Keyword density: Once upon a time, SEO was built on the idea that there was a magic keyword formula that stated how frequently a keyword should be used. Keyword density is a surprisingly sticky concept, despite the fact that it has no merit in the 2014 context. Instead, make sure you use your key phrases in your content frequently enough so that they are present but skillfully enough so that it feels totally natural.
Stuffing: Keyword stuffing is the overuse of keywords in unnatural ways in your site’s metadata or content (e.g. think a title tag that reads “SEO Search Engine Optimization SEO SEO”. It’s bad practice, will turn off readers, and get you hit with a penalty or delisted from search engines altogether.
Keyword rich domain names: According to a recent blog post by a Senior Product Manager at Bing, keyword rich domain names no longer impart much, if any, value to domains. Instead of focusing on keyword rich domain names (for example, myfavoriteredsneakers.com), it’s better to choose a branded domain name that can help build authority and brand recognition.
Disregarding keywords: There’s also a subsection of the SEO world that believes keywords are passé and have no value in 2014. This perspective is wrong too. Keywords, like every other area of SEO, are evolving and marketers have to be smarter about research, application, and tracking metrics. But fundamentally keywords are still the core currency of search engines.
Solid keyword research is still a critical foundational component of any successful SEO strategy. If you want more information on how to conduct keyword research step-by-step, we recommend The Definitive Guide to Using Google’s Keyword Planner Tool for Keyword Research. With good SEO keyword data in place, it’s possible to move on to building a site that’s easy to rank. Next, we’ll explore what you need to keep in mind regarding design and on-page optimization for the 2014 SEO landscape.