It can be tempting to take shortcuts when trying to optimize your website for search engines. You may want to try black hat tactics to speed up the process and help you start ranking higher faster. But using short cut methods like ‘keyword stuffing’ won’t help you and will likely hurt you.
What Is Keyword Stuffing?
Keyword stuffing is when a brand “stuffs” or fills a webpage with the same target term in hopes of ranking higher for that term in search engines. Although keyword stuffing is not as popular as it was a few years ago, it’s still used by some brands to try to boost their search visibility.
Types of visible keyword stuffing include:
• Unnatural repeating of words or phrases
• Adding words that are out of context
• Duplicating blocks of the same keyword
• Unnecessarily using keywords that are not relevant to the topic of the page
Let’s talk about a keyword stuffing example. A page that is trying to rank for the term “best water bottle” and using the following copy:
“If you’re looking for the best water bottle, look no further. Our brand offers the best water bottle that you could want for running errands or working out. With unique double-wall vacuum insulation, this is the best water bottle for everyday use.”
In this example, the copy is excessively using the same keyword phrase more than the suggested amount of times to match SEO best practices for keyword density.
What is Keyword Density?
Keyword density in SEO is the percentage of times a keyword is used in the copy — and while there is no exact number for proper keyword density, it is a best practice to stay within a 2% keyword density.
While there are blatant keyword stuffing tactics, there is also a type of keyword stuffing that isn’t visible to audiences. This tactic stuffs terms and phrases that are hidden from readers by using methods such as:
• Using text that is the same color as the background, hidden from readers but displayed to search engine crawlers
• Repeating text in the page’s meta tags, comment tags, and alt attributes
Why is Keyword Stuffing Bad For Your Website?
Simply put, it creates an awful experience for users. Website content should be aimed to educate, inform, or engage your readers. When you start to stuff your pages with keywords, you stop writing for readers and start writing for search engines. This will ultimately create a poor user experience for your audience, thus, sending users away from your page, increasing bounce rates, and driving potential customers from your business.
Keyword stuffing is widely condemned by search engines and the activity could even lead to a search penalty. You could even get hit with a Google penalty that removes your page from search engine results pages altogether!
So, How Do You Use Keywords The Right Way?
If you’re guilty of keyword stuffing or need new strategies to optimize your content and give your pages what they need to rank above your competitors — contact the SEO experts at TOTAL Advertising and we’ll help you improve your SEO strategy in the right ways. We have the keyword research tools and knowledge that will help you get the data and insights you need to top your competitors on SERPs.