October 25, 2022

How to Avoid Keyword Stuffing – Keyword Best Practices

Keywords are a great way to optimise your content for higher rankings in SERPs, however, this can sometimes be overdone to the point where it is seen as an unethical SEO technique which often receives Google penalties that can worsen your rankings. When a content creator inserts as many keywords as possible into content, whether they fit or not, to try and optimise their page, this process is called ‘keyword stuffing’. In this article we discuss the process of keyword stuffing, explain why it’s bad for SEO, and how you can avoid it in your content. 

So, how do you avoid keyword stuffing? To avoid keyword stuffing, you want to make sure you’re still including your keywords to improve SERPs rankings but only where relevant. Don’t insert words in such a way that is unnatural to the flow of content, don’t include keywords that aren’t relevant to the content, and don’t write a group of keywords together.

Read on to learn from digital marketing experts Wildcat Digital the best keyword practices to avoid keyword stuffing and how you can implement this into your website and content. 

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What is Keyword Stuffing in SEO?

To understand how to avoid doing something first we must understand what it is. ‘Keyword Stuffing’ is defined by Google as the “practice of loading a webpage with keywords or numbers in an attempt to manipulate a site’s ranking”. These keywords are often grouped and forced into the content in an unnatural way creating an overall negative user experience and harming your site’s rankings. 

Keyword stuffing is seen by digital marketing professionals as a ‘black hat’ SEO technique as it goes against search engine guidelines and protocols to manipulate the system, but Google is not often deceived by this trick. An example of keyword stuffing is:

This sentence has a series of problems but the main one being that it is written to appease robots rather than written for audiences. 

How to Avoid Avoid Keyword Stuffing – SEO Best Practices

The misconception about keyword stuffing is that it works. Whilst we do actively encourage the use of SEO keywords, it’s best to only use them when relevant and useful to your content, otherwise it can sound unnatural and be harmful to the user’s experience. Below, we discuss our top tips to help avoid keyword stuffing and give you the best practice for using keywords. 

Quality Keyword Research 

When initially looking into keywords, before beginning to write content, you want to look into undertaking in-depth keyword research to find out who your target market is, what’s ranking well within that market and the difficulty to rank for these keywords. You want to make sure you’re trying to rank for SEO keywords that are relevant to your business and content but are also providing answers to queries that your target audience is searching for on search engines. 

When considering what keywords to use you want to look at domain authority, keyword relevancy and search volume in particular. At Wildcat Digital we offer keyword research as part of our SEO services, why not check out how we can help?

Avoid Inserting Unnecessary Keywords 

When writing content you want to make sure you are only including keywords that are relevant to the content you are writing about and that naturally fit into the flow of writing. You want to include keywords to help improve your SEO rating but not to the point where it is detrimental to the user experience. The point of content is to inspire and educate audiences; content that doesn’t make sense or is not relevant isn’t going to do that. 

To help you stay on track and try to find relevant keywords why not try Semrush this is a great SEO tool which helps you conduct keyword research and helps you track competitors strategy. 

Keyword Mapping

By using your keywords on your on-page SEO you’re showing Google what you are intending the page to rank for and that your content is relevant for this. Being rigorous and specific about where you are using your keywords can help avoid keyword stuffing in unnecessary locations. Try focusing on one main keyword in your content to help demonstrate relevance, to do this you could include your main keywords in sections such as:

Avoid Grouping Keywords Together 

Many people when trying to insert keyword practice into their content, may decide to group keywords together in a long list. This form of writing is illegible for users and adds nothing to their user experience as content should. When content looks unreadable in both the user’s and bots’ eyes this devalues the authority of the website and usually means users will click off straight away meaning, lower ranking, fewer conversions and higher bounce rates. 

If you’re worried that you’re keyword stuffing, why not check your keyword density online on a free checking such as this one? This shows you the percentage of times that your keyword appears within your content, a good keyword density tends to be 2-3%. But, take this with a pinch of salt – it is a robot after all and doesn’t have the same knowledge, information or context as the writer. 

Wildcat Digital SEO Services 

Wildcat Digital are a team of digital marketers who specialise in SEO here to fight in your corner, implementing a range of SEO services across your website to help increase conversions and leads by growing your online presence, gaining more traffic and ranking higher on search engines. 

Get in touch with us to receive a free consultation about how we can help your business with SEO, PPC, Paid Socials, and Website design.

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Grace Dugher

Will Hitchmough

Founder

Our founder, Will Hitchmough, worked at a number of high profile Sheffield Digital Agencies before founding Wildcat Digital in 2018. He brings an extensive knowledge of all things related to SEO, PPC and Paid Social, as well as an expert knowledge of digital strategy.

Digital Marketing can be a minefield for many businesses, with many agencies ready to take your money without knowing how to deliver results. I founded Wildcat Digital to deliver digital success to businesses with smaller budgets in a transparent way.

Chloe Robinson

Content Strategist Team Lead

With a degree in Marketing and a background in more traditional, offline marketing, Chloe joined Wildcat in 2021 after deciding to move into the digital marketing industry. She joined us as a Content Specialist and quickly moved up the ranks, becoming a Content Strategist and later an SEO Team Leader.

Outside of work, Chloe is an avid creative. If she’s not knitting, you’ll likely find her behind a sewing machine or in the kitchen trying (and often failing!) to make sourdough.

Paul Pennington

SEO Account Director

Paul has a strong background in SEO, having previously founded and ran a successful eCommerce business, as well as running a personal blog that achieves an average of 17K users per month. Paul’s knowledge of SEO is extensive, with a strong emphasis on client handling and technical SEO.

Outside of work, Paul enjoys spending time with his family and staying active with weight lifting and combat sports.

Nadea van der Merwe

Head of Operations

Nadea joined Wildcat in 2021 and has since overhauled the way we work. She has a background in various administrative, operations and HR roles, which gave her the experience and skills needed to lead and organise a growing business. 

Outside of work, Nadea loves anything that keeps her active, but she especially enjoys hiking, camping and mountain biking.

Molly Sturgeon

SEO Account Manager

With a background in sales, Molly is a natural Account Manager, brilliantly handling any issues that come her way. Having joined us as a Digital Marketing Executive, and working part-time through her final year of University, Molly is a shining example of how hard work pays off. She is now an SEO Account Manager with a particular interest in Content and Client Management. 

In her spare time, Molly loves to get out in nature, hiking and exploring the Peak District. She also loves cooking and likes to unwind with a bit of yoga.

Libby Oldale

Senior PPC Account Manager

Libby joined Wildcat in 2021 as our first PPC hire. With a degree in Digital Media Production, a Master’s in Digital Media Management and previous experience in Social Media Management, Libby hit the ground running and has since climbed the ranks to Senior PPC Account Manager and has a particular interest in the eCommerce sector.

Outside of work, Libby likes gaming, and cooking and likes to keep active by lifting weights.

Jasmine Savery

SEO Team Leader

Jasmine joined Wildcat in 2022 with a strong background in SEO and Account Management. At the time, she was finishing up a Level 4 Apprenticeship in Digital Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing, and has since worked her way up to SEO Team Leader. Jasmine excels at content writing and promotion, and particularly enjoys finding creative ways to join the dots on multi-channel campaigns.

In her spare time, Jasmine volunteers at a charity, helping combat loneliness & social isolation experienced by older neighbours. Outside of Wildcat, she owns a catering company, Savery Grazing, creating delicious grazing tables & platters for a range of events. She also loves skiing and exploring the Peak District.

Braden Godley

Senior PPC Executive

Prior to joining Wildcat, Braden founded and ran his own Social Media Management agency where he gained valuable skills in growing brands’ online presence, which has since proven invaluable in his role at Wildcat. 

Outside of work, Braden is a big football fan, regularly travelling to Pride Park to support Derby County. He also enjoys watching and playing snooker, hiking in the Peak District, and attending air and car shows.

Jon Herdman

SEO Executive

After spending ten years managing businesses, restaurants, cafes and event spaces across Sheffield, Jon decided to change careers and joined Wildcat as an SEO Executive in 2022. He especially enjoys the client management side of the job, helping them to understand digital marketing and ways in which they can build their business’s presence online. 

Outside of work, Jon likes to keep fit with running, badminton and football, and also loves music. 

Rachel Davies

SEO Executive

Rachel joined us as a graduate, having recently graduated from Sheffield University with a degree in English Literature. Since joining, Rachel has proven herself to be a Content Queen, and particularly enjoys getting stuck into projects that allow her to explore her creative side. 

Outside of work, Rachel enjoys a wide range of hobbies, including rugby, singing, reading, and spending time with her family and three labradors.

Carl Atterbury

PPC Team Leader

Carl joined Wildcat in 2023 with a wealth of experience in PPC. He has experience working with a wide range of clients, industries and budgets, from small local businesses all the way to international e-commerce businesses. Carl has a particular interest in strategic planning and forecasting. He is passionate about data analysis and creating sustainable long-term cross-channel strategies.

In his spare time, Carl enjoys keeping fit by lifting weights, bouldering and running. He’s also a keen musician, having played the double bass and bass guitar for 20 years.

Dariusz Baczyk

Team Lead & Technical SEO Account Manager

With a degree in Computer Science and SEO experience dating back to 2017, Dariusz has a wide range of SEO skills and knowledge. His specialist knowledge of Technical SEO has firmly landed him the title of Wildcat’s Technical Wizard, and he has recently taken on the responsibility of Team Leader for the Panthers Team.

In his spare time, Dariusz loves hiking, experimenting and trying new coffees and loves learning new things. He is currently learning more about CRO and AI and how this could benefit our clients.

Jamie Stowe

SEO Account Manager

With a degree in Film and TV production, and a varied career history, Jamie made the move to marketing with a Masters degree in Digital Media Management. He has since worked in SEO at Agencies across Sheffield, before joining Wildcat and working his way up to SEO Account Manager. Jamie has a particular interest in backlinks and Digital PR and has recently gained a client a valuable backlink from Forbes!

In his spare time, Jamie is an avid foodie and loves trying new restaurants and cuisines. He also loves to travel and spent a year travelling to Australia after university.

Andy Blanchard

SEO Executive

Andy joined Wildcat in 2023 after starting his digital marketing career in-house for a local Sheffield company. Since joining, he has developed a strong interest in Technical SEO and has strong skills in Account Management. 

Outside of work, Andy loves music and plays in a couple of bands. He also enjoys rock climbing, cycling, photography and good food.

Siena Russell

Client Success Coordinator

Siena joined us in 2023 with a background in sales and digital marketing. She leads on client relationships across the company, ensuring that our customers are happy throughout their journey with us, from their initial consultation through to onboarding and beyond. 

Outside of work, Siena enjoys travelling and getting stuck into the local culture. She likes to make the most of her experiences and particularly enjoys watching sunrises and sunsets from beautiful locations around the world.

Thea Chapman

Senior SEO Executive

Thea has a wealth of experience in SEO, having previously worked for other Digital Marketing Agencies in Sheffield. She has a particular interest and skills in Technical SEO, but is more than willing to get stuck in and give anything a go. 

Outside of work, Thea spends most of her time with her children, but also loves reading, photography and gardening. 

Tom Brookes

PPC Executive

Before joining Wildcat, Tom worked across different industries, building skills in sales and customer service. He later developed a passion for digital marketing whilst working on personal marketing projects and freelance ventures, and gained numerous certifications in PPC and Social Media. 

Outside of work, Tom enjoys staying active by going to the gym and hiking. He also loves travelling and motorbiking.

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