What is Keyword Density, Frequency, Prominence & Proximity

Are you sure you know each and every term related to onsite optimization?

If yes, then why you are still not able to make the most of it!

It is one big confusion!

I know it because large numbers of people have come to me with lots of confusions about on-site optimization. And every time they ask me any question related to on-site optimization, then my first response is the same.

‘Are you sure you know each and every term related to onsite optimization?’

I am sure that even you must be having confusions regarding the various terms related to on-site optimization.

Primarily, this is the reason why you are reading this post. So, in this post, I am going to discuss with you the various terms related to on-site optimization. But before that let me give you a brief introduction about the on-site optimization concept!

On-Site Optimization – What is it?

Just like off-site optimization, even on-site optimization plays a crucial role in influencing the search engine rankings of a website. It is related to making changes and conducting tweaks to a website’s content and code.

Now, this is so something that sounds simple and easy going. So, why most of the people fail to perform it correctly and make most of it for their website!

Though the basic functionalities of on-site optimization are simple, in reality, there are multiple practices and concepts involved to it.

The bitter truth is – you can make your site optimized and qualified for search – engines only when you have complete knowledge of each and every aspect.

Elements or Terms of On-Site Optimization:

While the subject of on-site optimization is vast, in this post we will discuss the common elements or terms used in this context. These are,

  1. Keyword Density
  2. Keyword Prominence
  3. Keyword Frequency
  4. Keyword Proximity
  5. Keyword Stuffing

The basic tactics of SEO as well as the keyword research program is outlined around these 5 terms.

While there are numerous tools to perform and practice each these elements, but you can make most of them only when you have complete knowledge and understanding of each variation.

In addition to this, there are other keyword research metrics as well that are used together with these terms in order to recognize the best keywords for the content.

But why understanding these terms is so important?

Significance of Terms and Elements in On-Site Optimization:

You can gain a higher ranking in the search engines only when you build an effective keyword program. In fact, this is one of the most critical aspects of a successful search engine program.

So, if you lack a proper understanding of such terms, because of any good reason, then the outcome would not be as fruitful as it must be.

Hence, to ensure that your keyword program is highly effective as well as your website is able to meet at par with SEO standards, it is essential to know about every important term related to on-site optimization.

Now you know why these terms hold so much of significance, so let’s discuss each of them one by one!

Keyword Density – Meaning, Usability, and Formula

Definition of Keyword Density:

Keyword density is defined as the ratio of total keywords that are placed in the index text on the web page to the total number of words on the same webpage or content.

As such, there are no defined guidelines from Google, regarding the ideal ratio of keyword density.

In fact, the density may vary from search engine to search engine. But to make it convenient for the new professionals, SEO experts have fixed the range for keyword density to be around 2 – 4%.

If in case you exceed the mentioned range of keyword density then your content or webpage would be considered ‘keyword stuffed,’ which is unhealthy to gain higher rankings in search engines. Even, this can result in spamming of a particular webpage.

Importance of Keyword Density:

The most imperative role of keyword density is the support it offers to Google bot. It helps Google bot to identify the relevancy of content or webpage against the specific keyword used in the content.

If I talk about modern SEO practices, then the relevancy of keyword density in search engine results is still a debatable subject. It is because the two major updates of Google Panda and Hummingbird have affected the SEO process to an extent.

Based on these updates, there is a possibility that websites with higher keyword density may get penalized.

So, while the relevancy of keyword density is still under debate, I will suggest you use the density within the mentioned range in order to avoid experiencing any trouble.

The formula for Keyword Density:

Calculating keyword density is as easy as performing any other mathematical calculation. All you need to do is employ a simple formula.

Keyword Density = (Nkr / Tkn) * 100

Nkr = no. of times you repeated a specific keyword

Tkn = total number of words in the article or content

If in case you are not comfortable using this formula, then you can use the online keyword density tool from Google. It can help you find a perfect answer to your query!

Keyword Prominence – Meaning, Usability, and Significance

Keyword prominence is another critical term in on-site optimization. So, let’s first begin with its definition.

Definition of Keyword Prominence:

The prominent or precise way to place keywords in the content is known as keyword prominence.

It is related to the correct placement of keywords on the webpage. According to this concept, keywords must be placed at prominent areas in the content of your web page.

Have you seen some content stuffed with keywords at the bottom and center, or some having keywords only at the beginning of the article?

All these are examples of improper placement of keywords. How about some content pieces that have even distribution of content in the webpage?

The ideal placement of keywords signifies correct keyword prominence.

Significance of Keyword Prominence:

Just like keyword density, even keyword prominence holds an integral position in the search engine optimization process.

Besides being an important element in the on-site optimization process, it ensures that the layout of your content looks even online.

For this reason, even Google prefers and appreciates content pieces with proper keyword prominence. Also, content pieces with proper keyword prominence are considered well-optimized from Google.

Usability of Keyword Prominence:

According to the SEO experts, there are some prominent places and areas of a webpage that are considered for keyword placement. These places are prominent areas to showcase keywords in online results.

Make sure you place the keyword in the title tag as well as all heading tags so that it is prominent to the readers.

Besides this, the keywords must be place in the opening paragraph, last paragraph, and middle paragraph. Other than this, the content can also be placed in HTML tags of a webpage.

So, with an adequate understanding of keyword prominence, it would be possible to get higher rankings in the search engine.

Keyword Frequency – Meaning, Importance, and Relevance:

Definition of Keyword Frequency:

Just as the name signifies, the frequency of a keyword represents the total number of times a particular keyword appears on the website.

One thing to remember here is that total numbers are calculated for the entire website and not for one webpage.

Importance of Keyword Frequency:

According to the concept of keyword frequency, it is possible for a website to gain higher search engine rankings with higher keyword frequency.

Hence, if your website is circulated around more different types of keywords then it could gain higher rankings for the specific keyword related search results.

But at the same time, it is vital to remember that overusing such keywords in the website can result in overloading of the text. This can further lead to content spamming and even drive visitors away from the website.

For this reason, it is vital that you insert the appropriate frequency of keywords.

Is Keyword Frequency Same as Keyword Density?

You might get confused between keyword frequency and keyword density, but now you have the definitions, relevance, and the right way to use them, I hope that you would be able to use them wisely to get the desired results.

So, let’s head towards the other vital terms in on-site optimization!

Keyword Proximity – Meaning and Usability

Meaning of Keyword Proximity:

Keywords can be a single word or a combination of different terms. One keyword can include different terminologies in order to bring relevancy to its meaning.

So, when there are more than one terms in a keyword then the concept of keyword proximity comes into existence.

According to keyword proximity, there must be adequate distance between two or more keywords in a specific text or content.

If there is an inappropriate distance between the terms. then this can result in high or low Keyword Proximity.

Usability and Types of Keyword Proximity:

Keyword Proximity can be of two Types:

1. Close Proximity
2. Far Proximity

Close proximity is when the distance between two keywords is less while far proximity is defined as one when the distance between two keywords is more.

Hence, in order to avoid any kind of issues make sure that you follow appropriate keyword proximity.

Keyword Stuffing – Definition:

Meaning of Keyword Stuffing:

This is a black hat method, which is an important SEO technique.

With this technique it allows site owners to conveniently load a site with different types of keywords.

It aims to manipulate the search results obtained from Google. With the help of this method, it is possible to gain an unfair rank in the Search Engine results.

Importance of Keyword Stuffing:

It was a popular method during the early years of SEO. It is because it allowed manipulating the ranking results for web pages on search engines.

But with new updates and changes, the algorithms for using this technique has changed. While keyword stuffing was considered a great practice in the initial days, now it is considered a big mistake that must be avoided at any cost.

According to the new updates, websites practicing keyword stuffing are outdated and can be heavily penalized for doing the same. It is because keyword stuffing does not increase the website’s visibility, nor it boosts the site’s ranking, nor it enhances the relevancy of content.

Hence, make sure that your site is not stuffed with keywords.

Why Keyword Stuffing must be avoided?

It is a dangerous technique to use in SEO. It can result in a penalty of your webpage. Hence, keyword stuffing must not be employed.

Also, if your website contains keywords with an unnaturally high density, then there is a possibility that the site ranking will drop drastically rather than increasing. The worst case that can happen is your site can be removed from the search engine index.

Wrapping Up!


In the modern world, everyone emphasizes the quality and language of the content. But besides this, it is essential to understand about the fact that the content is crafted with precise keyword research and focus on efficiently using the important SEO Keyword terms.

So, considering such keyword terms will offer you an edge over others. Even these small things can matter a lot in the ranking of search engines.

You can develop a strategy and apply these SEO keyword terms in the content. They will surely offer you support to increase rankings in the search engines.

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