Back in the day, “keyword stuffing” was a common and valid strategy to help your SEO rankings. Today, that’s not the case anymore, yet some content creators and marketers are still trying to keyword stuff in order to rank better, not realizing that they are actually hurting their rankings for the desired keyword. Today we look at a few reasons why you should not be keyword stuffing and what you can do about it, instead.
Keyword Stuffing Hurts Your Ranking
The algorithms that search engines were using at one time weren’t programmed to filter through content that is “readable” vs. “keyword stuffed” like they can today. What this means for you is that search engine algorithms can more effectively tell if you have original, genuine content and content that has been created purely for “keyword stuffing” purposes.
If it detects that you are stuffing keywords in as much as possible, your page ranking will decrease, which is why it’s advised to nix this practice for SEO.
Avoid Sneaky “Invisible” Keyword Tactics
Another strategy similar to keyword stuffing is using “invisible” keywords, such as changing the font color of the keyword to match the background, sneaking the keyword into behind-the-scenes content such as the code of the page that visitors don’t see, but search engine crawlers can. Some algorithms can see right through it, so make sure to avoid this alternative tactic as well.
Focus On Your Users, Not the Search Engines
While you want to be mindful of the keywords you’re using so that you can actually rank for the desired keywords, your focus should first and foremost be the users on your website. Not only are your users going to appreciate you creating content that is useful for them, but search engines are getting better and better at seeing through content that is being created for users versus content created purely for page ranking.
Utilize a Combination of Keyword Variations
Explore keyword alternatives, such as secondary keywords, synonyms of the keyword, and long-tail keyword variations to help you hit different search terms that your users are searching for. This will help you avoid keyword stuffing while still getting a wide range of keyword phrases that you’re targeting.
What Is Considered Keyword Stuffing?
While it’s not possible to know the exact amount of times to insert your keyword into your content since nobody truly knows what the search engine algorithm is, a general rule of thumb is 2%. For every 100 words, 2 of those words can be the keyword you are attempting to rank for. It doesn’t necessarily have to be exactly 2%, but it’s a good target to aim for. Any more than that and you’re getting closer to an amount that search engines might frown upon.
Have questions about keywords, keyword stuffing, or have other SEO related questions? Reach out to us at C2CG with your questions!