Search
Add Listing
  • You have no bookmark.

Your Wishlist : 0 listings

Sign In

What is keyword research and how you can find the fitting keywords to succeed with a website.

What is keyword research and how you can find the fitting keywords to succeed with a website.

Now that you’ve learned how to show up in search results, let’s determine which strategic keywords to target in your website’s content, and how to craft that content to satisfy both users and search engines.

The power of keyword research lies in better understanding your target market and how they are searching for your content, services, or products.

Keyword research provides you with specific search data that can help you answer questions like:

  • What are people searching for?
  • How many people are searching for it?
  • In what format do they want that information?

In this chapter, you’ll get tools and strategies for uncovering that information, as well as learn tactics that’ll help you avoid keyword research foibles and build strong content. Once you uncover how your target audience is searching for your content, you begin to uncover a whole new world of strategic SEO!

Before keyword research, ask questions

Before you can help a business grow through search engine optimization, you first have to understand who they are, who their customers are, and their goals.

This is where corners are often cut. Too many people bypass this crucial planning step because keyword research takes time, and why spend the time when you already know what you want to rank for?

The answer is that what you want to rank for and what your audience actually wants are often two wildly different things. Focusing on your audience and then using keyword data to hone those insights will make for much more successful campaigns than focusing on arbitrary keywords.

Here’s an example. Frankie & Jo’s (a Seattle-based vegan, gluten-free ice cream shop) has heard about SEO and wants help improving how and how often they show up in organic search results. In order to help them, you need to first understand a little more about their customers. To do so, you might ask questions such as:

  • What types of ice cream, desserts, snacks, etc. are people searching for?
  • Who is searching for these terms?
  • When are people searching for ice cream, snacks, desserts, etc.?
    • Are there seasonality trends throughout the year?
  • How are people searching for ice cream?
    • What words do they use?
    • What questions do they ask?
    • Are more searches performed on mobile devices?
  • Why are people seeking ice cream?
    • Are individuals looking for health-conscious ice cream specifically or just looking to satisfy a sweet tooth?
  • Where are potential customers located — locally, nationally, or internationally?

And finally — here’s the kicker — how can you help provide the best content about ice cream to cultivate a community and fulfill what all those people are searching for? Asking these questions is a crucial planning step that will guide your keyword research and help you craft better content.

What’s that word mean?

Remember, if you’re stumped by any of the terms used in this chapter, our SEO glossary is here to help!

What terms are people searching for?

You may have a way of describing what you do, but how does your audience search for the product, service, or information you provide? Answering this question is a crucial first step in the keyword research process.

Discovering keywords

You likely have a few keywords in mind that you would like to rank for. These will be things like your products, services, or other topics your website addresses, and they are great seed keywords for your research, so start there! You can enter those keywords into a keyword research tool to discover average monthly search volume and similar keywords. We’ll get into search volume in greater depth in the next section, but during the discovery phase, it can help you determine which variations of your keywords are most popular amongst searchers.

Once you enter in your seed keywords into a keyword research tool, you will begin to discover other keywords, common questions, and topics for your content that you might have otherwise missed.

Let’s use the example of a florist that specializes in weddings.

Typing “wedding” and “florist” into a keyword research tool, you may discover highly relevant, highly searched for related terms such as:

  • Wedding bouquets
  • Bridal flowers
  • Wedding flower shop

In the process of discovering relevant keywords for your content, you will likely notice that the search volume of those keywords varies greatly. While you definitely want to target terms that your audience is searching for, in some cases, it may be more advantageous to target terms with lower search volume because they’re far less competitive.

Since both high- and low-competition keywords can be advantageous for your website, learning more about search volume can help you prioritize keywords and pick the ones that will give your website the biggest strategic advantage.

The meaning of long tail Keywords for SEO and traffic increase

The meaning of long tail Keywords for SEO and traffic increase

Focusing on long-tail keywords is a great SEO tactic. Long-tail keywords are keywords or keyphrases that are more specific – and usually longer – than more commonly used keywords. Long-tail keywords get less search traffic, but will usually have a higher conversion value, as they are more specific. They allow you to gradually get more traffic to your site and be found by new and motivated audiences.

A long-tail keyword strategy can really help you out when there’s a lot of competition in your market. Or a lot of competition for the main keywords you want to rank for. That being said, most companies or blogs can benefit from this strategy as it helps you attract visitors with a very specific search intent. Here, I’ll explain what long-tail keywords are and how an understanding of your mission and product can help you set up a long-tail keyword strategy.

What are long-tail keywords?

Long-tail keywords are more specific and less common than other keywords. They focus more on a niche. The term long-tail keyword comes from the book The Long Tail by Chris Anderson (see aside). In this book, Chris Anderson shows that there’s a market for virtually any product. And although this market is really, really small in some cases, the vastness of the internet makes your niche product or blog post profitable nonetheless.

One head theme

Most blogs have one main topic – this is called the head term, or main keyword. For example, mom blogs are usually about family life and food blogs are about eating, restaurants, or recipes. Our blog at Yoast is all about SEO. We even named it SEO blog. So, all of our blog posts are about SEO or SEO related topics.

The main topic or theme of your blog or site is the number one keyword (or keyphrase) you want people to find you for. In our case, that keyword is obviously SEO. Someone with a food blog about homemade Italian food, will probably want to be found on the search term [homemade Italian food]. Making that search term the number one keyphrase of their blog.

Lots of tail topics

However, you can’t optimize all blog posts for the same term [homemade Italian food]. Even if all the blog posts you write are about homemade Italian food. Instead, you should write a whole number of blog posts about all kinds of long-tail variants of your main keyword. In the example of the food blog, you could write about all kinds of delicious things: homemade Italian pasta, homemade Italian salads, homemade Italian pie.

Your blog posts could even be more long tail. You could write about homemade Italian spaghetti bolognese, homemade Italian lasagna, homemade Italian penne carbonara and so on. You will find all of these long-tail keywords when you do proper keyword research. If you come up with a lot of very long focus keywords, you can use the keyphrase length check in our plugin to see whether it’s not too long.

If you optimize your blog post for different long-tail variants, you should link from these blog posts to your more ‘head’ category pages and from these category pages to your most awesome pages: your cornerstone content. Remember: always link from the tail to your head! That way, you show Google what your site structure looks like and which of your pages is most important. Make sure your most amazing pages rank high in Google! Read more about how to do this in our post on internal linking for SEO.

Why focus on long-tail keywords?

It’s much easier to rank for long-tail keywords than for more common keywords because fewer websites compete for high rankings in the result pages of Google. The longer (and more specific) your search terms are, the easier it is to rank for the term. Because of the vastness of the internet, it is easier to find your audience for your particular niche. Focusing on a group of long-tail keywords can result in a great deal of traffic altogether.

Another benefit of focusing on long-tail keywords is that, although these keywords are used less in search, the visitor that finds your website using them is more likely to buy your service or product.

Let’s say I’m looking for a new board game to have some family fun with my kids. I start my search with the term [board games]. After some searching, I quickly discover that I want a board game that’s both suitable for kids and has an educational element to it. My search continues, but now I use the terms [educational board games for kids]. Or when I know I’ll be in Amsterdam this week, I could even make it a local search term: [where to buy educational board games for kids in Amsterdam]. These are both long-tail keywords. Using these keywords, I will find new results that more closely resemble my search intent. The chances of me buying a board game have largely increased by this more specific search.

So, why is your mission important?

First of all, if you want to sell something, you should simply have a good product. And you should be well aware of what your product or website can offer your audience. What makes your product or blog special? If you know and understand this, it will be much easier to make your audience like and buy your stuff. So take some time to think about the uniqueness of your product or blog and write that down.

Perhaps you sell furniture. You offer unique pieces, made with recycled materials and that have a low impact on the environment. Offering quality furniture that helps people reduce their own impact on the environment could be the uniqueness of your service. This is your mission, your niche, this is what you have to offer your audience. Do make sure you write down your mission in words that are used and understood by your audience.

Read more: What is your mission »

Competitiveness of the market

In some markets, it’s really hard to rank. Some markets are just highly competitive, with large companies dominating the search results. These companies have a very large budget to spend on marketing in general and SEO specifically. Ranking in these markets is hard. You will be unable to compete on a small budget in a market like the furniture industry using search terms such as [quality furniture].

However, if you have your mission clear, you should be able to define what makes your product or website stand out from this market. You should be able to find your niche. And you should use YOUR mission in order to start ranking! Taking my example of furniture made with recycled materials would mean that you should focus on the less competitive term [furniture recycled material]. Again, use words that your target audience uses (and avoid difficult terms).

Use your mission to define long-tail keywords

Your mission, in which you make crystal clear what the awesomeness of your product, site or blog is, should be central in choosing the long-tail keywords you want to rank for. The terms you used to describe your mission can be nicely used to focus on in your SEO strategy. These words should be central in the long-tail keywords you aim your website to rank for.

With your mission written down, you’ve already completed the first step of your keyword research. The next step is creating a list of keywords. Try to get into the heads of your audience. What will these people be looking for? What search terms will they use when it comes to your product or site? Thinking of your main topic and head keywords will probably be quite easy, but finding your long-tail keywords may be a bit more challenging. Our plugin can help you with that!

Yoast SEO offers you suggestions for keyphrases related to your focus keyword. This tool is designed to help you use related keyphrases to strengthen your text, but can also be used to help you find those long-tail keywords. When you’re writing a post or page focused on one of the keywords you’ve already thought of, simply click the ‘Get related keyphrases’ button under your focus keyphrase-field. You’ll get a list of suggested related keyphrases that your audience uses, which can also be suitable long-tail keywords:

How I can increase my traffic with the help from Keyword research

How I can increase my traffic with the help from Keyword research

Once you have a list of potential keywords you think fit your content topic, it’s time to check and see if people are actually searching those terms in search engines.

The key here is to match your keywords to people’s search intent.

After all, if no one is looking for the terms you have listed, and you include them in your content anyway, your SEO rankings will suffer.

A great place to start is in actual search engines. Simply enter the keywords you have chosen into Google’s search bar and see what pops up.

The autofill feature will immediately tell you if you’re on the right track.

Continue your search and see what type of articles show on the first page of Google’s search results.

This is the content that receives the most traction. Your goal is to compete with these articles.

Another helpful way to analyze your keyword list is to go straight to the source: your website.

By setting up site search tracking, you can see exactly what site visitors that land on your page search for. If your list of keywords relate to those terms, you know you’re on the right track to giving site visitors what they want.

If you find your list differs from the search terms entered on your site, you might consider adjusting your keyword list to match more of what actual visitors are looking for.

Lastly, you can always use the popular Google Keyword Planner to get insight into what keywords are trending and which related terms best match the terms you are looking to rank for.

 

Check Your Competition

If you have a competitor who you know ranks well in Google, has a lot of site traffic, and does well in terms in revenue, it’s time to copy what they’re doing because whatever it is, it’s working.

A simple way to find out which keywords your toughest competition is ranking for in Google is to use the popular keyword research tool found on SEMRush.com.

Enter the domain name of your competition into the homepage to see the keywords that drive the most organic traffic to their website.

How I can prevent my article from keyword spamming

How I can prevent my article from keyword spamming

Keyword stuffing is the Lord Voldemort of the SEO world. It is one thing marketers try to stay away from as much as possible. There is a strong temptation to add as many keywords as possible to the content you have created. However, Google will pick you up on it sooner or later and you could face a hefty keyword stuffing penalty as a result. Yet, one cannot ignore the importance of adding relevant keywords to articles or blog posts. After all, without it SEO becomes virtually impossible.

Usually, the issue arises only if the content reads poorly because of all the keywords you have stuffed. If you maintain an acceptable keyword density, you are as likely to get the results you are looking for. Adding SEO keywords to content doesn’t mean you have to force them in. Trying to put in keywords that ruin the grammar and readability of the content is the foremost reason why you may incur a Google keyword stuffing penalty. In other words, you have to stuff keywords naturally.

However, that is not as easy as it sounds. One poorly used or grammatically wrong keyword can harm the quality of your content beyond repair. You have to walk a thin line between adding the important website keywords and keeping the quality of your article intact. A few keyword density tips could go a long way towards helping you add keywords to your content naturally.

Effective Keyword Research

The first step is the most important. You need to find the right keywords to include in the content before you can start stuffing them. What’s the use of adding low value keywords to your content and suffering a penalty when you can easily include the top ranked keywords and make your content SEO friendly? is among the best tools you can use for conducting effective keyword research and organizing the keywords to make them easy to access when you need them.

SEMrush can help you discover high value SEO keywords using which would definitely boost your search engine ranking. Furthermore, you can also create a spreadsheet for your primary and secondary keywords.

Avoid Incorrect Phrases

In your eagerness to add keywords with high Google keyword ranking, you may end up adding incorrect phrases and sentences to the content. For example, I am driving car is not correct. You need to add ‘a’ before car to make the sentence grammatically correct. Even if you keep the keyword density at an acceptable level, using incorrect phrases would make it difficult for you to get the results you are looking for from the content you posted.

Increase the Word Count

The best way to practice keyword stuffing naturally is by increasing the word count of your content. If you write 800 words instead of 500, you can add more keywords in the extra 300 words. This way, you don’t have to force a keyword in every 20 words or so. At the same time, you should make sure you aren’t only adding fluff to the content in a bid to add words. Research beforehand so that the article or blog post remains informative and provides value to the readers.

Have the Right Mindset

The thing with writing for SEO is that your mind gets so caught up in adding the SEO keywords to the content that you stop focusing on the writing. It should be the other way around, that is, you should focus on the writing bit. If your aim is to write an informative post, you are more likely to add keywords naturally to the content. As you keep writing, you will start adding keywords that flow in well with the information rather than including them just for the sake of SEO.

Quality is the King

Keep in mind that quality is the king as far as your content is concerned. Search engines, especially Google, put great emphasis on the quality of your content when determining your rankings. The SEO keywords you use definitely help you get to the top of the rankings but they are only effective if you are producing quality content. So, what you need to do is to put quality at the forefront when writing. As mentioned above, once you are in the flow, the keywords can be added naturally.

The best way to change your mindset towards producing quality content instead of just focusing on the website keywords is to place yourself in the readers’ position. Read your article or blog post and then ask yourself whether you gained anything from it. Interest users have a limited attention span and aren’t going to pay too much heed to your content if they don’t find any value in it. Write for your readers, not the search engines and you will be able to keep your keyword stuffing natural.

The meaning of long tail Keywords for SEO and traffic increase

The meaning of long tail Keywords for SEO and traffic increase

Long-Tail Keywords: A Better Way to Connect with Customers

Long-tail keywords are longer and more specific keyword phrases that visitors are more likely to use when they’re closer to a point-of-purchase or when they’re using voice search. They’re a little bit counter-intuitive, at first, but they can be hugely valuable if you know how to use them.

Take this example: if you’re a company that sells classic furniture, the chances are that your pages are never going to appear near the top of an organic search for “furniture” because there’s too much competition (this is particularly true if you’re a smaller company or a startup). But if you specialize in, say, contemporary art-deco furniture, then keywords like “contemporary Art Deco-influenced semi-circle lounge” are going to reliably find those consumers looking for exactly that product.

Managing long-tail keywords is simply a matter of establishing better lines of communication between your business and the customers who are already out there, actively shopping for what you provide.

Think about it: if you google the word “sofa” (a very broad keyword sometimes referred to as a “head term”) what are the chances you’re going to end up clicking through to a sale? But if you google “elm wood veneer day-bed” you know exactly what you’re looking for and you’re probably prepared to pay for it then and there.

Obviously, you’re going to draw less traffic with a long-tail keyword than you would with a more common one, but the traffic you do draw will be better: more focused, more committed, and more desirous of your services.

When We Say Long Tail, Think Chinese Dragon

The phrase “long tail” is a visual metaphor for the shape of a distribution graph (we promised a dragon above and don’t worry, it’s coming):

long-tail keyword graph

Say we were to create a graph of web-wide keyword popularity, a very few phrases (Facebook, sex, Justin Bieber) would rack up an enormous number of searches.

But here’s the surprising part: those keyword search terms, the “head” of the dragon, in reality account for a surprisingly small percentage of all searches, about ten to fifteen percent, depending on how you measure. Another fifteen to twenty percent of searches come from mid-length keywords, meaning that roughly seventy percent of page views are the direct result of – that’s right – long-tailed keywords. It’s a Chinese dragon: the tail goes on and on and on.

Finding Qualified Searchers with Long-Tail Keywords

With shorter keywords, competition for rankings can be fierce, but visits can be scattershot and ROI can be low. With smart implementation of long-tail keywords, you may pull in less traffic, going purely by numbers, but the return on your investment will be proportionally much higher: you’ll be attracting exactly the audience you’re looking for, and that audience will be far closer to point-of-purchase than that of your less-savvy competitors.

Less Competition = Lower Costs

Long-tail keywords are valuable for businesses who want their content to rank in organic Google searches, but they’re potentially even more valuable for advertisers running paid search marketing campaigns.

That’s because when you bid on long-tailed keywords, the cost per click is inevitably lower, since there’s less competition.

long tail keyword suggestions

By targeting longer, more specific long-tail keywords in your AdWords campaigns, you can get higher ad rankings on relevant searches without having to pay a premium for every click.

The trick is to find a reliable, renewable source of long-tail keywords that are right for you and for your niche. Surprisingly, most keyword suggestion tools neglect this rich category, focusing only on the head, and ignoring the rest of the dragon.

So what are your options?

How to Find Long-Tail Keywords

It’s easy to find long-tail keywords with WordStream’s free keyword research tool. Just enter the word you want to research:

free keyword tool for paid search marketing

The tool returns the top 10 most popular keywords. Just enter your email to receive the full list of long-tail keyword phrases, completely free.

Using long-tail keyword variations in your marketing campaigns is a win-win: better search rankings, more qualified search traffic, and lower costs per click.

How I find the right keywords for my website to increase traffic

How I find the right keywords for my website to increase traffic

Picking the right keywords and keyword phrases is one of the most important steps in successful search engine optimization (SEO). Increasing traffic to your site is a priority, but attracting the right audience is a necessity. Choosing the most effective keywords to connect with your target market can take time and research, but the results will be worth it.

5 tips for Helping You Choose the right keywords

1. THINK LIKE A CUSTOMER

Identify your target audience and put yourself into the shoes of a customer when you create your initial list of keywords. Ask yourself, ‘If I wanted to find one of these products or services, what would I type into Google?’ You can also consult others, such as friends, family members, or even current customers to get their opinion on phrases they would use when searching for your products and services.

2. STUDY THE COMPETITION

Make a list of your main competitors and go to their websites to see what keywords they are targeting. Read the content and view the metatags to help identify the keywords they are targeting. Looking at your competitor’s keywords will not only help you see what you could be forgetting, but also help broaden your list of ideas.

3. UNDERSTAND THE LONG TAIL KEYWORD

Long tail keywords are a combination of three or more words or phrases. While long tail keywords tend to boast lower search volumes, they generally attract more relevant traffic, are typically less competitive, and easier to rank well on. Choose long tail keywords that help to specify your product or service.

Understand the long tail keyword as it accounts for 70% of searches.

4. USE KEYWORD RESEARCH TOOLS

If you are using Google Ads you can use their keyword tool to research your potential target keywords. With this tools and others like SEMRUSH and Raventools, you can gather data on keyword volume and trends, keyword competition, similar keywords and more.

5. ANALYZE THE RESULTS

After choosing your keywords don’t forget to monitor them and analyze the results. There are often trending keywords or phrases, along with new keywords your competitors may be using.

Don’t forget to utilize your keywords wherever possible! Insert your keywords into blog posts, social media posts, metatags and your website’s content. The more you use keywords within your content, the easier it will be for your target audience to find you.

Let CommonPlaces take a look at your SEO strategy and make recommendations.

How I can create a successful keyword density

How I can create a successful keyword density

Optimal Keyword Density, Keyword Stuffing & ‘Irrelevant Keywords’

Keyword density refers to the number of times a keyword-phrase is repeated on a page as a percentage of the total number of words on the page. Keyword stuffing irrelevant keywords refers to the practice of adding irrelevant keywords to a web page to manipulate where a page ranks in Google. Google tells SEO not to do this.

What Is The Best Keyword Density For Search Engines?

Experts have agreed for over a decade;

  1. There is no single best keyword density to rank high in Google or Bing.
  2. Optimal keyword density differs from page to page, phrase to phrase
  3. Write naturally and include the keyword phrase once or twice on-page.
  4. Avoid demotion in Google by avoiding repeating keyword phrases in text content.
  5. Focus on creating high-quality engaging content instead.

There is no one-size-fits-all optimal ‘keyword density’ percentage anybody has ever demonstrated had direct positive ranking improvement in a public forum.

While the key to success in many niches is often simple keyword placement, search engines are not that easy to fool, these days.

Google has said so, too:

QUOTE:  “Keyword density, in general, is something I wouldn’t focus on. Search engines have kind of moved on from there.” John Mueller, Google 2014

I do think you run the risk of tripping keyword stuffing penalty filters if you, for instance, were to keyword stuff a page and every element on it with your focus terms.

I write naturally and succinctly which is always focused on the key phrases and related key phrases. I never calculate density in order to identify the an optimal keyword density percent as there are way too many other things to work on. I have looked at this, a long time ago.

Normally I will try and get related terms on the page and I might have the keywords I am focused on in just a few elements and on the page text.

It is a myth to think that Google (or Bing or any major modern search engine) will order search engine results pages and reward with higher rankings a page that has a ‘specific’ target keyword density percentage value.

In simple terms – this theory would mean that – if you took TWO WEBSITE PAGES –  a page with a keyword density score of say, 2% would OUTRANK a page with a score of 1%. OR – that there is actually a specific keyword percentage that if you score a BULLSEYE on, always results in HIGHER RANKINGS in Google.

We know Google has hundreds of secret search engine ranking factors.

A claim often made is that keyword density is one of these factors.

Many SEO, including myself, don’t think that is the case and there are many other areas of SEO that is far more important than keyword density to focus your efforts on.

Search engines have indeed moved on from keyword stuffing as a positive ranking factor.

How To Calculate Keyword Density?

It is natural to think its important to identify that sweet spot to achieve higher rankings in Google. The question is what is the optimal keyword density? Is it 1%, 2% 3% or 0.3% or 33% ? If you look online you’ll find a lot of conflicting opinion on the ideal keyword density %. It all sounds very scientific, too.

There is, of course, a FORMULA to work out the local keyword density of any page:

  • Density = ( Nkr / ( Tkn -( Nkr x ( Nwp-1 ) ) ) ) x 100
  • Density = your keyword density
  • Nkr = how many times you repeated a specific key-phrase
  • Nwp = number of words in your key-phrase
  • Tkn = total words in the analysed text

The keyword density score for a key-phrase is calculated by looking at:

  • how many times a specific key-phrase is repeated in a document
  • the number of words in that key-phrase and
  • the total number of words in the analysed text.

There is no best keyword density percent score to rank higher in Google listings. Write naturally, include keywords and avoid keyword stuffing!

What Do Search Engines Say About Keyword Density As A Ranking Signal?

John Mueller of Google stated in 2014:

QUOTE:  Keyword density, in general, is something I wouldn’t focus on. Make sure your content is written in a natural way. Humans, when they view your website, they’re not going to count the number of occurrences of each individual word. And search engines have kind of moved on from there over the years as well. So they’re not going to be swayed by someone who just has the same keyword on their page 20 times because they think that this, kind of, helps search engines understand what this page is about. Essentially, we look at the content. We try to understand it, as we would with normal text. And if we see that things like keyword stuffing are happening on a page, then we’ll try to ignore that, and just focus on the rest of the page that we can find.” John Mueller, Google 2014

Before that, in 2011, Matt Cutts went on record to point out the ideal keyword density is a misconception.

QUOTE: “That’s just not the way it works….. Continue to repeat stuff over and over again then you are in danger of getting into ‘keyword stuffing’.” Matt Cutts, Google 2011

Google Webmaster Guidelines state:

QUOTE: “Keyword Stuffing…. results in a negative user experience, and can harm your site’s ranking.” Google Webmaster Guidelines, 2020

Google gives advice that can have a few different interpretations. It’s useful to know what experienced search marketers say about this, too:

Aaron Wall of SEOBOOK called keyword density an:

QUOTE: “overrated concept”

Jim Boykin noted:

QUOTE: “Using a RATIO of keywords to the total text on a page is not a good metric for SEO.”

Bill Slawski said, after seeing very little mention of keyword density in search engine patents over many years:

QUOTE: “I’ve always considered keyword density to be more likely FOLKLORE than fact.”

Rand Fishkin of Moz said that:

QUOTE: “the TRUTH is simply that modern search engines have never used keyword density”.

Dr. Edel Garcia (one of the few information retrieval SCIENTISTS whose crossed over into seo) made clear back in 2005 that

QUOTE:  (a keyword density ratio) tells us nothing about:

  1. 1. the relative DISTANCE between keywords in documents (proximity)
  2. 2. where in a document the terms occur (DISTRIBUTION)
  3. 3. the co-citation frequency between terms (CO-OCCURRENCE)
  4. 4. the main theme, TOPIC, and sub-topics (on-topic issues) of the documents

Garcia states this would imply that “KD is divorced from content quality”.”

In his article “The Keyword Density of Nonsense”, Garcia  summed up:

QUOTE:  “the assumption that keyword density values could be taken for estimates of term weights or that these values could be used for optimization purposes amounts to the Keyword Density of Non-Sense.

Top SEOs have been saying that there is NO optimal keyword density for a long time before Google confirmed it.

Bing Search Engine is also on record declaring keyword density is a passé topic:

QUOTE:  “But as the engines get smarter with and about signals, and as new, trustworthy signals are grown and adopted, the SEO of yore becomes a bit less relevant. No one really cried when we all walked away from <meta keyword> tags after they were inundated with spam. No one cried when keyword density became a passé topic, largely covered up in the then somewhat novel approach of ‘making quality content’. ” Duane Forrester, Bing 2014

Modern search engines have moved on.

Is Keyword Density Of Any Use?

It is useful for a copy editor to be aware of keyword density values of a particular phrase on a page to avoid keyword stuffing text.

Google’s quite possibly, is not using keyword density % values to even identify spam or to apply keyword stuffing filters. Quality raters are asked to examine text for keyword stuffing, though.

What Should Your Keyword Density Be?

Despite what many SEO Tools would indicate there is no “best” keyword density. Write naturally and include the keyword phrase once or twice to rank in Google and avoid demotion. If you find you are repeating keyword phrases you are probably keyword stuffing your text.

And that’s probably going to ‘hurt a little’, at some point, just like Google’s Matt Cutts said it will.

When copy is limited, why repeat a 3-word keyphrase 10 times, and risk keyword stuffing penalties for a bad user experience, when there are possibly 10 variations and synonyms of the same key phrase, that when added to the same page, makes the page more relevant, better quality and rank higher for lots of similar keywords?

SO – the sensible thing to do would be to avoid keyword stuffing your PRIMARY CONTENT text.

Also – it’s probably wise to invest a little time in making your page RELEVANT but all the time keeping it simple:

I focus on keyword stemming opportunities… with a focus on the LONG TAIL of search as well as the HEAD:

e.g

  1. seo
  2. seo tools
  3. best seo tools
  4. best seo tools for beginners

I also focus on the relative prominence of the term in the document, for instance:

  • Is the key phrase in the <TITLE> element
  • Is the key phrase in <p> tags
  • Is the key phrase in the <alt> text
  • Is the key phrase in the URL

I focus on introducing more unique words, single and plural, abbreviations, synonyms and co-occurring phrases relevant to the topic of a page.

This is a better use of time than calculating keyword density percents of one keyword phrase.

There is no magic one size fits all SEO tactic. It’s not that easy, out-with black-hat tactics. Not that black hat SEO is always easy, either.

Google’s trending towards rating and ranking your pages based on the quality and reputation of your website, and the quality and reputation of content on individual pages.

Google’s interested in the expertise of the actual PERSON WRITING the text it is rating it and is working out if USERS actually LIKE your page, RELEVANT to COMPETING PAGES on the web.

They are also more interested in detecting if users are actually seeking out your page amongst the competition.

Google’s more interested in user satisfaction signals, and you should be too.

More so than keyword density, for sure.

Keyword Stuffing (Irrelevant Keywords)

QUOTE: “Keyword Stuffed” Main Content Pages may be created to lure search engines and users by repeating keywords over and over again, sometimes in unnatural and unhelpful ways. Such pages are created using words likely to be contained in queries issued by users. Keyword stuffing can range from mildly annoying to users, to complete gibberish. Pages created with the intent of luring search engines and users, rather than providing meaningful MC to help users, should be rated Lowest.” Google Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines 2017

Keyword stuffing is simply the process of repeating the same keyword or key phrases over and over in a page. It’s counterproductive. It’s is a signpost of a very low-quality spam site and is something Google clearly recommends you avoid.

It is:

QUOTE: ““Keyword stuffing” refers to the practice of loading a webpage with keywords or numbers in an attempt to manipulate a site’s ranking in Google search results.“ Google Webmaster Guidelines 2020

Keyword stuffing text makes your copy often unreadable and so, a bad user experience. It can get a page demoted in Google but it depends on the intent and the trust and authority of a site. It is sloppy SEO.

It is not a tactic you want to employ in search of long-term rankings.

Just because someone else is successfully doing it do not automatically think you will get away with it.

Don’t do it – there are better ways of ranking in Google without resorting to it.

 John said in a 2015 hangout “if we see that things like keyword stuffing are happening on a page, then we’ll try to ignore that, and just focus on the rest of the page”.

Does that imply what we call a keyword stuffing “penalty” for a page, Google calls ‘ignoring that‘.

From what I’ve observed, pages can seem to perform bad for sloppy keyword phrase stuffing, although they still can rank for long tail variations of it.

QUOTE“The bottom line is using more relevant keyword variations = more traffic”Aaron Wall, 2009

He goes further with still excellent piece of advice, today:

QUOTE:  Each piece of duplication in your on-page SEO strategy is ***at best*** wasted opportunity. Worse yet, if you are aggressive with aligning your on page heading, your page title, and your internal + external link anchor text the page becomes more likely to get filtered out of the search results (which is quite common in some aggressive spaces). Aaron Wall, 2009

… with the caveat being a high-quality site rarely needs to be worried about being filtered out of search.

Google’s advice in the past about keyword stuffing was to:

QUOTE: “Just find the hidden text or the keyword stuffing and remove it.” Matt Cutts, Nelson, Google 2013

As Google says in their manifesto:

QUOTE: “Focus on the user and all else will follow.” Google, 2020

It is time to focus on the user when it comes to content marketing, and the bottom line is you need to publish unique content free from any low-quality signals if expect some sort of traction in Google SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages).

QUOTE: “High quality content is something I’d focus on. I see lots and lots of SEO blogs talking about user experience, which I think is a great thing to focus on as well. Because that essentially kind of focuses on what we are trying to look at as well. We want to rank content that is useful for (Google users) and if your content is really useful for them, then we want to rank it.” John Mueller, Google 2015

Those in every organisation with the responsibility of adding content to a website should understand these fundamental aspects about satisfying web content because the door is firmly closing on unsatisfying web content.

Low-quality content can severely impact the success of SEO.

SEO copy-writing is a bit of a dirty word – but the text on a page still requires optimised, using familiar methods, albeit published in a markedly different way than we, as SEO, used to get away with.

EXAMPLE: Beware Keyword Stuffing E-commerce Website Category Pages

 

Google’s John Meuller just helped someone out in this week’s Google Webmaster Hangout, and his answer was very interesting:

QUOTE: “The site was ranking the first page for the keyword (widget) and(widgets) in Australia since two weeks we moved all the way down to page five. Technical changes haven’t been made to the site the only modification was we added more category landing text to rank for various other (keywords)

John declared:

QUOTE: “the modification that you mentioned (above) that you put more category landing text on the page that might also be something that’s playing a role there. What I see a lot with e-commerce sites is that they take a category page that’s actually pretty good and they stuff a whole bunch of text on the bottom and that’s essentially just kind of roughly related to that content which is essentially like bigger than the Wikipedia page on that topic and from our point of view when we look at things like that our algorithms kind of quickly kind of back off and say whoa it looks like someone is just trying to use keyword stuffing to include a bunch of kind of unrelated content into the same page and then our algorithms might be a bit more critical and kind of like be cautious with regards to the content that we find on this page so that’s one thing to kind of watch out for.

I think it’s good to / help provide more context to things that you have on your website but kind of be reasonable and think about what users would actually use and focus on that kind of content so for example if if the bottom of these pages is just a collection of keywords and a collection of sentences where those keywords are artificially used then probably users aren’t going to scroll to the bottom and read all of that tiny text and actually use that content in a useful way and then probably search engines are also going to back off and say well this page is is doing some crazy stuff here we don’t really know how much we can trust the content on the page.”

If you are keyword stuffing e-commerce category pages, watch out. Google tells us these things for a reason. Adding optimised text to e-commerce category pages ‘just for the sake of it’ is probably going to work against you (and might be working against you today).

Keyword stuffing has been against the rules for a long time.

John previously stated back during 2016:

QUOTEif we see that things like keyword stuffing are happening on a page, then we’ll try to ignore that, and just focus on the rest of the page”.

Google has algorithms AND human reviewers looking out for it when the maths miss it:

7.4.2 “Keyword Stuffed” Main Content

QUOTE: ‘Pages may be created to lure search engines and users by repeating keywords over and over again, sometimes in unnatural and unhelpful ways. Such pages are created using words likely to be contained in queries issued by users. Keyword stuffing can range from mildly annoying to users, to complete gibberish. Pages created with the intent of luring search engines and users, rather than providing meaningful MC to help users, should be rated Lowest.’  Search Quality Raters Guidelines March 14, 2017

While there is obviously a balance to be had in this area, Google classes keyword stuffing as adding ‘irrelevant keywords‘ to your site. There are warnings also about this age-old SEO technique in the general webmaster guidelines:

General Guidelines: Irrelevant Keywords

QUOTE: “Keyword stuffing” refers to the practice of loading a webpage with keywords or numbers in an attempt to manipulate a site’s ranking in Google search results. Often these keywords appear in a list or group, or out of context (not as natural prose). Filling pages with keywords or numbers results in a negative user experience, and can harm your site’s ranking. Focus on creating useful, information-rich content that uses keywords appropriately and in context.

Examples of keyword stuffing include:

  • Lists of phone numbers without substantial added value
  • Blocks of text listing cities and states a webpage is trying to rank for
  • Repeating the same words or phrases so often that it sounds unnatural, for example:We sell custom cigar humidors. Our custom cigar humidors are handmade. If you’re thinking of buying a custom cigar humidor, please contact our custom cigar humidor specialists at custom.cigar.humidors@example.com.

 

0
Close

Your cart

Show Buttons
Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Linkedin
Share On Pinterest
Share On Youtube
Contact us
Hide Buttons