It's Time to End Keyword Stuffing

Written by: Phillip Nones

Keyword stuffing is one of those things from the early days of digital marketing that never seems to go away. When you encounter awkward phrases embedded in web copy, it’s a reminder that some content creators are still using keyword stuffing as one of their go-to techniques – hoping that doing so will increase their search engine ranking position.

At first, such tactics did help with search ranking, but then developers abused the practice by including search phrases in web copy even when it didn’t strongly relate to the page. Today, search engines penalize such practices.

The same goes for so-called “hidden” content. Stuffing multiple keywords into alt-tags or meta-tags will often result in downgrading as well.

That said, keywords can help improve web page rankings – if they’re used correctly. Focus on doing the following:

User-friendly phrasing – Make sure your copy reads naturally. For example, instead of “women’s clothing store Indianapolis,” state it: “We have a wide range of fashion-forward women’s clothing in stock at our Indianapolis store location.” The content is richer and more informative, too. (Such “natural language” also helps when conducting voice searches through IoT or on mobile devices.)

Lower your keyword density – A good rule of thumb is to keep your keyword density at around 2%, and try for a total word count of 300 or more words per page. That means 5-6 keyword terms per page. Experiment with long-tail phrases so that you’re not merely flacking the same keyword terms as your competitors.

Eliminating keyword stuffing should be a double- win for your web management practices: You’ll benefit from higher search rankings, while your online visitors are treated to a more comfortable and fulfilling website experience.


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