It can be very tempting to stuff your website content with keywords that you perceive will boost your SEO ranking and give your site better visibility. However, it’s not a good way to go about getting more traction for your site. In fact, it can even harm your efforts in the short as well as the long run.
To avoid black hat tactics like this, you need to know what constitutes keyword stuffing, how it affects your rankings, and what else you can do to gain traction more organically.
Let’s explore what it’s all about with our BRANDefenders expertise.
What is Keyword Stuffing?
Essentially, keyword stuffing is when content is filled with target words or terms in the attempt to get higher Google rankings and thus more views online. The thinking is that more people viewing the digital marketing content and being drawn to the site will result in more sales conversions. The practice is generally frowned upon by the online content community.
Examples of keyword stuffing include:
- Adding words to paragraphs and sentences unnaturally and out of context
- Repeating terms or words unnecessarily and to the point of redundancy
- Adding keywords that aren’t pertinent to the site’s focus
- Using blocks of the same word
- Overusing phone numbers
- Over-listing information such as state and city names in the attempt to rank in searches on these areas
If your keyword is used more than once per paragraph in the attempt to rank higher for that word, then it’s likely being over-used. We at BRANDefenders discuss this in terms of keyword density. In such a case, the density of the word would be too high.
Experts suggest that density rankings should not exceed 2% to 3% per item of content. There are tools you can use online to check your content’s SEO density and rankings.
There are also sneaky ways digital marketing sites try to make content very keyword dense to get higher rankings and visibility. When using these methods, audiences usually cannot easily perceive the words being used, yet they will be picked up by Google.
These tricks include:
- Make key phrases the same color as the site background so that they cannot be seen
- Using key text in the site’s background data such as in meta descriptions and tags, comment tags, alt attributes, and other page code
Sites may think that this will help boost their visibility, but we at BRANDefenders have found these tactics typically lead to even lower rankings.
Why and How Stuffing Impacts Your Google Rankings
One of the main reasons that keyword-dense text results in lower site rankings is that it creates a horrible user experience. Users bombarded with stuffed text will not be getting value from the content they are busy reading. This is because the focus will be on what digital marketing value the content can get out of the audience for the brand, rather than what it can do for people.
Ideally, BRANDefenders experts will tell you that all website content should aim to serve and add value to the user’s experience. Websites should aim to educate and engage visitors and create a loyal audience this way. Users should learn something and have a positive experience when they use a site.
They should be coming back to purchase from the site because they want to. Not because they’ve been manipulated into it with heavy-handed content.
Search engines condemn stuffed content, and they may even penalize sites for this activity. A penalty means your site could be taken off search engine results pages due to its high keyword density.
Sometimes, users use high keyword density as they are not aware of how the system works. This can easily be remedied by a little extra reading on the right practices for optimizing website pages and content.
Using Keywords Correctly
Just because keyword stuffing is frowned upon doesn’t mean you can’t use targeted words and phrases at all. It is important to use targeted words to make sure search engines find them when users search for topics related to your site offers.
How else can you talk about your service or product and maximize your digital marketing without mentioning the words that describe them?
There are a few correct steps BRANDefenders have found to take to use your keywords appropriately and effectively. These keyword usage methods include:
- Assign a Primary Keyword to Each Page
To get going, you’ll need to assign carefully thought-out target words for each of your website’s pages. The word should be on-topic and closely related to your content. Choose a popular yet low-competition word in your area of relevance, as this will boost your chance of getting good rankings.
Don’t use the same primary word on more than one page. Each page should have its own primary keyword and strategy. This stops your pages from being in competition with each other for traction and sends out a very clear message about each page.
- Include the keywords as Organically as Possible
We at BRANDefenders have found the best way to use keywords naturally is to spread them out throughout your content. Don’t overuse any target words, and only place them where they fit in naturally and in a relevant manner. Think about how it would sound if you were talking about the topic and include target words accordingly.
It can be tricky to tell by eye and feel if you are on target with the keywords used in your digital marketing objectives. So, it’s best to check your target word density as you go to make sure you are adhering to best SEO practice guidelines.
- Use Secondary and Long-tail Keywords and Synonyms
It is also important to use secondary target words on your web pages. Search engines use related words and phrases to help establish a context and rank pages. You can write in synonyms and long-tail versions of your target words to help the search engine systems pick them up as relevant to a particular topic covered in your content.
Long-tail phrases assist in making it easier for search engines to find sections in your content that answer questions that users may search for. This gives your content the possibility of ranking on Google’s “people also ask” feature. This increases your site’s visibility in a helpful and natural way.
- Place Keywords Correctly
When creating good SEO, it is also important to use your targeted words effectively in the content’s structure. There are a few essential sections you can use your keyword research to optimize your visibility.
These sections include:
- Your page’s title
- The first paragraph of your content
- In subheadings (at least one)
- Meta descriptions
- In at least one alt image tag
- In or close to the content’s conclusion or last paragraph
BRANDefenders experts will tell you that doing this correctly ensures that search engines pick up and rank your content and pages. This is a positive digital marketing alternative to keyword stuffing that is helpful both to users and to you.
- Write at least 300 Words
To boost SEO, another useful tip is to make sure you write at least 300 words in the main content body of each page. Using 400 to 600 words is even better. This is because search engines constantly seek content that will be the most useful to the user.
BRANDefenders have found that detailed and thorough content will rank higher than scanty, generalized content. Make sure what you write offers statistics and truly helpful information to get better rankings naturally.
- Double Check SEO
Once you have finished writing your content and carefully placing your target words, it’s best to run it through a keyword density tool. Even if you plan your content with care, it is easy to miss some important steps that could boost your content.
Using a density checker will make sure you have the right target word usage percentage. Even top SEO content writers make use of this advantage, so don’t feel like it is a cheating tactic.
Get Better Rankings with Improved Strategy
As you can see, putting better practices in place can work wonders for your digital marketing content and rankings. It is not an effective strategy to randomly choose a keyword and bang it out as much as possible throughout your text. It is much better to work with search engine prerogatives and add value to your audience.
Be sure to follow these basic best SEO practice tips we’ve covered in this
article, and above all, avoid keyword stuffing. There are several other, more advanced tactics you can apply.
You can follow our platform for more on the best ways to develop and manage your content.
Get in Touch with BRANDefenders for More Help
If you’re fairly new to the SEO game, it can be confusing to know if your content has keyword stuffing and what to do about it. But never fear; there is help at hand at BRANDefenders.
You can ask us about how to embrace and confidently use the best SEO practices on your site. Get in touch with us about whether there’s keyword stuffing on your site today.