In a recent blog post, we looked at the nature of malpractice within the SEO world, namely black hat techniques and over optimisation. If our article prompted you to take a look at your own website, Bigfoot Digital here to provide you expert SEO advice on keyword stuffing. Follow our guide to fixing a keyword stuffed website and get it (naturally) back on track.
Understand Why Keyword Stuffing is Bad
Before the Google Penguin and Google Panda were let loose, SEO’s could manipulate a webpage’s rank more easily by adding lots of keywords to show Google that the page was relevant. This practice is what we now call keyword stuffing and is not just frowned upon by reputable SEO agencies, but is not tolerated by Google. Keyword stuffing occurs when too many variations of the same phrase are shoehorned to fit into important ranking factors, such as URLs, meta titles and descriptions, image alt text and body copy. This practice can significantly impair the user experience as the website is sculpted solely for search engines and not real people.
Write Meta Data for Real People
Google uses your meta data to interpret what your website is about and ranks the pages accordingly. While it is important to have your keywords within the meta data, it can be overdone and hinder the user experience, actually deterring people away from a page rather than enticing. This happens when your meta title and description is written for Google’s search bots rather than as a description for real people.
For example, if you are searching Google for a purple dress and the number one page is stuffed with purple dress related keywords, you are immediately inclined to think the link is spammy.
Above is an example of a link which has been stuffed with keywords surrounding the term ‘purple dresses’ in an attempt to capture derivatives of the term. The keywords are stuffed into the page title, the URL and meta description which is overkill rather than relevant and doesn’t read well. Instead, write meta titles and descriptions for the user to read, understand, and want to click on.
Our SEO advice is to use keywords where you would naturally use them to explain something, without trying too hard to fit them in.
Target Specific, Longtail Keywords
As with the example above, sometimes companies try to rank a page of their website for a multitude of terms, in an attempt to win more customers. This tactic simply makes it more difficult for Google to understand what the main topic of the webpage is which can lead to a drop in rankings. Instead, follow our seo advice and focus on what the main subject of the page is and choose one or two key phrases that describe it. After conducting some keyword research around those phrases, settle on the ones that have a good search volume and are as specific as possible. The more specific a key phrase, the more likely a customer is to convert as they are able to find exactly what they have been searching for on your website. We call these longtail keywords, as they generally contain more words to make the phrase specific. For example, the term ‘Dresses’ on its own it’s not specific enough for the user to find exactly what they are after, whereas ‘A-Line Purple Dress UK’ is more likely to satisfy the query and result in a conversion.
Find the Right Keyword to Content Ratio
Another way that black hat SEO’s can over optimise your website is by mentioning the keywords too repetitively though the written content. Not only is this incredibly difficult to read and enjoy, it can also be a warning sign to Google that your website is being manipulated. Google understands that your website will talk about your keyword, as this is what makes the site relevant to the search query. However, if the keyword is mentioned too often, Google believes the site is trying too hard to rank for a keyword and is subsequently damaging the user experience. With ever-changing Google algorithms, every SEO agency has a different approach to striking the perfect keyword ratio on a webpage, but a good piece of SEO advice is to always write content with the reader in mind rather than search bots.
Check Your Website for Keyword Stuffing – for Free!
Run your website through our free SEO audit tool to see what your keywords your website is currently focussed on. The tool examines your technical SEO data to find any content and keyword issues your website could be facing and picks up on any spam that’s affecting your rankings.