Keyword Stuffing: How to Appeal to Search Engines and People
Here’s what every small business owner needs
to boost their search ranking
Now that much of our business prospecting is done online, small business owners have to be conscious of where Google ranks them for important keywords
Keyword stuffing, which is the practice of repeatedly using specific keywords related to your business on your website, used to be one approach to boosting rankings. This resulted in websites that were over-optimized and lacking in useful content— as one author points out, nobody wants to read a page that repeats the phrase “discount bike tires” over and over.
So what steps can small businesses today take to improve their rankings without alienating their readers? Here are 5 strategies you can start using today. Improve your business’s Google ranking while building a stronger connection with your readers.
Create Actionable, Relevant Content
Content marketing continues to be one of the best strategies for improving Google rankings and, subsequently, web traffic. But creating content that keeps your prospective customers coming back for more can be challenging.
Instead of focusing on keywords, dig into what your audience’s interests are, and create content that addresses those needs. Do your clients often have questions about a specific element of your business? Their questions are likely on the minds of your other clients, too, and could be a great topic to write about.
At Infuse Marketing, our knowledge of trending topics is based on our ability to actively follow conversations happening online. We then propose subject ideas to our clients during brainstorming sessions and further develop the topic using their own examples and expertise. For example, one of our clients recently tapped into the workplace wellness trend with a two-part series blog on designing office spaces to promote employee health and productivity.
Newsworthy events are worth digging into too, as one of our financial services clients recently found out. We partnered with them on a blog post discussing the latest shifts in the Seattle housing market, which helped him capture the attention of his clients and prospects.
Add an interesting infographic like the one above to visually illustrate your ideas. Displaying data is more visually appealing than text and can be used for picture-based social sites like Instagram. We have found success in displaying facts for several informative infographics for our Seattle-area Financial Services client.
Organize Content with Header Tags
Headings are another way to help improve the user experience on your website. Proper use of header tags can help break up your content into sections that are easier to read.
Following best SEO practices, you should:
- Give each page a unique title that describes the page’s content concisely and accurately.
- Keep the titles up to 50-60 characters long (for them not to get truncated in the SERPs).
- Put important keywords first, but in a natural manner, as if you write titles for your visitors in the first place.
Utilizing the heading tags certainly adds up to the architecture of the content.
For search engines, it’s easier to read and understand the well-organized content than to crawl through structural issues. For users, headings are like anchors in a wall of text, navigating them through the page and making it easier to digest.
Build Links — Ethically
Link building, which involves getting links to your webpages from other sites, is often at the heart of many business owner’s SEO strategies. It gives Google’s robots the opportunity to see the connection between pages, with the implication that the more connections, particularly from high authority pages like The New York Times or the Mayo Clinic, the better your content.
Great content is one way to build links naturally, without needing to reach out to anyone. Marketing content on sites like Hubspot’s blogs or Moz get linked to frequently due to the quality of their advice.
Another way to build links is through outreach, such as offering guest posts, or via an existing partnership. We recently helped The Bridge Group create a blog by working with one of their partners, Skyline Construction, to offer advice on cutting costs on construction projects.
We advise that you never purchase links. Always focus on creating great content, and the links will come.
Optimize Behind the Scenes
Lastly, there are many ways to use keywords on your site’s backend.
Adding keywords to the alt text of your images is one way to describe what your web page is talking about. Avoid naming images things like “IMG_8028”— seize on the opportunity and use full names and titles for the headshots of your employees (“BobSmith_Designer”) and for project photos (“CaféLounge _Facebook”) so they are more likely to appear when users search for those terms.
Take the time to fix broken links on your page, as 404 errors decrease SEO rankings. We recommend using a resource like Dead Link Checker to quickly locate them.
Create a Friendly Layout and Format
Proper formatting and a user-friendly layout can help improve user experience and make your content easy to scan and digest. Your readers will stay on your site longer and consume your website’s information.
Promote Social Sharing
Install social sharing buttons on your website to entice readers to share your
content which will help you rank higher on searches. The number of Facebook shares, Tweets, Pinterest pins and other social media mentions can influence SEO rank.
With a little time and research, it’s easy to integrate keywords into your SEO strategy without forcing them into your content.
Does your small business need help creating an SEO strategy? Our team is here for you.