How many “keywords” are too many keywords?

For about a year now, the closing section on writing for organic search optimization has been the most popular section with many people in my “Writing Right for the Web” workshops. And one of the questions that comes up every time is simply: “How many times can we repeat keywords?”

Up until now, a big part of my answer has also been simple: read the content to yourself and you’ll most often know when you are using a word too often to be natural. That’s a signal that you are “stuffing” the keywords and your readers are going to find an awkward flow to the content. That said, you can usually use a primary key word in the title tag, in the primary heading, in the first lines of regular text, and again in a subhead without a problem.

But some people want something just a bit more definitive. If that means you, try the free keyword analysis tool at

You can enter up to three keywords and then paste in the text for your web page. You’ll immediately get back the keyword density ratio. You still have to make a human decision on how much is too much but this adds a nice quantitative touch. I’ll be including it with other resource pages in future versions of “Writing Right for the Web,” starting at Dominican University in August.

Special thanks to Jennifer Grappone and Gradiva Couzin for listing this at their fine website. If you haven’t visited yet, do so soon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *