It’s the bottom feeder of the search engine optimization world. A last-ditch, desperate effort to grab that top spot on Google.
It took some time, but search engine algorithms have now been altered to recognize this unsavory tactic. And in most cases, they’ll penalize a site for doing it, and that means lower search rankings (or no rankings altogether.)
It’s also unsightly. Customers can recognize keyword stuffing in a heartbeat, and it makes them go running for the hills – or toward a competing business.
The truth is search engine optimization is an art. You can’t throw keywords into your content willy-nilly; your SEO efforts need to be thoughtful, well-planned and expertly executed if you want them to be successful.
Want to make sure you’re not overdoing it with your keywords? That you’re deftly incorporating them into your site and copy? Here are some tips to help:
Use variations – Keep each page and post on your website focused on one keyword or phrase, and try to work in variations of that phrase throughout. Don’t just use the same wording each and every time, or it will begin to look spammy (and search engines and readers will take notice!) Switch around the words, use singular and plural versions, and vary up the sentence structure where possible.
Change up the context – Don’t use your keywords in the same context every time. If your target term is “best hairdresser,” for example, don’t always say “looking for the best hairdresser?” or “for the best hairdresser, go to…” This will make your keywords stand out like a sore thumb.
Organize and categorize your website – By organizing your site into different sections and categories, you’re essentially creating built-in landing pages – ones that can house information specifically one on subject or, for SEO purposes, one keyword. This will improve your search rankings and make your keyword usage seem more natural and relatable.
Speak naturally – Before writing your content, take a minute and think about how you would discuss your keyword in a real-life conversation. You probably wouldn’t use the same phrasing each time, and you’d probably only mention it a handful of times. Take this to heart when crafting your content. Aim to create copy that sounds like a natural conversation – one that’s not forced or uncomfortable for the reader.
Think quality over quantity – Gone are the days when more keywords means more SEO impact. In fact, with today’s search engine algorithms, quality is much more important than quantity. Use your keywords sparingly, and instead focus on delivering high-quality, useful information on your subject of choice.
Use images, headers and meta tags to your advantage – While meta keywords have no SEO value in this day and age, meta descriptions, header tags and images still hold a significant amount of weight. Make sure to incorporate your keywords into these areas, and really up the ante on your digital marketing efforts.
Write longer – With a 200-word block of content, it’s going to be much easier to spot the keywords. Consider writing longer copy, and give yourself more room to work in those key terms and spread them seamlesslty throughout your content.
Don’t overuse bold and italics – While emboldening or italicizing your keyword once on a page can certainly help with search rankings, don’t overdo it. The more your draw attention to those keywords, the more users will take notice – and the more likely it is to turn them off to your brand.
A good search engine optimization campaign takes concerted effort. If you’re having trouble crafting your SEO content, contact Steadfast Creative today. Our expert team of marketing and copywriting pros are here to help.