Avoiding Keyword Stuffing

As you’re maximizing the value and return of the keywords that you’ve selected, you should be aware of one danger: keyword stuffing. This is the practice of overloading your web pages with keywords. The problem is, it’s hard to know exactly how many times to use a word on a web page.

Search engines don’t publish the maximum allowable number of keywords or keyword appearances on a page, so you’re left to determine how many times you should include keywords in your tags, titles, text, links, and headings.

Keyword stuffing, purposely or not, occurs in several ways on web pages. The first is when the writer includes on the web page (usually at the bottom, but it can be anywhere) a block of text that is nothing more than a repetition of the chosen keyword, like this:

keyword-stuffing.jpg

Sometimes, this block of text is shown in the same font that other text on the page is shown; however, it’s not at all unusual for a block of text like this to be colored the same color as the page background so that it’s invisible to visitors, but perfectly readable by search engine crawlers. When it’s invisible to visitors, it’s called invisible keyword stuffing.

You also run the risk of accidently falling victim to keyword stuffing on your page. This can happen when you’re placing too many keywords into tags, text, and other elements of your web page. As a general rule, you’ll want to keep the occurrence of keywords (called keyword density) at seven to 10 percent of the words on your web page.

Keep in mind that seven to 10 percent keyword density isn’t a hard and fast rule. It’s more a guideline that you should try to stay close to. Some search engines will allow a little higher keyword density before flagging your site as a spam site, whereas others might allow less than 10 percent. It’s a game that you’ll have to experiment with to learn what works and what doesn’t.

One way to ensure that you’re not overdoing it with your keywords is to use several on each page that are unique to that page. These keywords should come from the keyword groups.

Keywords are still one of the least expensive methods of advertising your web site. However, they’re not a simple select-and-forget-it solution. You’ll have to put plenty of effort and experimentation into learning what works and what doesn’t with your PPC ad and keyword placement. Keep the efforts consistent and regular, though, and you’ll eventually find the right combination that will not only provide the increased traffic and conversions you’re looking for, but will also do it within the confines of your budget.

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