Is your content overflowing with keywords? Watch out for this SEO tactic! Search engines, particularly Google, don’t look favorably on keyword stuffing or cannibalization. In fact, they are on the lookout for websites that indulge in mindless, high volume keyword usage.
What is keyword density?
Keyword density (the number of times a keyword appears on a web page in comparison with the total number of words on that page) was once considered an important measure of relevance – but we’ve advising for years to avoid it. Today’s SEO practices demand natural keyword targeting, so where you place keywords has become far more important than the number of times they are used.
Tips for Effective Keyword Targeting
- Put them in your title, preferably in a well-written catchy title.
- Write your keyword titles intelligently or you risk visitors going back and forth and that gives search engines the impression that they did not find your page useful.
- Make sure your keyword usage is relevant and natural; you do not have to use a keyword phrase in an awkward manner just to get it into the content.
The perils of keyword cannibalization
Keyword cannibalization involves having multiple pages dedicated to the same search term or phrase. While you might think this is a smart way to fool the search engines, think again. What you are really doing is forcing your pages to compete with each other. This can lower your rankings significantly as search engines get confused about which page to rank higher and why. To make matters worse, you could be penalized.
How to Avoid Keyword Cannibalization
- Main site pages generally target keywords with higher targeted traffic while blog posts or articles, for example, are great for long-tail keywords.
- If you must have more pages with a similar keyword, make sure you distinguish them from one another so that Google can assess each one separately. One way to do this is by repeating only a part of a phrase; for example, “California landscaping company” could be used as “landscaping company serving California commercial properties”.
- Create unique meta tag titles and descriptions for your home page and sub-pages to help search engines distinguish between them.
- Replace older pages with fresh content.
The important thing to remember is that you should always focus on the overall user experience. Keyword targeting is just a small part of achieving that. Learn how to provide your visitors with fresh, original and relevant content built around their interests rather than simply focused on your keywords.
Dallas Search Engine Academy offers training to help you understand, learn and use important online marketing techniques like keyword targeting correctly and effectively. Attend our SEO and Digital Marketing workshops or call us at 214-550-4310 to schedule a complimentary 20-minute introductory phone meeting.