Hey, Barb here!
This issue is a case study of a review I did a couple of weeks ago for a particular business website's content, with a focus on some blog posts on a neglected blog page. The owner is interested in reviving the blog and was looking into reworking some content before going forward. Here are some insight into what you do here can affect different aspects of your business.
The reason for this approach is to bring some real life examples of how keyword usage can help or hurt what you write, how it's received and how keyword can and will affect your reach. There are also some valuable content around getting started with SEO keywords the right way. Since you are interested in blogging for your business, you probably don't want to be shooting yourself in the foot as you do it. Let's get started!
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About keyword stuffing and your blog posts...
As I remind my readers, blog content supports the experience your visitors have with your online presence. It also shares your expertise for people to find, experience and to feel comfortable with - pointing out that you know what you're doing and how you can help them. Part of your online journey is to get your website and blog content in front of people who want and need it. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and using keywords are parts of that strategy.
Quite a few years back a common way to build SEO juice for your website and blog was to make sure your keywords are well represented on your pages. It was something that helped you to get the word out and to get more eyeballs on your blog posts - so your potential customers will be able to find you more easily. Well, that was then, this is now…
I was a little taken aback a couple of weeks ago when I was asked to visit a website and to provide feedback on their blog contents. I have to admit, even in the “good old days” I’d not seen this particular approach to generating views, so I thought I’d share my take on the visitor experience. Before we start though, I’ll just say I won’t be naming names to protect the innocent. Here goes:
I started my journey on the website homepage and noticed… the 4-word longtail keyword appeared 33 times (italicized and/or bolded) on the one page - as well as being present in the website url (yes, I went back and counted).
Let's just grab a definition of keyword stuffing for those not familiar:
"Keyword stuffing is the practice of inserting a large number of keywords into Web content and meta tags in the attempt to artificially increase a page's ranking in search results and drive more traffic to the site. A keyword is a significant term that is relevant to the content in question."
Moving on to the blog page and reviewing the latest 10 posts continued the trend, with each post starting with the same 4-word longtail keyword...approximately 4 out of 5 headings contained the same keywords and structure, with at least 4 out of 5 paragraphs containing at least two instances of this same keyword...
I'll stop there but I think you get the point of my comments. This isn't blogging, nor is it helpful to your website ranking. I've talked before about the visitor experience and the place your blog holds in the customer journey before. People visit your blog in the "getting to know you" phase and are looking for clues as to what you offer and how you work. I'm not sure you want to be recognized for producing spam or using "black hat," illegal practices. If you consider who is reading your blog posts you'll understand that you can do better and be much more effective.
Google describes the effects of keyword stuffing this way. They also offer some advice:
"Filling pages with keywords 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."
I bring this topic up because it speaks directly to the reason to blog for your business, and how this decision will impact your site visibility, as well as your online reputation - things you need to be aware of as you plan your strategies.
What's the take away from this example? Using keywords isn't something you need to be afraid of, but you do need to understand them and their impact on what you do online.
Before you go
I hope you found this issue focused on this particular case study to be interesting. It speaks to how easy it is to use practices that don't serve you and the efforts you make to grow your business, online. Is this type of content helpful to you? Want some assistance with getting your (blog) word out without compromise? Let's connect - here's the link!
Do you know someone who would enjoy what this newsletter is all about? Let them know. We'd love to have them join us!
Until next issue, take care and happy blogging!