You might have already seen our free keyword density analyzer -- the latest free online tool for freelance writers. Today I want to talk about some of the quirks and offer some tips on how to use it.
If you use the tool to track your word count, there are a few things you should know:
- You get to choose the number of characters that counts as a word. You can choose a minimum character count of 2, 3, or 4 characters. That lets you opt to weed out words like a, an, the, etc. I had it coded with this option to give you a bit of flexibility. I know some clients have their own rules on character counts when it comes to the word counts they order, so this should be adaptable to most projects.
- Numbers do not get included in the word count. While this might not be ideal if you're doing a lot of stats-heavy writing, I felt this was a better option for most content writers who are tracking keyword density. The problem is that if we let numbers through in one sense, they'd also count for things like numbered lists (so if you have a numbered list with 10 items, you'd have 10 extra words in your word count).
- We had some issues with symbols being included in the word count, namely the en dash and em dash (- and --). Those were then removed. They shouldn't affect the count anymore, nor should other standalone symbols. If you come across any that do influence the count, please let me know so I can have the coder take a look.
- Please include the article text; not a marked up html version.
Keyword Density Calculations
There are many keyword density analyzers out there, and they can calculate keyword density if different ways. Here's how this tool calculates it:
# instances of keyword (or phrase) ÷ word count = keyword density percentage
We tried to go a little bit beyond giving you just the keyword density percentage with this tool. For example, next to that you'll see the total keyword count for your choice keyword or phrase. That makes it a bit easier for you to do a manual check or comparison if something doesn't look quite right. We also offer highlighting to let you track keyword distribution (not just density), so you can improve the readability of your articles.
Keyword Distribution / Highlighting
You get to choose up to 3 keywords or phrases at a time using this tool. Rather than just show the percentage for the keyword density, we also let you highlight the keywords, so you can track the distribution -- where the keywords are in relation to each other. This is to help you spread them out so you're not using the same phrase or word too many times too closely together, which could make the article more difficult for readers to stomach.
You can use this tool by entering your text to be analyzed, and then entering up to three keyword phrases. Then click the "show text" button below those fields. A preview of your text will appear below, with your keyword phrases highlighted.
Ideally, when using this tool try to avoid overlap. For example, don't search for "freelance" and "freelance writing" at the same time because it will cause issues with the highlighting as the colors overlap. If you do insist on running these keywords through the keyword density analyzer at the same time, put the longer phrase first. The shorter phrase will still be highlighted over the longer one that way. If you search for the shorter one first, only the shorter one will be highlighted.
If you make changes, it's pretty easy to see them quickly with this tool. We made the word count and keyword density aspects "live" meaning they change immediately as you type (such as removing a keyword and entering another one). The only thing you'll have to change yourself is the highlighting. To get the new terms highlighted, just click the "hide text" button to minimize that preview, and then click "show text" again. Your changed text and keyword highlighting will then appear.
If you run into any quirks while using the tool that haven't been covered here, please let me know and I'll have someone look into it.