Can’t seem to get a higher rank for your webpage? Have you experienced getting a penalty for your website? One of the reasons may be keyword stuffing.
If you have a business, chances are you also have a virtual space for it. As of 2018, a website is the most popular digital marketing channel for small businesses. Yet, many web pages practice this black hat SEO technique either due to lack of knowledge or because they want to get ahead of the competition.
But what is keyword stuffing and why shouldn’t you use it? How does it kill your business? Why is it considered one of the worst SEO practices?
Read on to know more about keyword stuffing. We’ve also included some tips on how you can avoid it.
1. What is Keyword Stuffing?
Have you ever experienced eating too much to the point that you feel stuffed? It doesn’t feel good and it isn’t healthy for you.
Think of keyword stuffing like overeating but for your business website.
The logic of keyword stuffing is to create content for a page filled to the brim with keywords. When this happens, the page has a chance to rank high in search results. When that page ranks high, odds are it will have more traffic.
It sounds great in theory but it doesn’t work that way anymore due to updates and changes to Google’s algorithm. We’ll talk about that below.
Below is a keyword stuffing example:
If you are in the market for fashionable hoodies for women, look no further because we’ve got the best fashionable hoodies for women ready to order. Our fashionable hoodies for women come in many sizes and colors too. Feel free to browse through our selection of fashionable hoodies for women here.
It doesn’t look good, does it?
Your content looks overloaded with repetitive key phrases. To the machine, your content should top the search results. To people, those key phrases make your content unappealing and your page superficial.
It may promise a burst of success in the search engine results, but it only works in the short-term. In the long run, it’s not worth your time and effort.
2. Why is Keyword Stuffing Bad?
Google doesn’t like it because it’s unethical and ineffective. Google’s updates focus on providing quality and relevant information to users. Also, keep in mind that keyword stuffing can often bring traffic to malicious or fake websites.
Another keyword stuffing SEO practice is to hide keywords on the page. These words might have a font color that matches the background, have zero font size settings, or have images placed over them. Hidden keywords are often irrelevant and commonly-search phrases.
Even if this SEO technique beats the search engine algorithm, what are the chances that your visitors won’t get tired of reading the same phrases over and over? As you’ve seen in the example above, it gets monotonous and tiresome to read the repeating words. Remember, your primary target audience is people, not robots.
What will happen if you over-optimize your website with keyword stuffing? The least that can happen is that you only get penalized. It also means your website might get demoted in rankings.
The worst thing that can happen is Google will remove your website from its index. When that happens, your site won’t appear in search results at all. That’s your time, effort, and money gone.
Apply keyword stuffing and there is a big chance that the traffic to your website may disappear.
Don’t know how to check for your website traffic? Use Google Analytics, their in-house program to monitor your site’s performance. It also ranks as the biggest third-party domain on the web.
3. How to Work Around Keyword Stuffing
So how do you rank up your webpage without resorting to keyword stuffing?
Focus on your audience. As a reader, imagine what you would like to see in a webpage that offers what you’re looking for. You want to give them quality content, not a boring one.
That is not to say that you should use only one keyword throughout your page. Keyword stuffing is different from the responsible usage of keywords. With many things in life, use keywords in moderation.
A safe way to insert keywords is to look at your keyword density. Keyword density at 2-5% is your best bet. Don’t forget to insert your keywords into the content in the most natural way possible.
Another way to get around keyword stuffing is to use synonymous phrases. This is helpful if you’re finding it difficult to not overuse your keywords or key phrases. Paraphrasing key phrases is another good option.
If you want to be more creative, use long-tailed keywords. They will feel more natural to your readers. Also, they are wonderful choices for hitting the right keyword density.
If your keywords might have other meanings in a different context, then you might attract the wrong visitors. A customer looking for a sewer to hire might find a page for sewer drains instead. To avoid this, add other terms or words related and relevant to your content.
You can look up popular keyword searches for your products or services. Note that a high keyword search volume for your product can also mean more competitors. This is where your awesome and creative content comes in.
Recreate your Keyword Stuffing-Free Page
What is keyword stuffing? Hopefully this guide helped you understand how dangerous this practice is for your online business.
Don’t do it because as explained, Google’s algorithms will penalize you for it. Users will not enjoy your content and will bounce out of the site.
Putting those two issues together and soon enough your pages will rank down instead of going up. Focus instead on proper keyword optimization.
Did you enjoy the read? Want to know more? Read our other blog posts for even more information on SEO, link building, and backlinks!
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