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Killing Your Content With Keywords

You’ve got highly-searched, low-competition keywords and a clear content strategy to deploy them. What could go wrong? Check for these 4 content killers.

heard you needed content, I heard you wanted style
And so I took your order and drafted for a while
There it was this challenge, stranger to my eyes
Strummin’ the keys with my fingers,
Boosting traffic with my words.
But you’re killing your content with keywords,
Killing your content with keywords.
Don’t fill your whole site with rubbish,
Killing your content with keywords.
(Apologies to Roberta Flack)

You’ve got highly-searched, low-competition keywords and a clear content strategy to deploy them. What could go wrong?

Killer #1: High keyword density.

As Matt Cutts explains in this video, using your keyword a few times shows what the article is about. After a certain number of mentions, re-using the same keyword produces minimal returns and eventually tips the content from valuable to spam. We’ve all seen the types of pages Matt talks about, and we all bounce out of them within seconds. A keyword density of 2-5% is very popular because your phrase shows up enough to signal the subject to crawlers but doesn’t overwhelm a human reader.

Killer #2: Low density.

On the flip side, limiting main keyword phrases also limits the creativity of the author. In a 600-word swimwear review, a 0.5% keyword density cap for both “swimwear” and “swim wear” (total of 1% keyword density for both phrases) forced the author to substitute the word “swimsuit” instead. With such a low keyword density, it might not be clear to the crawlers which term the review should rank for. It may rank for the workaround instead of the requested keywords.

Killer #3: Too many keywords.

It’s perfectly acceptable to have more than one keyword phrase in your article. When you require four keyword phrases each at a 5% density, one in every five words will be a keyword. The total keyword density prevents the article from adding any value. From an author’s perspective, each keyword is like spinning dinner plates. Too many will make the whole article crash. Allowing plurals or inflections can resolve this issue, or you may want to show which keyword is your top priority by reducing the density or eliminate secondary keywords.

Killer #4: Awkward keywords.

Keyword phrases that could force poor grammar, like “dog walker New York,” really kill good writing. It isn’t always difficult for content writers to use their intellect to work in the phrases as needed, but the flexibility to include punctuation, stop words or prepositions to make the keyword phrases grammatically correct makes it a lot easier.

A client is never working against the author by requesting keywords. But SEOs should always consider the density and flexibility of all their keywords together so that the author can “sing your life with their words.”

Contributions by Textbroker author wiz666


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