ve also noticed some of the top publishers instituting keyword density requirements of articles, and any article that exceeds their pre-defined percentage limit are automatically declined. (We’ll talk more about how to avoid this in a bit…)

b) Your readers–Readers are looking for an article that will be useful to them. Readers and publishers don’t care about your keywords–they care about the actual information you’re providing in the article. If you go overboard and get too focused on stuffing your keywords into your article, it will be obvious to readers what you’re doing and that will turn them off.

It’s funny sometimes to read an article that is obviously over-flowing with keywords, and when you talk to the author they say, “I don’t know what you’re talking about–it reads fine to me.”

The reason why it reads fine to them is because they are solely focused on one objective–get the keywords in the article as much as possible. When someone who is not interested in being sure you have keywords throughout your article reads your article, they will be seeing things from a completely different angle, and they’ll think:

“Ugh–what is happening with this “article”? It doesn’t make sense–why do they keep saying that phrase over and over?”

Or if it’s a publisher, they’ll say,

“Eeek! I see what they’re doing–this is definitely not the type of article I’m looking for.”

(BTW–You can tell when an article is the victim of “keyword stuffing” because you’ll see the same phrase used over and over in inappropriate ways when other phrases would have sounded better and more natural.)

c) Google–And let’s not forget about Google, the reason why folks are so interested in getting their keywords in their articles.

Remember who Google is trying to please–the search engine customers. The whole reason why they look for keywords is so that they can accurately rank web pages that have the best chances of satisfying the queries of their customers.

Google’s goal is that when a “searcher” gets the results list from their search that they would say,

“Wow–these results are really good. I’ve found the information I was looking for. Yay, Google!

What do you think would happen if when someone did a search Google returned results that were just web pages stuffed with keywords?

Their customer would not be pleased.

So, Google is pretty smart–it can tell when a web page or article is artificially loaded with keywords.

I always tell folks that the best way to use your keywords in article marketing (or anything else) is to write naturally, on the topic of your website. If you are writing on the topic of your website your keywords will naturally come up in the article, without sounding like you’re trying to trick Google.

If you will use your keywords mindfully, and also go for natural and organic use of your keywords in your articles, then you’ll have much greater success with Google, publishers and your readers.

The obvious question is–How exactly can you tell if you’ve got too many keywords in your article?

First off, no one knows what Google’s specific formulas are for evaluating whether you’ve got too many keywords in your article, but we do know the limitations that some of the top online publishers are using.

They require that articles contain no more than 2% of a person’s keyword term.

Great, that’s helpful, but how do you figure out what percentage your article has?

1) Count the instances of the keyword/keyphrase in the article body(not the title or resource box)

2) Get the word count of the article. If you’re a member of, you can see your article word count on the Edit page for the article. If you’re submitting manually, most word processing programs have a word count tool as part of the Edit menu.

3) Use the following formula to calculate the percentage:

[Number of times the specific keyword or keyphrase appears in the article] / [Number of words in the article] * [the number of words inthe keyword or keyphrase] * 100

So for example, let’s say an article has 14 instances of the phrase ‘York hotels’, and the word count of the article is 441.

There are two words in the phrase (‘York’ and ‘hotels’), so the sum would be:14/441*2*100, which calculates to a percentage of 6.34%.

That’s pretty high!

Now, I know it might look kind of complicated to do this, but if you know how to multiply and divide, you’re gonna be fine!

You don’t need to be Einstein to do this one!

I really always tell folks to be aware of their keywords, but use them naturally; however I know that it’s sometimes hard to tell what “natural” is.

If you are intentionally using your keywords in your articles, you might want to take the time to do this “keyword density calculation” to see if you’re in the “natural” range (3% or under, according to some of the top article directories).

Related Resources:

How To Sabotage Your Article Marketing: Go Keyword Crazy

What Are Keywords?

How Do I Get Started with Keyword Research?

How To Use Your Keywords In Your Titles Appropriately

Why Do Article Directories Ask Me For My Keywords?

I hope this post was helpful. If you’re not a member of yet and would like to join, we’d be happy to welcome you–you can sign up here.

NOTE: Please be aware this content may now be outdated. For the latest quality content on how to build massive publicity for your website, please go to The vWriter Blog - Helping Businesses Grow Traffic, Build Engagement, and "Be Everywhere"

11 Responses to “How To Calculate The Keyword Density Of Your Articles”

  1. This is really helpful and I appreciate the simple formula. thank you . Christian

  2. Darren says:

    excellent info – thanks

  3. Paul says:

    Awesome post. Stuffing keywords into your website, blog, article or anything that has to do with online marketing is a BIG no no. BTW what you just wrote is actually called “LSI” or “Latent Semantic Indexing”. LSI can get really complicated but what it really boils to is this. Write, develop, and post your information in a natural way. And use other keywords that mean the same thing but do use them over and over again.


  4. Sharon says:

    As I begin my marketing, this information is invaluable. Using the keywords and their density will help to put my new website out on the web and information about my products, their uses, and other other important health related information, with the goal of reeling in sales. Thank you.

  5. This was an excellent article, and really helpful. Writers need to know this stuff for their articles and websites. Thank you

  6. [...] is a formula for calculating keyword density, and if you’re a member of, we will automatically alert you if your [...]

  7. [...] Keyword Density – explains how keyword density is calculated [...]

  8. [...] Within each article, keep the keyword density below 3%. If you’re a member of, you don’t have to worry about [...]

  9. Refinancing says:

    Interesting post, just signed up to your RSS feed, hope to find some more great content here :)

  10. Rich Like Us says:

    You are right in what you have said. I was only thinking this the other day but I think I will now dig a little deeper. Not sure what the last guy meant though!

  11. I’ve been looking all over for the formula. There’s a bit of confusing stuff out there that I wasn’t sure I could trust. But you made it so simple!

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