While there is no right number, there are some commonly accepted guidelines. For most blogs, article directories, and landing page content, shoot for a 1-3% keyword density. This means you use your keyword, or keyword phrases, 1-3 times per 100 words. If your keyword phrase has 3 words in it then you would only want to include it in the article once every 100 words to keep the 1-3% guideline (since 3 out of the 100 words are being used for the keyword). "Keyword stuffing" refers to the blatant over-use of your keywords or phrases— using them over and over again to the point it doesn't even sound good or make sense in a paragraph. In internet marketing days of yore, stuffing content with an infinite number of keywords to make sure that Google knew what the material was about was commonplace. Doing so these days gets you penalized by search engines.
Above all else, the use of keywords and their density should occur naturally in original and unique content. For example, if a keyword for your business is "gold prospecting," your content would read very naturally if you not only used "gold prospecting" 2 or 3 times for every 100 words, but also related words such as "sluice" or "gold pan" or "dredge" or talked about the increase of gold prices. In other words, you cannot have a story about gardening and throw in the keyword "gold prospecting" a few times and consider it original content. Search engine algorithms now take into consideration focused content that complements the keywords that you’ve selected. If you’re content doesn’t match your keywords then you’re losing most of the SEO value you were hoping for. Gardening and gold prospecting have nothing in common unless you found gold while planting carrots!
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