5 Things You Should Know About Keyword Stuffing and SEO

For a lot of people getting started with SEO, the idea of keywords usually makes sense. But where things start to get complicated is determining how often you should use certain keywords within your content.


Use too few keywords, and you might be missing out on an optimization opportunity. Use too many, you could be penalized by search engines for keyword stuffing. To help prevent a keyword overdose in your content, you need to know some basic information about the concept of keyword stuffing, including what it is, why it’s bad and what you can do to prevent it from ruining your user experience. To help lead you in the right direction here, take a look at this quick video for more information. Or you can chat with Volusion’s own team of SEO experts, who can help get you ranking.

 

Want to read even more about optimization? Check out our handy post about SEO basics!

About 

Matt Winn is Volusion’s Senior Brand Manager, where he helps oversee the organization’s branding and communications efforts. Matt has created hundreds of articles, videos and seminars on all things ecommerce, ranging from online marketing to web design and customer experience. Beyond being a certified nerd, Matt is an avid college football fan, enthusiastic home cook and a self-admitted reality TV junkie.

24 Responses to “5 Things You Should Know About Keyword Stuffing and SEO”

  1. Erik R

    Hi Matt,
    I just came across this post. I realize it is a bit old, but I am having an awful time trying to get my site to rank in google. I don’t know if I am accidentally keyword stuffing or what I could be doing wrong.. would it be too much to ask if you could have a look at it? http://www.beyonddivingscuba.com

    thank you so very much!

    Reply
    • Anjuli Desai

      Hi Erik, Thanks for reaching out! I took a quick look at your site, and didn’t see anything that stood out as a red flag for not ranking in Google. The age of your site might have something to do with it – it can take some time for search engines to start ranking new sites, so keep that in mind if your site is on the newer side. You could also work on some outreach measures to see if you can get some relevant inbound links. Good luck!

      Reply
  2. Daniel

    “Use too few keywords, and you might be missing out on an optimization opportunity. Use too many, you could be penalized”

    Matt, I 100% believe this though this also means that there is an optimal keyword density ‘Range’. I know that people insist that there isn’t but that wouldn’t make any sense either. What are your thoughts?

    Reply
    • Anjuli Desai

      Hi Daniel,

      Great question! SEO has moved past keyword density, and now it’s much more about creating content that is useful for the reader. If you’re using a keyword enough times that it “reads like SEO,” you’ve used it too many times. Use keywords where they make sense, ensuring that you’re also using keyword variations and synonyms as you craft the content to sound as natural as possible.

      Happy Selling!

      Reply
  3. Joe white

    Matt,
    Mine is a job search site for truck drivers. Trucking companies are my clients and I scroll their logos across the home page. Logo images are currently titled based on the trucking company name: ABC Trucking. If I were to retitled images ‘Truck driving jobs at ABC Trucking'; would that be keyword stuffing (‘truck driving jobs’ being the keyword phrase)? If not, could that help search engine rankings? I currently scroll about 70 logo images.

    Reply
    • Anjuli Desai

      Hi Joe,

      Great question! We would recommend steering clear of this strategy, as it can seem like manipulation. The best strategy with images is to name them in the most concise and straightforward way possible, which is what you’re currently doing. On-page content can come into play to help you ensure search engines understand that your site is relevant for “truck driving jobs” keywords.

      Thanks!

      Reply
  4. Melissa

    Hi Matt,

    Just found the article. Was really helpful. Like some of the other respondents, I started my site about 2 months ago but still no traffic. You make some good suggestions to others. Would you mind taking a peek at mine and tell me your initial thoughts? http://www.enchantedeveningbridal.com. Thanks.

    Reply
    • Anjuli Desai

      Hi Melissa,

      Thanks so much for your question! I’ve passed this question along to our Marketing Consultants and they will be reaching out shortly. To contact them directly for more information, feel free to give them a call at 1-888-750-3996.

      Happy Selling!

      Reply
  5. Brad

    Thanks Matt for your video. I have a question on Key words. My question is based on product specific. i.e. – description of a product description in the SEO side. Is there such things as too many keywords. http://www.RockBottomSafety.com – Just starting to upload products and now I wonder if I am doing it correctly. My thought was to put a bunch of keywords in the section labeled SEO. I don’t really know how to give a product description that would have the correct SEO in it. Your help is appreciated.

    Reply
    • Matt Winn

      Hey Brad, no problem – thanks for watching. With your product keywords, there is definitely such a thing as targeting too many. Best practices suggest that you focus on 3-5 keywords per page, including your product pages. It’s definitely tempting to throw as many in there as possible, but do some research on the most important keywords for each particular product, then add those and build your descriptions around them. This article from our SEO Manager, Nathan, might be helpful as well: //www.volusion.com/ecommerce-blog/articles/why-keyword-density-is-a-bunch-of-hooey/

      Thanks! -Matt

      Reply
  6. Jenny Lucas

    HI Matt

    I have been with Volusion now for a couple of months and am very happy with the service, but I am not getting any response from my website. I have tried to do all that has been suggested, but no sales or interest to this point. Couly you have alook for me please and make any suggestions that you see fit. Store ID 01-202-852 – House of Balsam Millinery.
    Very much looking forward to your reply.

    Many thanks
    Jenny Lucas

    Reply
    • Matt Winn

      Hi Jenny, glad to hear that you’re happy with the service! Don’t feel bad about the lack of response, you’re still very early in the ecommerce game – it can take awhile for your site to get exposure and to begin building organic traffic to your site, and that’s totally okay and expected. From a marketing perspective, are you currently leveraging paid search, also known as pay-per-click (PPC)? This is a great way to get a nice pop in traffic and begin building your customer base. If you need help with that, we have a service here at Volusion to help: http://www.volusion.com/ecommerce-ppc/. Also, have you tried leveraging comparison shopping engines or launching an email campaign? At this point, I think you’ve got a solid product and website in place, so it now boils down to marketing.

      Regarding your site itself, I think you’re off to a nice start – it’s definitely a clean site, and the colors align well with your brand. I might suggest that you move your products up on the homepage, and reduce the amount of copy you have in the prime position of this page. While all of this is great information, it might be better served on your “About Us” page. Instead, try placing a really compelling product image on your homepage, or better yet, a slideshow that highlights the beauty of your products.

      You’re off to a good start – just keep improving your site as much as you can, and most importantly, look for new ways to market your site. Keep up the good work!

      -Matt

      Reply
  7. Jim

    Matt, would you check out my page and let me know what you think? http://www.braggingbadges.com
    Thanks,
    Jim

    Reply
    • Matt Winn

      Hey Jim, no problem. The #1 thing you’ll want to correct right now is having your temporary domain provided to you upon store purchase over to your actual domain of “braggingbadges.com.” See how in the URL it’s got a lot of letters and “servertrust” in there? Fix that ASAP by looking at this article: http://support.volusion.com/article/dns-settings or contacting our Support team for help. Also, upon first glance, I’m not exactly sure what you sell. After glancing through for awhile, I understand that you’re selling cool badges and stickers, but the homepage leaves that for interpretation. You might take a look at your tagline, “What have you got to brag about?” and replace that text with something more descriptive of your actual product. Also, I’d suggest replacing your current homepage image with something that provides more context and direction – tell me what your product is, and where you want me to go next. Also, your social icons in your left nav are a little large, especially compared to your top nav, which is where you want people to go to start shopping. In that regard, I see that your top navigation has an “Apparel” category, but there aren’t any products in it. You’ll want to address that as well to ensure customers aren’t confused and leave your site. All in all, you have a neat product, but you’ll just want to update your site to be a little more streamlined, better showcase your products, and make some basic updates to ensure usability. Hope this helps! -Matt

      Reply
  8. Debra

    can you give an example of key word stuffing, not sure what that means.

    Reply
    • Matt Winn

      Hi Debra, great question.

      Let’s say that my online store is called “Matt’s Organic Hot Sauce” and my focus keywords for my homepage include “organic hot sauce” and “organic salsa.” If the content on that page reads something like this, it would be a pretty bad case of keyword stuffing:

      “Matt’s Organic Hot Sauces offers the finest organic hot sauces and organic salsas on the market. These organic hot sauces and organic salsas come from a secret family recipe that’s been around for decades – you won’t find these organic hot sauces and organic salsas anywhere else, guaranteed.”

      See how the copy itself isn’t bad, but the same keywords are stuffed in there over and over? This makes for a really bad user experience, and Google will pick up on what you’re trying to do. Hope this helps!

      -Matt

      Reply
      • iana

        Thanks for the above example of a bad case of keyword stuffing. What would you suggest would be a more proper sample of this text so that it’s not too “stuffed?”

        Thanks!

        Reply
  9. Kayo

    Matt’s the best thing about Volusion! Period.

    Reply
    • Matt Winn

      Thanks, Kayo! You’re pretty awesome yourself. Glad you’re enjoying the videos.

      Reply
  10. James West

    Hi Matt, loved the video! I have just launched http://www.westfleetfitness.com , if I am not the 100th person to ask this, and if you have the time, could you have a quick browse and provide some feedback? Would really appreciate it!

    Kind Regards,
    James West

    Reply
    • Matt Winn

      Hi James, no problem!

      At a very quick glance, I think you could use a design refresh for your template. Currently, it looks a bit like a Twitter background, and could use a bit more structure. Also, I might recommend that you rethink the background image on your template, or where the text itself is placed. Right now, you’ve got white text placed on top of that image, which makes things a bit difficult to read. One of the biggest things that might help would be having a direct CTA (call to action) on your homepage that tells people what to do. When I land on your homepage, I honestly don’t know what I’m supposed to do, and with the hard to read text, it makes me not want to look any further. The same applies to each of your pages within the website – I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do when I get there. Perhaps you go through the exercise of identifying the objectives of each page on your site and then rebuild from there. It seems like your ultimate goal is to have visitors contact you, so tell them to do so and why they should do it. I’d also recommend providing a bit more context by placing more content and imagery on the site.

      Hope this helps!
      -Matt

      Reply
  11. Janelle Carlyle

    Can you give examples on a product to seo and also a page. Like “returns”. I see a lot of my pages are not seo. How detailed, how many keywords. How long a senetence should be. Use hyphens or commas?
    Thanks!!

    Reply
    • Matt Winn

      Hi Janelle, I’m not 100% sure I understand your question. Would you mind elaborating a bit? In regards to the number of keywords, you should be optimizing about 3-5 per page – the number of times you use those keywords, along with the length of your sentences, should fully depend on the content on the page itself. Remember, it’s all about readability and usability. Hope this helps! -Matt

      Reply

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