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5 Signs You’re Keyword Stuffing in SEO

Avoid keyword stuffing at all costs.

In search engine optimization (SEO), targeting the right keywords and phrases is imperative if you want to succeed. This is what allows you to rank higher for the words and phrases most relevant to your organization. However, if you include too many keywords in your onsite content, or if those keyword phrases are too unnatural, Google could penalize your site.

So how can you tell if you’ve crossed the line into “keyword stuffing,” the practice of over-optimizing for certain keywords?

Here are the most telltale signs:

  1. You only have a few target keywords. How many target keywords and phrases do you have? If you only have a handful, it’s likely that you’re overusing them. Even entry-level campaigns should have at least a dozen keyword targets.
  2. You aren’t using synonyms and variations. Are you using exact-match keywords only? If so, you’re susceptible to keyword stuffing. Try using more synonyms and variations of your target phrase to mix things up.
  3. You have a fixed number of mandatory keywords per article. Five years ago, it was common to have a fixed keyword target, like a minimum of three keywords used per article. This approach is antiquated, so if you’re using it, you could be unwittingly keyword stuffing as you try to achieve it.
  4. Your text reads as unnatural. Read the keyword phrase aloud. Does this sound like a phrase someone would use in natural conversation? If it sounds clunky or robotic, but you’re using it anyway, it’s a sign that you’re doing something wrong.
  5. You aren’t getting traction. Finally, and most importantly, if you aren’t getting much traction for your chosen keywords, it could be that you’re using those keywords too frequently or too unnaturally.

If you need help finding the balance for your SEO strategy, or if you need help with SEO keyword research in general, make sure to contact us today!

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