You’ve probably heard a lot about the importance of SEO, keywords, and keyword research. You may even be guilty of keyword stuffing (GASP!).
You might think, “If I want to rank on Google as ‘the best nutritionist in the greater Detroit area,’ then I should use words like ‘best nutritionist’ and ‘Detroit a lot.”
Unfortunately, that’s not how search engines work anymore. They are more intelligent and crawl your page for authentic and relevant content. So if you load your page up with “keywords,” Google will suspect that you’re just trying to get people to your website, but you don’t offer any valuable information to the reader.
What is Keyword Stuffing?
When you load your website full of words, you want to rank for whether they’re relevant or not, it’s called keyword stuffing.
Keyword stuffing is a dangerous habit. Have you noticed a blog post that didn’t quite read right? Like the paragraph didn’t flow or the sentence just felt forced or off? That’s a prime example of a writer that keyword-stuffed their webpage.
Why You Shouldn’t Keyword Stuff
Google’s algorithm has changed to be more user-friendly to the reader than the owner of the webpage. Which is better because it means you’re more likely to find the answer you’re searching for on page one of the search results and less likely to rabbit hole into something else altogether.
Suppose you want to rank well on Google A.K.A make your page easy to find for your readers, it’s vital that you don’t keyword stuff. Google is smarter than that now, and it will look right over that super overloaded blog post that mentions “massage therapist near me” 30 times in a 500-word post.
What to Avoid
Keyword stuffing can be presented in a few ways. Make sure you avoid the following to keep your content pure and relevant to your readers.
Using the exact words and phrases repeatedly
Sneaking words into your text in an unnatural way
Using blocks of the same keyword
Inserting keywords that aren’t relevant to your topic
Don’t even get me started on keywords not related to your topic. I’ve had clients that insist on using words and phrases that have nothing to do with the subject, especially when I first started writing for websites. It sounds unnatural, it’s a little slimy to do, and it’s only going to hurt their ranking in the long run.
What to Do Instead
There’s no fast track to boosting your Google ranking. The best thing you can do for your website is to create relevant, thought-provoking content. You can use keyword finders to help generate ideas and get your website on the right track but use the words and phrases wisely.
The best way to climb the Google ranks is to:
Assign a primary keyword to your page. It should be low competition yet popular. Don’t reuse this primary keyword on a second page or post.
Write posts or articles longer than 300 MEANINGFUL words. It tells Google that you’ve got the topic covered.
Keep your primary keyword use to less than 2%. If you write 1000 words, you shouldn’t use the keyword more than 20 times.
Use synonyms and long-tail keyword variations
Put the keyword in the right place, including in your page title, in at least one subheading, your meta description, in one image alt tag, in the first paragraph, in the title tag, and near the end of your post.
Need Help Using Keywords Correctly?
If you’re not sure how to find keywords, how to use them, or which ones you want to rank for, let me know! I can help you find the best topics and primary keywords for your healthcare or wellness website.