The backbone of any SEO campaign is the keyword research. Think of it as your website’s marketing plan for the next 6-12 months. It will spark blog topics and be the road map for your link building campaign. However, most of the time folks are so worried about the quality of their link building acquisitions that they often forget one other key ingredient in a solid SEO strategy: quality on-site content.

All too often I visit websites where the on-site content was an afterthought of the overall SEO strategy, and it is stuffed with keywords. There are two ways I often see bad on-site content written:

  1. 1. The content looks normal, but when you start reading it sounds like it’s coming from a robot; keywords are repeated over and over when the flow of the content doesn’t call for it. The reason it sounds like it was written by a robot is because it was written for a robot. The Google robot, that is.
  2. 2. There is a small paragraph of words at the bottom of the page that’s just a list of different phrases and words. This paragraph not only looks bad on the page but serves absolutely no purpose for the user. This is where the crux of the problem lies with this type of content.

It’s obvious that the content described above wasn’t written for the user who’s actually considering buying your product or service. It was written for Google. The problem with that nowadays is that Google has caught on to those keyword stuffing strategies and, for the most part, judge the quality of the content. This is because Google wants to return results to the user that will actually be useful, not just disguised to seem relevant enough.

Don’t get me wrong, on-site keyword placement is very important to Google. However, they just want it done in a practical and beneficial manner for the end user. Human readers come first, search engine spiders come second. Hopefully you did your keyword research and have a list of words or phrases that pertains to the subject of the page you’re targeting. One way to help that page rank higher in Google is to write quality and personable content with those keywords included in a seamless manner that flows well.

Here’s the great thing for you, though: you don’t need to try and stuff all those keywords into the content. A good general rule of thumb for the number of keywords or phrases to insert into content is about 3-4 per page. So if you have 6 keywords you want to associate with a page, pick the top 3 you want to target the most and make sure they’re in the content. Remember, highest search volume might not be the best qualifier for a chosen keyword. Maybe a keyword with a lower search volume that is more specific to your product or service is a better choice (this is why thorough keyword research is vital). Then, when you start your link building for those keywords, Google will see that the page has quality content with the same keywords and in return give your site more authority for that subject.

More authority means higher rankings and higher rankings means more quality traffic. So, fill your pages with quality content that will help convert users instead of stuffing pages with just keywords which will only convert them to your competitor’s website and send Google a big red flag.

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