We all want the same thing: When our customers search Google for terms related to our business, we want to be right there in the search results. Ranking with SEO has a technical side and a creative side. Your goal is to be discoverable, engaging, and relevant in competitive spaces, and rank for search terms that your customers care about. Once upon a time, there was a shortcut: keyword stuffing.
What is keyword stuffing? Using your target key phrases over and over (and over) to ensure that search engines rank your site. For example, repeating the phrase “red high-top sneakers” several times in a product listing in hopes of ranking higher for users shopping for fresh kicks.
Folks even hid hundreds of keywords in the page footer, re-colored to match the page background as an invisible lurker for search engine crawlers.
Don’t do this.
Search engines are smarter now. They’re pretty good at sniffing out blatant keyword overload. Your rankings may take a hit if you pepper in keywords at every opportunity.
But there’s a more important reason: your users and customers. If I have one piece of advice for anyone who is building their team’s SEO best practices, it’s to build trust by being helpful. A few strategically placed keywords are all you need.
How to Write Great SEO Content Without Keyword Stuffing
Most importantly, do your research. How many people are searching for terms related to your business, and what terms are they using? How are competitors using these terms? Lately, I’ve also been focusing more and more on the search intent. What questions are people asking? How can we answer them efficiently? What would they genuinely appreciate reading about? Respond to these needs and watch your keyword density. The algorithms can tell when you’re stuffing.
A few strategically placed keywords are all you need.
I’ll be talking more with Myles about SEO do’s and don’ts in the coming weeks. Remember to focus on quality content that is interesting, informative, engaging, and relevant. That’s good for your users and builds trust in your business.
Stay tuned for future episodes.