What is Keyword Stuffing?

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By Vijay Singh Khatri

It is obvious that we want to get done with tasks faster to achieve our goals. The same is true for SEO. It can be tempting to use shortcuts to rank your page on the first page of Google faster when you first get started with SEO for your website. In order for SEO to be successful, you shouldn’t take shortcuts or use black hat techniques such as keyword stuffing as they won’t help you.

Here in this post, we have mentioned what keyword stuffing is, why keyword stuffing is bad for your website, and how to use keywords the right way.

So let us get started.

What is keyword stuffing?

According to Google Search Central, Keyword stuffing is a practice of loading a webpage with keywords or numbers to manipulate the site’s ranking on Google search results. Often these keywords appear in a list or group or out of context. Filling pages with keywords or numbers can result in a negative user experience and harm the ranking of your website. You need to focus on creating useful, information-rich content that uses appropriate keywords correctly.

In simple words, keyword stuffing is when a brand stuffs a webpage or blog with the same keyword to rank higher in the search engines. While not as popular as it was a year ago, it is still used by many companies to try and boost their website visibility.

Types of Keyword Stuffing

The types of keyword stuffing most people do are:

  • Using repetitive words and phrases.
  • Adding words that are out of context.
  • Inserting blocks of the same keyword.
  • Using keywords that are not relevant to the topic of the blog.

Examples of keyword stuffing

An example of keyword stuffing in a page is given below. Here in this example, we are trying to rank the keyword “best laptop bag.”

If you are looking for the best laptop bag, you are at the right place. We offer the best laptop bag that you can use for your personal and business use. If your laptop bag has padding in the liners and a special pocket to keep the charger, it is considered the best laptop bag for travel and school.

In the above example, the keyword “best laptop bag” has been overused. In simple words, the keyword is used more than the suggested amount of times to match the best SEO practices for keyword density.

But what is keyword density?

In SEO, keyword density is defined as the percentage of times a keyword is used in the content.

Keyword density = Number of words in copy / Number of times keyword appears in the copy.

In the above example, the keyword density is 19.6%. There are (59 words, and the keyword appears three times). This number is higher than the keyword stuffing percentage limit.

According to SEO experts, the keyword density should be around 1-2%. This means it is recommended to add target keywords at least one or two times per 100 words. This rate is enough to show the search engines what the page is about without engaging in keyword stuffing.

Why are keywords important?

To understand keyword stuffing better, you need to know what keywords are in general. Keywords are used to help people find pages on your website. You need to choose keywords based on the user’s intent and needs.

For example, if you are selling mobile phones, you do not want users coming to your page who are looking for garden equipment and furniture. You want visitors who are looking for mobile phones.

Keep in mind that all your web pages should have text related to the keywords surrounding mobile phones. The same goes for web-based ads, like pay-per-click advertising and SEO strategies.

There are many ways to figure out the right keyword for your brand, from using software to working with digital marketing agencies. You can also check the strongest competitors’ information to see what keywords they use.

Regardless of how you find the keyword, you can start using them in your website’s text once you have a list of relevant keywords. And this is when the topic of keyword stuffing comes into play.

Why is keyword stuffing bad for your website?

Now that you know what keyword stuffing is from the example we mentioned above, you know it is one of the most obvious reasons it is a bad SEO strategy. It creates an awful experience for your target audience.

Your content should educate, serve the purpose, and engage your readers. When you stuff your page with keywords, you will not accomplish your goal. If you are stuffing your blogs and website with keywords, you are not writing for your readers. You are writing for search engines. This results in a poor experience for your audience, will not interest them, increases your page bounce rate, and drives potential customers away from your business.

Did you know, using a keyword too many times on a page, also known as keyword stuffing, can result in your site being penalized?

In simple words, if you fill your page with unnecessary keywords, it won’t help you in ranking higher. It will decrease the ranking. There are chances that you will get penalized by Google, where they remove your page from the search engine results page (SERP).

As it might be tempting to take a shortcut, avoid stuffing your page with keywords. Instead, it is recommended to optimize your page for keywords in the proper manner.

How to use keywords the right way?

If you want to rank a page for a specific keyword, you need to focus on optimizing for the keyword instead of stuffing in the keyword. Try to use the target keyword in the right place. And according to Google’s quality guidelines, you need to “focus on creating useful, information-rich content that uses keywords correctly and in context.”

Here in this section, we have mentioned six steps that you can follow to rank your blog and follow a healthy keyword density process.

1. Assign a primary keyword to each page

Before you get started with SEO for your webpage or a blog, you need to choose the right target keyword. The primary keyword should be relevant to the topic and closely tied to the content. Choose a popular, based on the user search intent, and have fewer competition keywords because it helps to improve and increase your chances of ranking on the SERP for these terms.

Once you have assigned a keyword on one webpage, make sure you do not use it as a primary keyword for other pages on your website. Every page on your website that you want to rank in the SERP should be assigned a unique target keyword.

Following this keeps your page from competing against one another and signals the search engine about your content.

There are many tools available on the internet which helps to find the right primary keyword for your website. These tools include the Google Keyword Planner, Uber Suggest, Alexa Keyword Difficulty tool, and much more.

Enter a phrase related to your topic and use the suggestions to choose a keyword. To find the best primary keyword look for terms with a high popularity score and low competition compared to the other words.

2. Write more than 300 words.

To rank on Google, ensure you write 300 or more words on the web page. The main aim of search engines is to offer the users the most relevant and helpful information. If you have good or relevant content, then you are more likely to rank on search engines.

3. Use the right primary keyword density in your content.

While writing your content, use your target keyword in the content. Do not overuse the keywords and use it only where it makes sense and is relevant. As mentioned earlier, keep your keyword density below 2% to follow the best SEO practices.

Pro tip: If you are using WordPress, you can check the keyword density of your post with the help of the Yoast SEO plugin. It is an SEO tool that helps in making your content SEO-friendly. However, once you have published the URL, you can run the URL through Alexa’s On-Page SEO Checker to get more suggestions on how to improve your page for getting ranked.

4. Add secondary keywords, synonyms, long-tail keywords variations in your copy.

Another way to tell search engines that your webpage is relevant to the primary keyword is by adding secondary keywords on the page. Search engine crawlers use other terms and phrases to get context to help them rank a page. So in your content, use secondary keywords that are synonyms, long-tail versions of your primary keyword to reinforce what your content is about and help crawlers rank your page.

Using a long-tail variation of your primary keyword also helps search engines identify places in your content to answer questions, increasing the chances to have your content featured in Google’s “people also ask” section.

Tip: You can search for your target keyword on Google and reference their list of related searches to find the secondary keyword.

5. Place keywords in the right way

When optimizing a page for a keyword, it is not just about where to place the target term in the main body content. It is also about how you use the primary keyword in other elements on the page.

To make your web page fully optimized, you need to use your keywords in the following places:

  • Page title
  • At least one subheading
  • Title tag
  • Meta description
  • At Least one image alt tag
  • The first paragraph of your content
  • In the conclusion

Unlike keyword stuffing, using the keyword in these appropriate places mentioned above sends a positive signal to the search engines to get them to notice you and rank your page for the primary keyword.

Improve your keyword strategy

To conclude, it is not enough to pick a random keyword and repeat it again and again in your content with the hope that you will start ranking on the SERP. You need to do proper research and develop a strategy to optimize your content and give your pages what they need to rank on the first page of Google.

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