You’re investing in SEO. How smart! You’re creating a foundation for all your digital marketing efforts. You’re putting in the work with meta tags and properly-formatted URLs and a content campaign, but…
“Isn’t keyword stuffing easier?” you ask.
Keyword stuffing: It’s as bad as it sounds. There was a time and place when using tons and tons of keywords on your website worked to bolster your search rankings and get you more visitors. It’s natural to wonder why we still don’t just fill your homepage with relevant keywords and wait for the clicks to roll in! At Synchronicity, we know better.
First, What is Keyword Stuffing?
Like everything in SEO, “keyword stuffing” is a little subjective. In a nutshell, it’s the practice of loading up content with popular key search terms to manipulate rankings.
Here are a couple of examples:
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Oof. Painful to read, huh? Best practice is to include no more than 3-5% “keywords” per page of your website. It’s also smart to use longtail keywords (that is, phrases that bring in fewer clicks but warmer leads) to answer pointed questions from your readers. Blog posts and landing pages are great places to implement this strategy!
Keywords stuffing is a terrible idea and it won’t do you any SEO favors. Here’s why.
Keyword Stuffing Gets Your Site Penalized
When Google penalizes a site or a specific webpage it becomes nearly impossible to find via web searches. It can take months or even years to get that traffic back and if web traffic translates into sales for your business, that can be disastrous. Penalties often come without warning and they’re done without mercy; we’ve seen very few businesses plead their case to Google and have their rankings restored.
SEO can be a giant guessing game but Google has laid out a few parameters they will and won’t accept from websites. They’ve specifically stated that keyword stuffing is unacceptable and starting during the Penguin update in 2012, they’ve put their money where their mouth is.
Keyword Stuffing is Bad for Usability
At the end of the day you should worry a whole lot less about what Google thinks of your site and a whole lot more about how useful it is to your users. Can they find what they’re looking for? Do your pages present clear, easy-to-read information? If you’re creating a good experience for site visitors odds are Google is happy, too. Search engines are much smarter than we even know and Google is getting good at basing their rankings on which are the best sites, not just the most search optimized.
When you stuff your content full of keywords, it feels clunky. The internet isn’t as novel as it once was and web users are savvy – they know when they’re looking at spammy content and when they’re not. Keyword stuffing muddles your message and makes your business harder to trust.
Anyway, don’t keyword stuff. It’s not a good strategy.
Need help coming up with a solid digital marketing plan? Give us a call! Sync can help.