A bit like professional cycling, doping was once endemic in SEO web content and copywriting. The demise of keyword stuffing and a crackdown on high levels of keyword density in the last 18 months has levelled the playing field and those trying to do the right thing are now getting the rewards for their efforts. Ok – stuffing your content with keywords and stuffing your veins with EPO is not exactly the same thing (c’mon, I’m looking for a hook here)…but still….if you’re juicing, you’re losing.
SEO copywriting is a range of techniques and skill sets that you build up over time. It requires all the elements of traditional copywriting with an awareness of the SE bots roaming your website. In the last few years, keyword stuffing was already on the way out and keyword density was an obsession with many. Keyword density just means that you need to pepper your copy with the same keyword a certain amount of times in order for Google or other search engines to rank your web pages. With their Penguin update last year, Google have pretty much ensured that this once-white area of online copywriting has now become a few shades darker. So, it’s not as bad as keyword stuffing but it’s not exactly innocent either.
As the era of keyword density passes on, the role of synonyms and a focus on people has thankfully taken over. The search engines have welcomed the use of synonyms for years simply because that’s how people communicate normally. We don’t use the same word over and over when discussing one topic. So when we read online content, it’s the same way. When the same word is jammed into different places all over the page, it will seem unnatural. And when it’s not natural, we won’t engage with it.
The rules of web content were once pretty mechanical and unfortunately it seemed to be more about numbers and less about words. There were formulas, density percentages and to a lesser extent, bounce rates and hits. Some of these are still crucial but the main message is now crystal clear. Focus on what people want to read and how they read and the search engines will reward you. Quick fixes and temporary highs using keyword stuffing and focussing on density numbers will ultimately damage your SEO health…
If you’re looking to kick your keyword density habit and go straight, I can help. Get in touch for a quote for your next SEO copywriting project.