In the early days of search engine optimization, “more” definitely meant “better.” If you had many pages on your website, that was better than fewer. Getting thousands of websites to link to yours was preferable to having a dozen inbound links, even if those thousands of sites weren’t real or substantial. And, more than anything else, having targeted search phrases repeated again and again, also known as keyword stuffing, was a surefire way to let Google and the other engines know exactly what your website was about… and precisely what kinds of customers they should send to your pages.
As search algorithms got to be more complex, however, and actual searchers became more discerning, the practice of keyword stuffing – repeating targeted search phrases on a website to boost rankings – lost its power. Still, we regularly come across business owners and marketers who feel compelled to use repetitive language over and over in their web content, convinced it’s the best way to bring in buyers.
We always go out of our way to get them to tone it down a little, and would advise the same to you if you’re content is centered around one or two phrases. As it turns out, keyword stuffing just doesn’t work anymore, and we can give you three good reasons why…
#1 It Gets in the Way of Your Credibility
If you read a description of our company that was a few paragraphs long and it contained the phrase “Kansas City web design” more than a dozen times, you would have to wonder about our skills as marketers and communicators. Repetition isn’t effective as a messaging strategy, and takes away from the important points or benefits you’re trying to get across to prospects. Nothing that makes you look worse in the eyes of customers is going to be good for your company in the long run, and that definitely applies to keyword stuffing.
#2 It’s Less and Less Effective as an SEO Strategy
As we’ve already mentioned, Google started adjusting its algorithm to screen out search results with unnaturally high keyword densities several years ago. The clamps have only gotten tighter since then. Searchers don’t like pages with too many targeted keywords, which means Google doesn’t like sending its users to those pages. The net of all of this is that using a search term again and again isn’t going to help you improve your search rankings. There is the chance that keyword stuffing will get you banned from Google and the other engines altogether, though.
#3 Keyword Stuffing Decreases Conversions
When you take the first to points together, you arrive at the reality of keyword stuffing in 2016: it gets you fewer web visits and stops visitors from absorbing your most important marketing messages. That’s always going to lead to fewer conversions, whether you are measuring them by sales, online leads, phone calls, or any other metric. The point of your website is to generate business, not to drive it away, so don’t hurt your own cause by overdoing it with keywords you want your website to rank highly for.
There was a time when keyword stuffing was a valid search engine optimization strategy, but that time has passed. And even when it worked, it wasn’t good for the readability of your webpages, or as a way to increase conversions.
Knowing that it wasn’t all that helpful then, and is an effective now, why risk harming your Internet marketing plans for tactic that’s guaranteed to fail?