What is keyword stuffing?
Imagine you’re grocery shopping to buy your turkey for Thanksgiving. You arrive at the meat department and tell them you’d like a large, free-range bird. “Sure, we have those available.” So they take you over to the floral department and discuss the holiday arrangements they just got in. Not what you wanted, right? Then they show you the tofurkies, a turkey alternative that they have on special. Frustrated? Just like in this grocery scenario, your website visitors want content that is focused and relevant to what they originally searched for. Otherwise, your visitors will get frustrated and leave.
Using keyword terms over and over again in website content, comment tags, meta tags and alt attributes are the most common forms of keyword stuffing. This is a bad practice done to trick search engines into thinking that a webpage is relevant for the keyword term, and thus improve its ranking. In today’s SEO, keyword stuffing can harm your website – if discovered, search engines will penalize a stuffed webpage or even remove it from its search index completely.
How do you use keywords responsibly?
Content should be created to be as helpful as possible to your visitors. If your content reads naturally and has relevancy, search bots should pick up on what your site is about organically.
There is no magic number of how many times to use a keyword on a web page. The number of times a specific keyword appears on the page should vary depending on the type of content you have created, the length of the content, etc. Do not worry about a specific number or even a percentage for keyword density; focus on creating unique, relevant content of value (bold and underlined, so, you know it’s a big deal). Remember, search engines can penalize your site for keyword stuffing. Write for the user not for the search engines. The content should read naturally and shouldn’t feel forced.
Here’s a keyword stuffing example:
Are you looking for a website design company? If you’re looking for a website design company, look no further. Our website design company is the best place to get a new website design.
Pretty repulsive, right?
A tip from our SEO team…
Rather than using the same word a hundred times, try using some keyword variations to spice things up in your content. Not only does this keep your reader interested, but this will also help make your content as relevant as possible. Search engines recognize that words like “bass” are words that have multiple definitions. For instance, Google wants to be able to differentiate content for someone searching for a “bass” guitar vs. a “bass” fish. By incorporating semantic long tail keywords (phrases that are related to the theme keyword) and synonyms, Google will have a better chance of knowing if your site is talking about fishing or musical equipment.
Synonyms help search engines find relevant content; therefore they tend to reward websites that implement them into content – aka, improved rankings. Having a variety of related keywords in your content shows search engines that your website is more likely to contain content with real value rather than meaningless jabber meant to trick the search bots. Stick with content written for people, not search engines, and you will be on your way to better traffic results!