You already know that keywords are the backbone of your search marketing campaign. When writing website copy, you know that you need to include the keywords into your copy so that the search engines can identify what your page is about and rank it accordingly.
However, there’s a very thin line between optimized copy and keyword-stuffed copy. Follow these tips to make sure you aren’t guilty of the latter.
- Read your copy aloud—One of the easiest, most effective editing tricks I use is to read my copy aloud before finalizing it. Whenever you read it out loud, you can get a better idea of how it will sound in the reader’s mind when he’s scanning through it. Ideally, your copy should flow easily and have a conversational feel to it. When reading your copy aloud, it’ll become apparent if you’re using your keyword too often. It won’t feel natural, and you’ll stumble over difficult keyword-stuffed phrases. Identify trouble spots in your copy, and correct them.
- Measure keyword density—Don’t get me wrong. I’m not one of those people who believes there’s a magic keyword density that will get your website vaulted to the top of the search results. That’s a silly SEO myth passed off by SEO consultants who are stuck in the past. That being said, I do think that measuring keyword density serves a purpose. It gives you a clear idea of just how often you’re using your keyword in your web copy. If the percentage is too high (usually anything more than 5%), your copy will likely be difficult to read. Of course, there are exceptions where certain keywords don’t have a lot of synonyms or just naturally lend themselves to being used often.
- Use keyword synonyms—Using keyword synonyms is a good idea for a couple of reasons. First, it breaks up the monotony of your copy. For example, let’s suppose you’re targeting the keyword “internet marketing in Houston.” Rather than saying “internet marketing in Houston” 10 times in your copy, you could mix in “Houston online marketing”, “web marketing in Houston”, “Houston internet marketing”, and so on. This will make your copy much easier for humans to read.
Another benefit of using keyword synonyms is that it gives the search engines more terms to pull from and to rank you for. This ties into the concept of “latent semantic indexing” where Google brings up pages based on the searcher’s intent rather than just specifically matching the key phrase entered.
Do you check your copy to make sure it isn’t overflowing with keywords? Share your anti-keyword stuffing tips in the replies.