If we had a dollar for every time we said or heard “keyword” in the Infotel office, our boss might have a hard time getting us to show up for work.
There’s a reason though. Keywords are the absolute fundamentals of great SEO & SEM practices. They are the link between what your potential clients are searching for, and how they view your business online. Without proper keywords, your website might as well just be sleeping on the Internet.
Keywords can be singular words or phrases that help connect search engine users to your website. You use keywords everywhere in your online strategy- your website, your paid ads, social media, Youtube…everywhere.
So, it would make sense to choose some top performing keywords and go nuts with them while creating content. The more, the merrier, and the more anchors you have to your website content from each search, the more you will be seen.
Not so fast. Search engines are smart. They are smarter than backlink farming, spam ads, duplicate content and of course- keyword stuffing.
What Is Keyword Stuffing?
Once considered a great search engine optimization technique, loading your keywords into every area of your website- meta tags, content, backlink anchor text, alt images etc. in theory gains an unfair rank advantage in search engines. Keyword stuffing is spammy, annoying and downright devious in a world where transparency and genuineness is heavily demanded online.
Have you ever read a webpage that sounded like it was written by a very repetitive robot, like the one below?
Why Keyword Stuffing Works Against Your SEO
Google quickly noticed millions of attempts to deceive their algorithm by keyword stuffing. In they came, guns a blazing, to crack down on keyword stuffing. Seriously- they wrote an article about it.
Google cares about the user experience because at its core, they are a business. If they can’t uphold themselves to be the search engine that delivers results, people wanting answers will run to other sources.
In an effort to increase the quality of each users experience, Google updated their algorithm to purposely look for keyword stuffing- and penalize you. If you’re manipulating your site’s ranking, not earning it, Google is going to put you in search engine detention.
Don’t forget as well- real human beings also read your content. Keyword stuffing can never, ever be done naturally. It will read to the average human as robotic, repetitive and far from natural. From a business perspective, this is all round bad marketing to online users that have every potential to become qualified leads and sales.
What Qualifies as Keyword Stuffing?
As with everything online, there is a grey area. What counts as keyword stuffing vs. keyword optimization can be hard for even SEO experts to understand. The execution of just the right amount of keywords and strategic placement is an art in itself; satisfying the demands of a search engine algorithm with the need for transparent and genuine content for a great user experience is tough.
Healthy keyword optimization entails working natural and true content around a few keywords that accurately describe your business. It also involves the strategic placement of keywords in your meta tags, alt tags, meta descriptions, title tags and on-page titles. Healthy keyword optimization does not force content based on leading searches- it will mirror what your business offers and what your specific market is searching for.
How Can You Avoid Keyword Stuffing
As with a lot of content creation, there isn’t a black and white rule to avoid keyword stuffing. At Infotel, we do use a benchmark that helps us create natural, engaging content- without the use of repeated keywords every two sentences.
We write with keyword density in mind.
Keyword Density =
(Number of words in copy) / (Number of times keyword appears in copy)
Best practice is to remain around the 2% mark. This indicates your copy is natural but contains enough keywords to help positively boost your SERP ranking.
There are some companies (and sadly, agencies) that will try and by-pass this by putting text on the page that is the same color as it’s background. Readers can’t see it, but search engine crawlers can.
PSA- Google knows, and you’ll be penalized.
Others repeat keywords in comments, reviews, in the sites code and more to again, trick the search engine crawlers but not interrupt the user experience.
Again, Google is smarter than most of us and will catch it.
The best way to avoid keyword stuffing is by curating raw, real and smart content that engages readers on a natural level. Your website will rank higher on the SERP engine- and stay there- by appeasing Google AND your readers. Yes, it will take longer- great SEO is gradual and requires consistent work. If your work is wholesome and true, your place on the SERP will be as well.
Infotel and SEO Content Curation
If writing isn’t your thing, and you don’t have a ton of time to consistently update your content, you will have a hard time getting great SEO. The saying “content is king” rings alarmingly true, and really cannot be stressed enough.
The content team at Infotel works very closely with our developers to offer SEO content packages that takes the need for writing out of your hands. Consistent blogging, article writing, social media management and website development boots your SEO and really hones in your online ROI.
Let content be your king- chat with us.