Why You Should Stop Keyword Stuffing in SEO Now

Keyword stuffing is like Michael Myers in “Halloween” — it refuses to die. It’s also very dangerous for your business, because it will kill your search engine rankings.

Keyword stuffing is one of those things left over from the earliest days of digital marketing that refuses to go away.

You have already seen in it in action if you have come across blogs full of phrases like “best seafood near me” or “women dress store Atlanta.”

It is awkward, unnatural, and still one of the go-to techniques for many content creators. Why?

Why Keyword Stuffing Became So Popular

As digital marketing and search engines evolved, it became clear that people tended to use specific phrases when doing an Internet search. Marketers figured out that they could get high rankings for their clients by filling content with these phrases. That led to lots of ads and other content filled with popular search phrases.

As the practice spread, so did the number of keywords crammed into the content. It got to the point where popular keyword phrases were making their way into landing pages and blogs, even if they didn’t fulfill the user’s intent. That meant lots of annoyed users who didn’t end up finding “red sandals Dallas” when they clicked on an ad or link.

How Keyword Stuffing Hurts You Today

Connecting audiences to their desired result is the primary goal of search engines. Having tons of users annoyed by low-quality results does not allow them to do that. Search engines now reward content written for actual human consumption, not to game their algorithms in pursuit of higher search rankings. Spammy content that does not satisfy user intent now gets driven down in SERPs.

One of the things search engines judge when determining whether the content is useful is the keyword density throughout a piece of content. You may be using keywords that tie into your client’s product, but the sheer volume used could have it penalized.

That also applies to your hidden web content. Some content creators attempt to circumvent search engine penalties by stuffing multiple keywords into the alt tags in images or the meta tags in their HTML. Search engines are aware of these tactics, and will penalize your pages in response.

Better SEO Techniques for Your Keywords

Keywords still help improve page rankings, when used correctly. Working the following techniques into your content will earn better rankings by Google and other search engines.

User-Friendly Phrasing

One thing you can let go of is the idea that you must use common search phrases in a specific order.

Let’s go back to our “red shoes Dallas” example from before. You could easily rewrite the phrase to read, “We have many red high-heeled shoes in stock at our Dallas location.” and get the desired result.

Google, for example, understands how to match that directly to the keyword phrase in question and pull back the proper result. The content itself is richer and much more comfortable for a visitor to consume. Using keywords this way also helps when users issue voice searches through IoT or mobile devices.

Lower Keyword Density

Make sure the body of your blogs and articles contain at least 300 words. The longer and more useful you make them, the easier it will be to naturally work in keyword phrases, while maintaining a keyword density of around 2 percent.

You should also use secondary keywords and other long-tailed keywords that tie back to your content. Search engines will continue to give you better rankings, if you maintain a proper balance.

Summing It All Up

Keyword stuffing is an outdated methodology that unfortunately still gets widely used. Search engines penalize pages that use keyword stuffing techniques.

Instead of unnaturally adding keywords to your pages, use natural phrasing and long-tailed variations in rich content to help content rank better in SERPs.  Ultimately, letting go of outdated keyword stuffing benefits content creators, search engines and, most importantly, your prospective customers.

Want more tips to improve your SEO?  Click here to grab a copy of our “Ultimate SEO Checklist.”

 

 

7 Basic SEO Mistakes That Even Experts Make  

Whether you’re new to online marketing or a seasoned SEO expert, it’s important to realize that everyone is vulnerable to some simple, preventable mistakes — sometimes through no fault of your own. Left unchecked, these mistakes can end up wasting countless hours you’ve spent honing your SEO strategy. Here we’ll review eight basic SEO mistakes that even experts are known to make.

3 Sure-Fire Mobile SEO Hacks for MarketersSearch engine optimization is an unforgiving effort if you don’t cover the basics. Whether you’re new to online marketing or a seasoned SEO expert, it’s important to realize that everyone is vulnerable to some simple, preventable mistakes — sometimes through no fault of your own. Left unchecked, these mistakes can end up wasting countless hours you’ve spent honing your SEO strategy.

Here we’ll review eight basic SEO mistakes that even experts are known to make. This list doesn’t touch on everything you should be doing to boost your SEO, but checking for these errors can save you time and money.

1. Loading Your Content With too Many Keywords

“Keyword stuffing” — packing your site with relevant keyword terms — is a long-obsolete practice of gaining better search rankings. Years ago, keyword stuffing was actually quite effective, but nowadays it’s a one-way ticket to bad SEO.

That said, too many marketers and SEO writers still (wrongly) believe that more is better. As a result, many websites are loaded with awkwardly placed keywords that do more harm than good. It’s essential to identify your most relevant keywords and make sure they’re represented on the appropriate webpages, but don’t make any extra efforts to include more keywords than necessary. Google’s algorithm is designed to reward natural, high-quality content.

2. Preventing Your Site From Being Indexed

Did someone else code your website? If so, you’ll want to double-check your HTML code and make sure your site can be indexed by search engines. Specifically, check your homepage HTML code for this line of code: <meta name=”robots” content=”noindex”>

If you find that code, then Google, Bing and all other search engines won’t index your site. And websites that aren’t indexed are virtually invisible unless you type the url into the search bar. Literally none of your SEO efforts will matter with a flawed .htaccess file.

3. Using Poorly Written Content

Most online marketers are aware of the guiding principle that content is king. However, not all marketers truly believe it. They’ll settle for second-rate content on their carefully tuned websites and then wonder why their SERP rankings aren’t as high as expected.

Now more than ever, Google’s search algorithm is programmed to deliver the most relevant, unique content for Web users’ needs. If your content isn’t unique and well-written, then Google will likely see your competitors’ sites as more valuable. There are many ways to add content to your site; you can start a blog, make infographics, add videos and much more. Whichever form your content takes, just make sure it’s high quality.

4. Stopping Search Engines From Crawling CMS-Based Sites

WordPress, Joomla and other content management systems are popular among marketers who don’t want to code websites from scratch. Unfortunately, these platforms have plug-ins and settings that might prevent websites from getting indexed. If your website is based on a CMS, make sure your “Discourage” setting is unchecked.

This is actually quite common during a website redesign. When redesigning a website you may create a brand new development website that you don’t want Google or any other search engines to crawl. So you’ll check the box to hide your development website from search engines. However, you must remember to uncheck this box after you migrate the development website to your live website! If not, you’ll be preventing your website from showing up in the search results.