When you say “stuffing” around this time of year you might think of a big juicy turkey sitting on a dining room table. The stuffing we’re talking about today is not the edible kind, however—though it may also be less-than-ideal for your (SEO) health. Keyword stuffing is a no-no when it comes to SEO, and we’re here to tell you why.
What is keyword stuffing?
Keyword stuffing refers to the practice of packing a web page with keywords in an attempt to rank for them in search. You might be thinking, “But I thought we were supposed to include keywords in our digital content to try to help it rank highly in search?” Yes, that’s true; however, keyword stuffing takes that concept to an extreme level. It typically involves packing a page with keywords to the point that the copy reads as awkward or unnatural, which ultimately results in a bad user experience.
Examples of keyword stuffing
Here are a few examples:
- Repeating words or phrases unnecessarily
- Including words that are out of context or irrelevant to what is being stated
- Adding random blocks of text that do not flow naturally with the rest of the copy
- Physically hiding copy from viewers by repeating text in the page’s code or making it the same color as the page’s background
A quick note on keyword density
Another related term here is keyword density. Keyword density is the number of words on a page divided by the number of times a keyword appears on a page.
If the keyword density is too high, search engines can flag your page, resulting in hindered SEO efforts.
Why is it bad for SEO?
Now let’s explain the “Why You Shouldn’t Do It” part of this blog’s title. If you can’t tell by the examples above, keyword stuffing is just plain sneaky! Not to mention, it creates a negative experience for your page visitors. If your audience members don’t like what they see, they likely won’t return to your page or recommend it to others.
In addition, search engines can actually penalize your page for using tactics like these, which defeats the concept of SEO in the first place.
What should you do instead?
Instead of stuffing your webpage unnaturally with keywords, try a few of these best practices.
- Keep keyword density below 2%.
- Choose relevant keywords.
- Include at least 300 words per page.
- Use primary and secondary keywords.
- Employ a plug-in like Yoast to check your SEO efforts.
If you think keyword stuffing will help you on your SEO journey, think again. Not only can it actually hurt your chances of having your content rank highly in search, but also it is unappealing for visitors to your web pages.
Need help employing those best practices instead? We’re here for you!
McNutt & Partners is a full-service advertising and digital marketing agency. Contact us today for your marketing needs! Call 334-521-1010, or visit our contact page.