March 22, 2017 Jessica Merrill

What You’re Doing Wrong When Trying to SEO-ify Your Website—And How To Fix It! Part 2

SEO can go wrong. Here’s how to make it right. Click here to read Part 1.

Keyword Stuffing Vs. Responsible Keyword Optimization

Another way to avoid keyword stuffing is to utilize Google’s lexical database index. This index includes a list of synonyms for words so you can use different words with the same or similar meanings. This way your site will still show up for users in Google search results. Having a variety of related words not only means that your site will be safe from getting shut down by Google, but it is more likely to have well-crafted, professional sounding content, therefore adding to it’s overall validity.

How to Avoid Keyword Stuffing

To make sure you keep your site from getting “blacklisted” by Google, the basic rule of thumb is to make sure you maintain a 2-5% keyword density.

In order to avoid keyword stuffing, try grouping items that you want to include on your site into larger categories. For example, if you are listing the areas in which your service is offered, list counties or regions instead of individual towns. You can pick a few towns that you really want to optimize for (the ones you expect to get more business out of or the ones you want to focus on because of the potential for good business) highlight those, and then stick to keywords related to larger regions or counties otherwise.

What Actually Gets You More Traffic

Sometimes keywords and search engine optimization are not actually the best way to bring more people to your site or business. One way to gain credibility and customers for your business is to verify your company on Google My Business or GMB. GMB is a tool for businesses, brands, artist, and organizations to manage their online profiles. GMB gives you the ability to claim your business so it will be the first to pop up in a user search for the service that you offer in your area. If you are using GMB it is important to make sure your info is accurate, relevant, and consistent, that the location you have listed is owner verified, and that the specific city, town, or area you are targeting is listed on the landing page title. Also try to make sure that any primary categories you have listed also match broader search categories. This increases the likelihood of more traffic.

Benefits of claiming your business online

It builds trust. If you claim your business, it makes your business seem more trustworthy in the eyes of the general population.

It’s really great for SEO. When you list all identifying information by claiming your business, you include a link to your website. The more linkbacks your site has, the larger the audience is, the more the traffic it will get, and the higher the potential for customers.

It attracts locals. People no longer use phone books and newspapers. The first place people will look if they hear about your business is online. If they can easily find you, they are more likely to visit your business or site.

It attracts tourists. Putting your business online might end up being the only way people that are from out of town will know you exist.

It creates opportunities. You open yourself up for customer feedback, positive or negative, that can be used to either promote or better your business.

It stakes YOUR claim, not someone else’s. There is nothing stopping competitors from claiming your business just to drive potential customers away. Claiming your own business will prevent this from happening.

(Source + more info:

Another thing you can do is include keywords within the image title on your website. For example, if you run a coffee shop in Cedar Falls, Iowa and you include a picture on your webpage, you can embed a description in the image when you post it to your web page, such as “coffee shop Cedar Falls, Iowa.” If you do this, the image of your business may pop up when someone uses Google to search for a coffee shop in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Additionally, try to add on-page content keywords. These on page SEO factors can be included in any of the following:

  • The landing page title tag
  • The landing page H1 tag
  • The landing page URL
  • The landing page content

You can also embed Google Maps with a business marker into your landing page to further your chances of getting more business based on location.

Get on review sites

A really good way to get your website out there without optimizing excessively is to get your site on external review websites such as Angie’s List or Yelp. Positive reviews from either of these sites can be grabbed and featured on your own site. Businesses can fake good reviews on their own sites but if there are good reviews on other sites then you can become far more credible and trustworthy.

Here are a couple of the benefits of Angie’s List according to

It’s free to get listed. If you are willing to put in the effort to get a lot of reviews, this can be a really good way to get new clients at no cost.

It’s good for link building. If you build links to your website, it will rank higher in Google and other search engines.

Here are some of the benefits of Yelp according to

You can easily connect with customers. Yelp gives you the ability to respond via direct message to customers that have left you a review, or you can post a public comment for all future users to see.

You can grow your business. If you claim your free Yelp Business Page you can start Yelp Ads. Advertising through Yelp is a great way for you to reach new customers. In a recent study, business owners that advertised with Yelp saw an average of $15,000 more than business owners who only claimed their free Yelp Business Page, but did not take the extra step to advertise on Yelp.

In Conclusion…

There’s good SEO and bad SEO. Good SEO is super beneficial; bad SEO can get you grounded from search results and do way more harm than good! Keyword stuffing and over-optimization are never OK, and there are better ways to go. There are lots of ways to improve SEO if you’re willing to take the time and effort, and you can always outsource your SEO to a pro if these articles have left you feeling overwhelmed!


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