Monday, April 9, 2007

How To: improve keyword density

The other day, I was quite surprised at the results of my keyword density and keyword cloud check (courtesy of The keywords on my site had a density of less than 1%, something like 0.73%. So if my keywords weren't taking up much space on the page, what were?

It turns out that the most used 3-word phrase on my page was... "line margin em".

Wait, what? That isn't even a phrase! I checked the source and sure enough, my internal CSS styling was taking up most of the space in my code, deflating the density of my actual keywords. Even though it was in the <head> of my page, the keyword tester was still checking ALL the words in my source code - just as real search engine crawlers do.

The solution was easy: move all the CSS to an external stylesheet. This way, the crawler will mostly be checking your content for keywords. And as you may or may not know, keyword density is crucial in the search engine rank algorithm. recommends a keyword density of 3-7% per page. That's hard to achieve if CSS coding has taken over your page.

While the above example was remedied with a external CSS stylesheet, the same can be done with JavaScript (.js) or my favorite, using PHP's include command.

Wondering what your site's keyword density and keyword cloud is? Check out the keyword density and cloud tools.