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How to Avoid Keyword Stuffing
There are hundreds—perhaps thousands—of viable strategies for improving your website’s visibility on Google. Lately, I’ve been reading The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker. Drucker repeatedly makes the point that there will always be more (worthy) initiatives than the executive has time to execute so it’s extremely important to pick wisely and spend time doing those that offer the greatest return. The same is true with SEO.
Generally speaking, SEO has three primary components:
1. Analysis: Code, site structure, competitive analysis, and keyword research
2. On-Page Optimization: Content, keyword density, cross-links, etc.
3. Off-Page Optimization: Content seeding, link building, etc.
Remarkable content is king, but it’s worth zippy if it’s placed onto a website that is poorly coded or improperly structured. It’s like throwing seeds on rocks instead of nutrient rich soil! The fastest way to improve your website’s organic position on the major search engines—Google, Yahoo, and Bing—is creating unique, relevant, keyword rich copy. But how much copy constitutes “keyword rich” and where’s the line between keyword rich and keyword stuffing?
These are great questions! Unfortunately, it’s tough to give exact answers. Like most things in life, the answer is “it depends!”
Our suggestion to avoid keyword stuffing is to try the following:
To determine how much copy you need on your website to rank well, do some searches for keyword phrases you think your prospective customers would use to find you. Click on the top three sites and count the gross number of words on the page. Now count the number of keywords. Divide the number of total keywords by the number of total words and you have the keyword density.
Chances are good that if the pages you’re looking at outrank your web pages, they probably have more content and more keywords—gross and, often, density. Now you’ve answered the question of how much copy and keyword density you need to be “a player.” Now all you have to do is whip up some content and stuff it with keywords—right?
All content is not created equal. Regurgitating the same crap found on other sites will earn you no Google brownie points and, although zillions of people do it, keyword stuffing is a BIG no-no. To avoid writing crappy content, take a stand. Offer your opinion on a particular subject or, better yet, try to answer the implied questions your prospective customers and website visitors might have.
If you don’t know what those are, review your website analytics, ask some real customers, or search the web yourself.
Get a group of friends together and ask them what they’d search for to find your product or service. If you go around the room quickly, you’ll likely get a half dozen or so new words and phrases that could be used to describe what it is you do or offer. Instead of repeating the same keyword over and over again throughout a page, use the word variations your friends came up with. This diversity makes your content much more readable to users and looks better to Google. It also helps make your page more visible for a wider variety of searches and you must know by now that not everyone searches like you do!
About The Author: Ben Landers is the President and CEO of Blue Corona, a data-driven, inbound internet marketing company. Submit an inquiry to book Ben to speak at your next conference or event.
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