Keyword density was very important… 11 years ago.
You know, pre-Google Panda.
Yes, you want keywords to appear on the page, but trying to hit some made-up magic percentage numbers is a huge waste of time—and money, if you’re paying some grifter to use outdated, entry-level SEO tactics like this on your company’s site.
Page 1 is no longer a haven for unreadable, keyword-stuffed crap.
And the old days of putting 10,000 variations of search keywords in a website footer and making the font the same color as the site’s background are (thankfully) over.
“But we’ve analyzed the top 10 Google search results, and 5 of them have a keyword density of 1-2%!”
OK, I’ll just throw this out there: Correlation is not causation.
Meta Tag Stuffing
If you’re looking for information on the meta keywords tag, first of all: Welcome to SEO.
Search engines haven’t paid much attention to meta tags for quite some time.
The meta keywords tag has been dead for well over a decade. Now the tactic of stuffing it just needs to die, too.
Other meta tags (i.e. title and description) still have a purpose, but that purpose is no longer “helping crappy sites game the system.”
Today, you need to optimize your meta tags for—you guessed it—humans.
Still, jamming a bunch of keywords into your meta tags like it’s 2010 is great for letting your competition know your strategies—and your SEO competence level.
“Exact Match” Domain Names
One of the most egregious, amateur-level mistakes I still see from self-proclaimed SEO experts is launching brand new (!) sites with “exact match” domains.
It’s one thing if a domain fits your company’s name, your brand identity, or perfectly encapsulates what you do.
And if you’ve had an exact match domain for your business for years, don’t go changing it now.
It was an effective strategy years ago.
And if you’ve built upon that success since then, you don’t need to start over from scratch and confuse your customer base.
But if you’re launching a brand new site called “Best Toledo Hammer Drill Review Guide” at besttoledohammerdrillreviewguide.club in 2022, something is very wrong somewhere.
In fact, starting out with an exact match keyword domain is much more likely to hurt your SEO than help it.
Let alone the fact that—like other obsolete keyword-focused strategies—it’s like ripping a page out of your SEO playbook and handing it to your company’s competition.
It’s infinitely more important to focus on creating a brand with your domain name, not trying to (unsuccessfully) catch search traffic from one specific possible search query.
Focusing on Search Engines Instead of Humans
When you ignore (or de-value) the experience of the humans landing on your page and only focus on search engines, it’s not only an ineffective strategy—you’re really shooting yourself in both feet.
Yes, you obviously want visitors to click through to your page, but when visitors get frustrated and leave, Google sees it and takes note.
When people don’t visit any other pages on your site and hit the back button right away, it’s a lot worse for SEO than if no one clicked through at all.
You need to understand your visitors’ intent for the keywords they’re searching for and create rich, useful, original, real content that meets that intent better than your competition.
After you have content that your visitors can actually use—not repetitive, keyword-stuffed, unreadable crap—then you can tweak little things as needed.
You can still occasionally find pages in search results that are ranking by using spam tactics. Make sure to bookmark those companies’ sites, because you won’t be able to find them for long.
Creating Bad Content
Yeah, there was a time when the most crappy content imaginable could still find its way into the top 10 search results.
Cardboard content, keyword frenzies, stolen or “spun” content—complete trash not useful to anyone—if not optimal, was still viable a few years ago.
While it was never really a “good” SEO strategy, that worthless stuff used to be able to sneak by… and get regurgitated in search results.
Finally, our long digital nightmare is over.
Today’s SEO strategies are more conducive to “doing the right thing” than in the past:
You need to be the best resource for your visitors.