Taking Keywords Too Far?

I work as a freelance writer, which means I create content for blog posts and websites. For the most part, it’s an enjoyable job—and one that is fairly easy. I’ve learned a lot about marketing and keywords in the process, as well as ways to make my information more appealing to readers and the search bots (although I don’t always follow the advice).

In essence, the goal of content creation is to develop materials with keywords so that searchers and search bots can find you. There’s a process of how to find the right keywords, and it can be convoluted, so I’m not going to go into details. The goal of incorporating keywords is to make them sound natural and flow within the writing. Otherwise, the bots are smart enough to know that you are keyword stuffing.

Keywords are important. I’m not saying that they aren’t. However, what’s more important is creating content that your audience wants to read. Stuffing keywords into blog posts will get you found and could have you ranking high on search lists, but if no one is actually reading what you have to say, it’s a waste of time.

Some people don’t understand this. They read that keywords are important and need to be incorporated in their content, so they try to stuff as many as they can into the document. I’ve seen assignments that want 10 (or more) keywords used at least three times each in a 1,000-word document. To put it in perspective, 1,000 words is about 2 pages single-spaced. That may only be 30 words out of a 1,000, but trying to enter those naturally and not disrupt the flow of the content can be a challenge.

And it has to flow naturally. If it doesn’t, the piece will be clunky and hard to read, which means that real people won’t spend the time to see what you have to say.

I’m good at what I do. I’ve learned how to slide some of the most challenging keywords into a piece, and I have placed 10 or more multiple times in one document. However, there are some tasks that are beyond me—I think they may be beyond most writers. Those assignments make me laugh.

My suggestion is this: if you have that many keywords that you need to incorporate into your content, then make more content. Make the pieces shorter and use less keywords in each. This accomplishes two goals: it uses all of your keywords and gives you more content to attract people to your site.

It’s ridiculous to try to insert so many keywords into one piece, and you won’t be fooling the bots. All you are doing is making your content convoluted and hard for real people to read. It’s challenging finding the balance between appealing to bots and to people, but there is a way to accomplish it. And it doesn’t involve adding more keywords to your list.

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Pembroke Sinclair's books on Goodreads
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