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How To Avoid Keyword Stuffing The Right Way

It sounds counterintuitive, but it is possible to have too many keywords. As we move into a new decade, most marketers would agree that content is still the king of any SEO strategy. But you should be careful not to fall into the trap referred to as “keyword stuffing”. The practice of just jamming as many keywords as possible into a single post can dethrone you from the top positions in search results.

Content marketing uses keywords as a primary form of SEO. It can be tempting to use as many keywords as possible as frequently in hopes of showing Google that your blog post is perfect and should be ranked first.

There is a difference between theory and practice. What sounds good in discussions is not a game-changer when you put it down on paper. The reality is keyword stuffing is a dangerous game and can have the opposite effect.

The point of web content is to educate and engage your readers. That goal will not be achievable if you stuff your pages with keywords. Going down that road means you have to stop writing for people and start writing for search engine bots.

Keyword stuffing creates a poor reading experience. Your audience will get frustrated and will leave your page. Driving potential customers from your business is not a good strategy.

Responsible Keyword Density

It’s important to distinguish between keyword stuffing from general keyword usage. It’s still important to use keywords in your content, you just need to insert them responsibly.

Experts say there is no magic number. The consensus in the SEO community is 2-5% keyword density is the sweet spot. There are tools like SEO Yoast for WordPress sites that assess overall SEO potential for on-site content.

Assign a Primary Keyword

Choose one target keyword. The primary phrase should be relevant to the topic and popular, low-competition keywords to improve your chances of ranking on search pages. In this way, you prevent a conflict of interest by having your pages competing against one another. At the same time, you send a clear signal to search engines about what the content is about.

Another way to signal to search engines that your page is relevant is by using secondary keywords on the page. Search engine crawlers use the phrases they encounter on a page to get more context about the article, and in that way decide how to rank the page

Write In-Depth Content

 

Search engines aim to provide helpful information so word count plays a role in ranking. The algorithm is more likely to rank your content if it is in-depth. To encourage search engines, write 300 or more words of main body copy on the page.

Place Them in the Right Place

When you optimize a page for a keyword, it is not just about where you place the target term in the main body content. It is also about how you use the keyword in other elements on the page.

To fully optimize a page, use the keyword once in the following places:

  • Page title
  • The subheading
  • Title tag
  • Meta description
  • First paragraph
  • At least one image alt tag
  • At the end of the post

The difference between keyword stuffing, and the previously listed keyword optimization tactics is that the second option encourages search engines to notice and rank your page for the intended phrase.

Making the Most Of Long Tail

Algorithms are becoming more sophisticated, and that made possible the widespread use of long-tail keywords. This was because a phrase consisting of several words no longer had to be reproduced precisely.

Instead of using a single keyword hundreds of times, try variations of some long-tail keyword to refresh the content.

Synonyms Can Be a Good Backup

Another trick is to try synonyms. Google prides itself on relevancy, especially the ability to differentiate someone searching for a baseball “bat” vs. the flying mammal “bat.” There is a database index of Google synonyms to help it differentiate between word meanings.

Google knows that if a site is talking about “clubs” and “balls,” they are probably talking about sports equipment and not flying mammals. Search engines reward sites that implement synonyms. Variety in your word choice adds value to the content and is more likely to attract some attention from search engines.

Focus on Creating Actionable Content

Keywords have evolved into something that we add for emphasis. They are no longer the focal point of search engine optimization. Now keywords are a secret ingredient to your favorite content recipe. That is why you must use them wisely.

Keyword stuffing will not do you any favors. Focus on creating actionable, valuable content that your audience wants to read.

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