Why Keyword Stuffing is Bad News for Your SEO

Posted by David Terry on January 05, 2021


A successful SEO and Inbound Marketing strategy is all about including as many keywords into your content as possible, right? … Right? 

This thought process was correct a few years ago. Traditionally, keyword stuffing was actually a relatively successful SEO strategy that could drive your content towards better search engine rankings. 

That’s no longer the case. In fact, keyword stuffing is now actually detrimental to your search rankings. Search engines, such as Google, have become better at being able to detect when people are stuffing keywords into their content and will now penalize websites for doing it. 

With that in mind, in this blog The Brit Agency is going to take a more in-depth look at what keyword stuffing actually i

s, why it’s detrimental to both your website and SEO strategy and what steps your marketing team can take to avoid doing it. 

So, what actually is keyword stuffing?

Keyword stuffing is simply the repetition of keywords over and over again across the content on your website. Spotting keyword stuffing can be fairly easy to the naked eye, it’s any page on your website where keywords look as if they have been added unnecessarily. 

Types of visible keyword stuffing include:

  • Unnecessarily repeating keywords and keyphrases throughout your content.
  • Using keywords that aren’t relevant to the topic.
  • Using the same keyword over and over again in one piece of content. 

However, not all keyword stuffing is visible. Repeating keywords over and over again in the back-end of your content management system (CMS) will also be found by search engines and deemed as keyword stuffing.

Types of invisible keyword stuffing include:

  • Overusing keywords in alt text. 
  • Hiding text on a page by putting white text on a white background, in an effort to hide the words from readers but to be found by search engine crawlers.
  • Overusing keywords in meta tags and comment tags.
  • Hiding keywords in the code of your webpage. 

Why is keyword stuffing detrimental for your website?

Keyword stuffing was an old trick that content marketers used to trick search engines into giving them higher search engine rankings. Today, search engines have become smarter, and keyword stuffing can now actually lead to lower rankings for your website.

Search engines have been developed specifically to detect both visible and invisible keyword stuffing. The overuse of keywords is now deemed by search engines as “spammy” and your website will be penalised for forcing keywords where they don’t belong. 

Not only that, but keyword stuffing also creates a terrible user experience. When you are focusing on stuffing keywords into your content, then you end up creating content that is (you think) designed for search engine crawlers - not your actual readers. Valuable content must be created with real visitors in mind.

How to use keywords safely and avoid keyword stuffing

It’s crucial to use keywords in your content to boost your SEO strategy, but as we discussed keyword stuffing can be detrimental. That means it’s important to differentiate keyword stuffing with valuable keyword usage. 

Here are some tips that will help you use keywords in moderation.

Create content that is useful to your prospects: Focus less on the robots crawling your website and instead focus more on the people actually reading your content. Content should be valuable, useful and well-aligned with what your buyer personas need. If you do this, then the right keywords will flow naturally throughout your content.

Avoid repetition: There’s no true and tested number of times that you should include a keyword in any piece of content, however it’s generally acknowledged that keywords shouldn’t be repeated unnaturally throughout a page. Instead, try focusing on one or two keywords for each piece of content, and only use them where they are relevant and where they naturally make sense. You can add secondary keywords and long tail keywords, where relevant, for more variation within the copy. 

By avoiding keyword stuffing, you’ll not only start to improve your search engine rankings, you’ll begin to create relevant, timely and useful content that addresses the specific needs of your buyer personas.

If you want to learn more about using the correct keywords in your content marketing strategy, then read our blog titled Content Marketing: How to do Keyword Research for SEO, or alternatively contact us today. The Brit Agency team of Inbound Marketing experts would be more than happy to answer any questions that you may have.

Topics: Keyword Strategy, SEO & Keywords