Avoid Keyword Stuffing with These 5 Tips

February 19, 2018 Caitlin McElwain

Keywords are awesome. They help customers find your business on search engines. When someone makes a search for “bakeries in Moncton, New Brunswick,” for instance, they will come across websites or online listings that have these search terms (also known as keywords). 

You might think that adding more keywords on your site would increase its chance of being found on search engines like Google; however, this strategy doesn’t necessarily work in your favour. In fact, people who try this tactic, called keyword stuffing, might find their site drop from the results page.

Why is this?

Search engines, such as Google, want to give their users a quality experience and relevant content. Websites that are stuffed with too many keywords are usually of poor quality and so search engines mark them as spam—as a consequence, they won’t appear in people’s search results.

How do you find the right number of keywords so that people can find you but not too many that you get listed as spam?

Below are some tips:

  1. Write naturally. Your writing should sound human. Try not to think about what keywords to use at the beginning (you could always see where they fit afterwards). Think in terms of your reader’s experience and how your content relates to them. 
  1. Be relevant. Only include keywords that are relevant to your topic and audience. Think about what people are looking for on your page and whether your content delivers the right information that’s valuable to them.
  1. Watch for keyword density. Being aware of this helps you avoid using too many keywords. A good aim is between 2-5%—that’s roughly two to five instances of a keyword for every 100 words.
  1. Avoid repeating keyword phrases or keyword lists.  Repeating the same words over and over and over and over is annoying. Although the following example is easy to spot, sometimes it’s subtle. Here’s an example by Google of what to avoid: We sell custom cigar humidors. Our custom cigar humidors are handmade. If you’re thinking of buying a custom cigar humidor, please contact our custom cigar humidor specialists at custom.cigar.humidors@example.com.
  1. Use long-tail keywordsThese are specific keywords, usually three or four word phrases that are likely used in searches by a highly targeted audience (such as local customers). For instance, instead of “dry cleaning,” use a specific phrase such as “eco-friendly dry cleaning in Montreal.” Using long-tail keywords will help search engines understand what your site is all about so they can better match your page with people’s search queries, giving you more traffic and better visitors.

Learn more about search engine optimization (SEO)

When it comes to improving your ranking on search engines, there are a number of SEO strategies to employ. At Yellow Pages, we have tons of resources (including a free guide on SEO) to help you navigate the SEO arena. If you need additional support, find out how our experts can help.

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