Keyword Stuffing – A Copywriting Game Not to Play

Did you ever play the game Chubby Bunny at camp when you were a kid? You know, the game where you stuff as many marshmallows as you can into your mouth and try to say the words “Chubby Bunny” while laughing and trying not to choke on the powdered sugar goodness? Just in case a visualization would be helpful, one of our SEO team members demonstrates the game in the picture below from our Ecreativeworks summer picnic. Amy, one of our SEO wizards and THE Chubby Bunny Champion for the day with seven marshmallows (we don’t suggest you try this at home)!

It may be an oversimplification of the concept, but I thought the game provided a helpful, albeit unusual, mental picture for the concept of SEO Keyword Stuffing. The more keywords (marshmallows) that you stuff into your website content (mouth), the less your website can actually say (no chubby bunny)! Unlike the game though, with keyword stuffing, more marshmallows does not necessarily mean you will come out the winner.

So now try to fight your sudden cravings for S’mores and stick with me for a little bit while we touch on the concept of Keyword Stuffing.

Keyword Stuffing is the tactic of filling your website content, meta description tags, and keyword tags with as many keywords as you can manage. The idea is to make your site content appear more relevant in the search engine results than your competitions’ sites. There are acceptable ways to enhance your website or blog with the use of keywords and there are some generally discouraged practices as well. Finding the balance between enough keywords to rank well and not so many that Google decides you are employing Black Hat SEO tactics can be tricky but important.

There really isn’t a magic formula for developing content that will shoot you to the top of the search engine results. Google changes their algorithms frequently to limit the attempts to create such a formula. I recommend that instead of trying to manipulate the system, you should spend your time developing skills to make your content rank well organically. Writing copy that your readers will value and developing helpful links for your content can be the most effective and legitimate method for boosting your rankings. Remember that the intended user of your site is human and should be able to make sense of what they are reading on your site when they get there.

As you develop the content for your website or blog, keep in mind a few of these SEO Keyword Placement Best Practices:

For perfectly toasted marshmallows, a slow turning over medium/hot coals will provide consistent toasting…

Sorry…I can’t stop thinking about the S’mores!

Ok, back to keywords:

  • Keep your content Natural. By natural I mean that the content should flow, express valuable information, and make sense when it is read (by a human!!!).
  • Remember your audience! Picking Good Keywords is important to the success of your keywords within page content.
  • Use keyword variations. Your keywords can be enhanced by the addition of synonyms and variations on the term you are optimizing for as the search engines will view the variations as supporting evidence for the page’s authority on a given topic without the problems that arise from “stuffing” specific keywords.
  • Place your keywords strategically. If it makes sense in the scope of your content, the keywords can be more effective when they make an appearance in the following locations:
    • The page title
    • The page description
    • The first paragraph
    • Outgoing links
    • H1, H2, H3 tags
    • Bullet-point lists within the content
    • The closing paragraph