I am all for improving your website rank and getting found on search engines like Google and Bing, but I can't stand websites that do this...and Google can't either.
SEO has been evolving for good since search engines started providing the answers to all of life's questions. In that evolution has been a host of people trying to rig the system to improve their rank and get more people on their site.
I get it, you want to take the easiest route to success, the low hanging fruit, if you will. But the easy route isn't always the best route and that is right where this SEO crime falls.
For years, I have been saying that while SEO is important in your content writing (whether it's your website copy or blog articles), it shouldn't be your focus when you're writing, here's why.
Search engines want to serve their users the best response to their query. No matter what changes in the algorithm, if you're striving to give the best website experience and answers to your audience, you're website will always rank well.
If you try and find the loopholes, you'll constantly be jumping to make corrections so you don't get punished.
Here's what you need to stop doing so you're not scrambling to avoid losing your rank:
Content Full Of Keywords
Yes, you need to use keywords on your website and in your blog articles, but not for the sole purpose to rank. You need to use keywords to focus what your content is delivering to your audience.
There are two parts to this, fighting poor SEO tips!
#1 Stop Keyword Stuffing
This has been a rule since I first began my own SEO journey in 2015, and it continues to this day.
Keyword stuffing is using the same keyword or keyword variations constantly throughout your content. While originally, keyword stuffing was all about using the same terms over and over again so things did not feel natural, it has developed to using your keyword a lot, even if it could be considered "naturally occurring".
Here's how Google defines
"keyword stuffing" - dubbed "irrelevant keywords":
“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."
Many times beginner's to SEO, keyword stuff unintentionally. You're told to use a keyword throughout your content, so you do! Hey, we've all been there.
To avoid doing this, I always read what I write aloud. If it doesn't feel natural, you can correct it and know you are putting your best, non-keyword stuffing foot forward.
#2 Keyword Rich Content
You want content to be keyword rich, right? Yes and no. In the same vein as keyword stuffing is keyword-rich content. Say you're writing an article on yoga poses for stress relief, you don't repeat that keyword too often, and instead decide to "change" it up, using yoga poses for relaxation or something similar.
If this was 4 years ago, you'd be right to do so, the algorithm didn't really correct for it yet, but today Google incorporates something called latent semantic indexing
, which we can all agree this is a very jargony way of saying "hidden relationships between words to increase understanding."
Just like you know "yoga poses for stress relief" and "yoga poses for relation" are essentially the same keyword, Google does, too. And doesn't appreciate your (secondary) keyword stuffing.
The best way to not get punished in your rankings for this is to write content people want to read! If you write clearly about a topic, answer the questions people want to be answered, and giving a full picture of a topic - Google will reward you.
Stop Writing Blogs Like These
If you're blog writing to attract people to your business, make sure you're writing content people want to read.
I know, I know, I just wrote that! But here's what I mean.
You know you can't keyword stuff, you know you need to write blog articles more naturally and filled with information, but what does this look like?
Here's my simple process to writing a blog article:
- Come up with a topic/keyword. This one was literally "don't fall for this SEO trick" - keeping it simple.
- List out what you're going to cover in this article. Here it was what the bad SEO trick is, what comprises the trick (since it's two parts), and how to stop writing articles/content that way.
- Write it out.
- Read it out loud from beginning to end.
Now I do have some more steps for adding images where necessary and sharing on social media, but those four simple steps will help you create content people want to read and Google enjoys promoting. Just like a fine wine, your content will only serve you better for SEO over time.
Do you love learning about SEO tricks? Let me know the latest one you've heard in the comments below!