If you're going to take the time to write content, particularly blog content, you want it to be read. Ultimately, that's your goal every time you sit down behind the keyboard: to produce content that's going to be valuable to potential customers so that it will draw them into your site and make them engage with your content. That means that your content production strategy probably includes a measure of ideal keyword density.
You want your content to turn up high in search engine rankings, so you're trying to determine how many times throughout your content you should use given keywords. That's what gets it read, right? There's just one problem: today's search engines are savvy, and they use complicated metrics that might not have anything to do with how many times you use a particular keyword. That means that calculating the ideal keyword density for your content is about more than just cramming the word into your post wherever you can.
Use Terms and Phrases Naturally
Imagine for a moment that you are writing your content for a purpose that has absolutely nothing to do with attracting visitors to your site with a particular keyword. How often would you use that keyword in the piece that you're writing? Try to let your writing flow naturally, using the keyword where it would be appropriate and avoiding it when you wouldn't. Keyword stuffing no longer works to help increase your SEO rankings, and in fact, it might hurt you.
Choose Your Keyword Placement
Sometimes, where you use the keyword is more important than how many times it shows up in the article. Obviously, it should be used at least once in the actual content. It helps to have the keyword in the URL. If you can use it naturally in a header, this can also help attract search engine attention.
Add Variations With Care
When you're creating content with the goal of bringing visitors to your site, you may find yourself looking for every possibly variation of your keywords so that you can find visitors no matter what they're searching for. There's just one problem: stuffing too many keywords into a single piece of content can be just as bad as overusing a single keyword. You should certainly take advantage of potential variations on your keywords, especially long-tail keywords that might bring in visitors searching for something specific. On the other hand, you shouldn't be so focused on cramming in more key phrases that you forget the real goal of your content: to add value for your reader.
SEE ALSO: Long Tail SEO vs Short Tail SEO
Try a Tool to Evaluate Keyword Use
If you're having trouble striking that perfect balance in your content, check out one of the many tools available to help evaluate your keyword use and determine whether or not you're under- or over-using a particular keyword. These tools can't tell you what the perfect balance is for your article, but they can highlight the fact that you've used a given word or phrase too many times for it to be natural--something that most search engines now look for. They'll also let you know if, for example, you've been so focused on the content that you forgot to include your original keyword in the text.
Finding that sweet spot of perfect keyword density is unique to each individual and even each piece of content. Your focus when writing shouldn't be on the keywords at all, but rather on producing a quality piece of work that's worth reading, sharing, and revisiting. When you provide quality content, it will bring in readers—even if you have to do a little fine-tuning to make it attractive to search engines.