Users type keywords into Google and other search engines to discover relevant results and find what they’re looking for. Therefore, implementing blogs with quality content is a great way to use keywords to attract more traffic to your website and convert those readers to customers. But blogging in terms of SEO is not as simple as it may sound. For SEO, your content must include specific keywords, several times, to rank on the SERP – or search engine results page.
Before you consider typing a keyword on your website a bunch of times, know that too much use of a keyword will result in lower rankings, or worse, the removal of your site. Using the keyword repeatedly without any meaningful context or content is known as keyword stuffing, and it’s a big SEO no-no.
Why is Keyword Stuffing Bad?
There was a time when Google algorithms were less advanced, and you could type “dog leash” on a blog page fifty times, and your blog would rank. However, as you could probably imagine, this resulted in awful user experiences. Google quickly wisened up and implemented algorithms to prevent these pages from ranking on the SERP.
Google’s entire goal is to bring users what they’re looking for, and the chances are that no one is looking for a blog that only contains a keyword repeated again and again. Google algorithms can now determine if a blog contains any real content with those keywords, and it penalizes blogs that don’t.
The point of implementing SEO tactics is to help your blogs and site rank higher on the SERP, and engaging in keyword stuffing could potentially get your page removed altogether. Quite the opposite of what you’re trying to accomplish by blogging.
Here is an ugly example of keyword stuffing:
“Looking for a dog leash? We have the dog leash for you! Come over to our dog leash website and buy your furry friend the best dog leash you can find!”
Not only does this read like a Dr. Seuss book, but Google will also recognize this as keyword stuffing and prevent it from ranking. So when it comes to blogs for SEO, more keywords are not necessarily better.
I’m Worried I’ll Accidentally Use Keyword Stuffing!
If you’ve done a bit of SEO research, your goal is probably to use your keywords frequently in a blog made of real, quality content. However, now you might be scared that you’re accidentally using your keyword too much, and the SEO god will reprimand you.
Don’t worry about this too much. The SEO world doesn’t agree on whether there is a formula or not; some say between two and five percent keyword density is safe. That means anywhere from ten to twenty-five keywords per five-hundred-word blog. That’s a lot of keywords. So instead of worrying about using your keyword too much, simply focus on creating quality content around your keywords that your customers will want to read.
You know your customers better than anyone, so relax and use keywords in your blog as they come naturally. The SEO gods will reward your efforts.
SEO Keyword Tips and Tricks
If you’re writing a blog and the same keyword naturally comes up so frequently that you’re worried about committing an SEO crime, try using one of the following tips:
- Long-tail keywords
Synonyms – Google is smarter than you might realize and has a database of synonyms it uses to help determine whether content containing the keyword “cat” refers to the domestic house cat, or wire categories, based on other words used. So by using synonyms for your keyword, you’re still potentially improving your SEO.
Long-tail keywords – Including longer, more specific keywords helps your SEO content in many ways, like narrowing your audience. It’s also a great way to avoid unintentionally stuffing your keywords. So if you sell dog leashes, and your keyword is “leash,” it might not hurt to throw in variations like “luxury dog leash” or “high-quality pet leash.”
Tips to Write a Fool-Proof SEO Blog
Now that you understand you can’t throw your keyword on a page and call it a blog, follow these steps to ensure you’ve optimized your SEO blog.
- Use one primary keyword. Focus on one main keyword for your blog. It should be a popular keyword that ideally has low competition. The primary keyword should be unique to this blog, and not used as the main keyword in other pages on your site to avoid competing with your own content.
- Use secondary keywords. Use those synonyms and long-tail keywords to let Google know your page is relevant to your primary keyword’s meaning. These alternate keywords help the algorithms learn what your page is about.
- Write more than three-hundred words. Google tends to rank the most thoughtful, useful pages on the SERP to give users the best experience. Providing more content than three-hundred words will help show Google you have specific, thorough content worthy of ranking.
- Check your keyword density. While there’s no unique formula to using keywords, experts generally agree that a keyword density of below two percent is safe. To verify if your keyword density falls below two percent, divide the number of times you used the keyword by the number of words in the blog.
Using our example from above: “Looking for a dog leash? We have the dog leash for you! Come over to our dog leash website and buy your furry friend the best dog leash you can find!”
The keyword, dog leash, is used four times in thirty-one words. So:
4 / 31 = .129 = 12.9% keyword density. Way over the recommended two percent.
- Put keywords in essential page elements. It’s not enough to have keywords in the body of your blog. You also need to use them in other page elements to reach the SEO potential fully. Include your keywords in the:
- Page title
- Title tag
- Image alt tags
- First paragraph
At Moose May, we’re helping clients optimize their websites organically. We use blogging with keywords and other SEO tactics to drive more traffic to your website and help overcome the hurdles of growing with eCommerce. Check out our blog for free SEO tips, and when you’re ready, hand us the reigns and let us take your site to the next level.