Don’t Abuse Keywords for SEO

Written by Nick Stamoulis

Keywords are an essential part of an SEO program. Even if you don’t have much SEO knowledge, this much should be somewhat obvious. SEO is all about improving a search engine presence meaning that you want your site to show up when people insert, you guessed it- keywords, into the search box and hit “enter”. The only way that the search engine spiders are going to know that your content matches the intent of the searcher is if the keywords that are searched for (and related keywords) are included on your site and within other content that you publish across the web. While keywords are at the foundation of an SEO campaign, it’s important not to overuse and abuse them.

If you do any of the following, you are a keyword abuser:

Write content for the search spiders first

There is a difference between optimizing content and writing content for the search engines. Let’s explain. Content should first be written for target audience members, actual human beings that might be interested in buying your product or hiring your company to perform a service. What information are they looking for? What would get them to convert? Visitors to the site are the top priority, so content should first be written with them in mind. Once you have some good content, then go in and see where you can fit some keywords in for SEO purposes. The keywords should fit in naturally so that the visitor doesn’t even notice or think to themselves, “That sentence is funny.” If the keyword doesn’t fit, don’t force it.

Include more than two keywords into your title tag

The title tag is the most important meta element for SEO. It’s the first thing that the search spiders and searchers see. The search spiders do pay attention to the title tag and often match a search with websites that include that keyword or phrase in the title tag. Insert the most relevant keyword into the title tag, preferably at the beginning of the title tag as opposed to the end, so instead of the title tag reading “Company X- Accounting Software Provider” swap it to “Accounting Software Provider – Company X”. That’s a great title tag if you are in fact an accounting software provider and that is your primary keyword. What’s not a good title tag? Try, “Company X – Accounting Software Provider – Accounting Software Services – Software for Accountants” That’s a spammy title tag that the search engines don’t like to see.

Use the same keyword anchor text

Keyword anchor text linking used to have more prominence, but it was being abused which resulted in the Google Penguin update which resulted in lots and lots of penalties. Businesses were pushing out thin content for the purpose of including their primary keyword as anchor text to send the search spiders back to their page. Keyword anchor text linking is still recommended, but in a different way. The anchor text should be varied and include a significant number of branded keyword anchor text links to make it more natural. Think about how an outsider might link to your content. Most of the time they’d use the company name as anchor text or might not even utilize anchor text at all, they’d just simply include the full html link. Create a long list of all of the possible keywords that you could target and switch it up every time you create content.

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