Welcome to Marketing Monday, where I give you tips and tricks for being your own content marketer. This week’s post is all about keyword stuffing.
There’s no doubt that proper use of keywords is a vital part of any SEO strategy, but I cannot put enough emphasis on the word “proper” in that phrase. Keyword stuffing is definitely improper use of keywords.
Keyword stuffing is when you load your website with keywords, either in the content that’s visible on the page, the meta tags, or in the anchor text (the text that’s visible on the page when you provide a link to another website or page). This is known as a black hat SEO tactic and there are a few different reasons why it’s a bad idea.
Google has gotten pretty savvy and it has learned to tell when content is valuable and when content is full of keywords instead of quality content that answers the questions its users are asking. Because Google’s ultimate goal is to help people find what they’re looking for, it’s not going to point anyone in the direction of content that’s just a string of keywords and phrases without any substance to it. In fact, not only will Google not point people in the direction of your website, it could penalize you for keyword stuffing by removing your site from its rankings altogether, thereby making sure your SEO efforts completely backfire.
2) Your Audience
Getting people to your site is just the first goal of content marketing. The second is to convert those leads into customers, but if all they find when they click on your site the same keyword crammed as many times as possible into one paragraph, they’re not going to stick around, they’re not going to come back, and they’re certainly not going to refer anyone else to your small business.
This will also affect your SEO because there’s something called “the long click” and Google keeps track of it. The long click is when someone conducts a search on Google, clicks on one of the links that Google provides as a result, and never goes back to Google. That’s good for you because hopefully that means they’re busy taking the next steps in the buyer journey, but it’s also good because Google knows that, when people search that keyword or phrase, find your site, and don’t come back, it means they found what they’re looking for, so Google will boost your site in its rankings for that keyword in the future.
3) What to Do Instead
I cannot stress enough the importance of producing quality content above all else. It’s true that simply producing content for the sake of producing content isn’t enough – you do need to use SEO techniques such as keywords, but you also need to make sure to use them properly. Once people find your site, only quality content will keep their attention and successfully convince them to take the next steps in the buyer journey. That’s where your audience personas come in.
A big part of your marketing strategy needs to be developing buyer personas and determining what kind of content speaks to them. What topics interest them? Do they want in-depth information into a particular topic, or do they just want something short that they can peruse quickly and get on with their busy day? Developing a buyer persona will help answer these questions, and determining where your audience is in the buyer journey will help you determine what steps you should encourage them to take next.
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