Arizona Businesses: You Can’t Stuff Your Way to SERP Success

Here’s why keyword stuffing won’t get you anywhere.

Every website owner and brand wants its website and pages to rank highly in the SERPs to attract more users. SEO is crucial, and keywords are a dominant pillar holding it up. However, going to town with keywords is a recipe for disaster. In fact, many site owners overuse and use keywords in the wrong way. One of those incorrect ways is keyword stuffing. But what is it, how does it affect rankings, and how does one avoid it?

What Is Keyword Stuffing?

Keyword stuffing means using keywords or phrases repeatedly (to excess) in content. For example, a pizzeria in Phoenix may want its website to rank for “best pizza in Phoenix” – that would be a relevant keyword. However, using that term excessively could actually have the opposite effect.

In essence, two types of keyword stuffing exist:


Visible keyword stuffing is the over-repetition of keywords and phrases in the content. It can also mean the use of words and phrases that are irrelevant to the topic.


Not all keywords are visible. It’s possible to stuff keywords in the CMS’s backend. Invisible stuffing also entails repeating words and phrases in alt texts, metadata, and comment tags and concealed word repetition in webpage code. Another tactic is hiding keywords by utilizing white font against a white background, which users can’t see – but search engines can.

Why Is Keyword Stuffing Bad?

Keyword stuffing was once the norm and used in SEO practices. Today, it’s a penalizing factor that destroys the user experience and attracts punishment from search engines. Here’s what may happen to keyword stuffers.

Poor User Experience

Content stuffed with keywords focuses on rankings and pleasing search engines – not readers. The UX quality becomes poor. Moreover, UX is a search engine ranking factor; a low-quality UX means lower SERP rankings.

Lower Site Traffic

With poor UX and content geared toward boosting rankings – not informing and engaging readers – people will leave and go elsewhere.  

Google Penalties

Landing pages and even entire websites may receive Google penalties for keyword stuffing since the search engine deems the content “unhelpful”. In severe cases, Google might even remove a website from the SERPs.

How to Use Keywords (Without Keyword Stuffing)

All right – keyword stuffing is bad. That much is clear. But keywords and phrases are still essential in SEO. It’s about getting it right, though. So, how does one deploy keywords while avoiding stuffing?

Keep Keywords Relevant

As this blog of a digital marketing agency Bournemouth explains, content must be relevant and helpful to those in the early stages of the user/customer journey – and that includes keywords.

Firstly, determine which keywords and phrases are relevant for the website, business, or page – whatever is offered to readers. In addition to using SEO tools to find appropriate words and phrases (such as SEMrush and Ahrefs), website owners can scour competitors’ sites that rank high in the SERPs and identify which keywords to use and how to use them.

Don’t forget to include synonyms and variations of keywords and phrases, too; this helps with rankings while avoiding stuffing and reducing the UX.

Create Engaging Content

Before, Google would account for words and phrases used in content and rank the content appropriately. However, that’s no longer the case, especially since the search engine giant’s helpful content update. Now, it also considers engagement metrics a significant ranking factor, which means content must be engaging, informative, and helpful while also using SEO and keywords (without stuffing!). Essentially, it’s a fine balancing act.

Lastly, don’t overcomplicate things. Keep language use relevant and appropriate to the target audience and the page’s or website’s purpose. Unless a page is specialized and intended for experts, avoid complex, technical jargon, and always keep the intended page user in mind when creating content and enriching it with SEO.