Keywords are crucial for search engine optimization (SEO), but when overused, they can hurt your website or page.
Keyword stuffing involves overloading a site or web page with keywords, numbers, or phrases to control and manipulate the site or page’s ranking in search results.
Such a practice can reduce the number of visitors to your page and significantly affect your conversion rates.
In the early days, it was acceptable to use keywords excessively for website promotion and marketing. It worked well in gaining customers and attention to websites.
However, things are now different. With the advancement of semantic search technology, keyword stuffing is no longer acceptable.
Today, search engines consider the contextual meaning and intent of search phrases to provide users with the most relevant search results.
It follows that keyword stuffing is an unethical (black hat) tactic that will affect the credibility, visibility, and overall success of your site or page — the opposite of white SEO.
Here are some more reasons why you need to avoid keyword stuffing:
Keyword Stuffing is a Sign of Manipulation
The ideal keyword density is 1% – 5%. If your keyword or phrase exceeds that, search engines will start scrutinizing that you are trying to manipulate the system to rank higher. When this happens, your website will suffer.
There will be a delay for your site to get ranked by the search engines. Though in case it finally gets rated, your website will be put far down the search results list, and this won’t be helpful to you at all.
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There are Penalties For Keyword Stuffing
It is not just a matter of getting a lower rank. When you overuse keywords to scale up your SEO campaign, Google will slap your site with penalties that will be detrimental to its performance.
For a start, Google and other search engines may stop promoting your site. The result is that your website will lose its credibility, visibility, and site ratings. When this happens, you will have less traffic, and it will become more of a burden for you to keep it running.
Visitors Will Shun Your Site
Keyword stuffing leads to low-quality content and a low readability score as well. Plus, people don’t like to read articles or posts with repeated words or phrases.
Imagine reading a 500-word content with a keyword or phrase repeated more than a hundred times. It can get annoying and repulsive. When your content becomes inferior, many readers will look elsewhere.
So keep in mind to research your keywords correctly and that you are presenting useful and informative content.
How Can You Avoid Keyword Stuffing?
Well, the short answer is to conduct white SEO. Don’t be too generous with the keywords you are trying to rank for. Make sure their density falls between 2% – 5%. Beyond that, your content will be nonsensical, robotic, stiff, and very difficult to read.
To ensure proper use of keywords, observe the following tips:
Know You are Writing For Humans
Many marketers make the mistake of thinking they are writing for search engines (algorithms) rather than for human readers. Do not fall into that trap. Your posts should be natural. Use the style and tone of the way you talk to your target audience face to face.
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Identify Areas Where Keywords Fit Naturally
Do not force keywords into your writings. They should be in context and fit naturally into your content.
You can use them in your meta descriptions, title tags, headings, and subheadings. This is to reduce the number of keywords you need to use in the main body of the article. Fitting keywords will make your content flow naturally and readable.
Use Keyword Variations
When you keep repeating the same words or phrases over and over, it becomes monotonous.
Try to use some long-tail variations of it that do not change the meaning of the primary keyword. As an example, for “Ohio plumbing,” you can use variations such as “plumbing services in Ohio,” or “Ohio plumbing companies.”
By using similar or related words in your writing, your content will sound more natural, easier to follow, and understandable.
For instance, instead of using the keyword “shoes for men” throughout your article, you can use “footwear for men” or “men’s sneakers” in some places.
You can use online tools to help you with the process, such as Synonym.com and Thesaurus.com. Or, simply use Google, type in your keyword, and scroll down to the related search section.
Every website wants to rank high on the search engine results page. But, you can only attain that top position by using professional and acceptable (white hat) SEO techniques.
It takes time to learn the ropes, from identifying the right keywords to knowing the appropriate density, and the proper placement. However, the outcome will be much more satisfying.