One of the important pieces of building high search engine rankings and driving traffic to your website is keyword phrases. In the old days of SEO, you could simply pepper your web pages with high value keywords and the search engines would rank you right up there with the best of them.

But with today's more advanced search engines, content on your site has to achieve more than that. Not only does it need to contain keyword phrases people use to search for you, it also must serve to inform the reader and offer some value as well. In other words, simply stuffing content with keywords just won't cut it engines like Google will flag your site and perhaps penalize you.

Not to mention, most people won't give it the time of day.

So what can I do to get more keywords into my copy without sacrificing its flow or getting me in trouble?

Below are 11 ways you can maximize keyword exposure without your readers picking up on it. And search engines will credit you with having a strong keyword presence without sacrificing the quality of your content.

Remember, only optimize a page or article for 2 or 3 keyword phrases...any more dilutes the impact each keyword has on your rankings.

11 ways you can maximize keyword exposure without sacrificing content include:

1.Separate keywords into different sentences and/or paragraphs

Search engine spiders, or computer programs that read and index a site, do not register punctuation, bullet points, line breaks and other things when deciding on where your site should be ranked - they only see letters. Therefore, keyword phrases can be separated by a comma or period.

Your readers will think it's just the natural flow of your copy but search engines will see keyword phrases, in turn, boosting your ranking potential.

See this example:

Increase revenues for your small business today by investing in SEO. Content creation, crawlable site architecture and SEO design elements all work together to increase your site's exposure and position in the search engines.

2.Create quotes for "first-person" keyword phrases

Keyword phrases stated in the first person are very powerful but hard to work into any copy because they're simply not natural. Keyword phrases like content for my website are not natural for any web copywriter to use - content for your website is a more natural phrase.

Instead, put the keyword phrases into a question and put quotations around it, like this:

How can I create valuable content for my website that gets me high rankings in the search engines and increases my revenues?

3.Make your bullet lists work harder for you

From a strictly content position, bulleted lists are great because they make reading and scanning much easier, naturally drawing the reader's attention - a missed opportunity for many web copywriters unfortunately. Adding keywords into each bullet point is pretty simple though but be sure you don't become too repetitive, blend them in well.

4.Split your copy into sections

Search engines find keywords on any crawlable place on your website. Articles or landing pages are not the only ways you can get more keywords out there. You can break copy up so it looks natural to a reader, like placing some in a headline and a few sentences on the top then some in a sidebar then more at the bottom of the page underneath some graphics.

The search engines will see a keyword goldmine...your readers will only see great, informative content.

5.Include a "more information" link

Another way you can get more keywords into your page is to include a "more information" link at the bottom. This link will in fact be the same page but your reader will think they're going to another page since they will have to click a essence, it will look short and concise to them but offer more information if they choose to go there.

6.Include keyword phrases that are "opposite" of what you are

Some strong keyword phrases in fact state the opposite of the image you're trying to convey. For instance, "cheap online marketing" may be a popular phrase but isn't exactly a reputation you want to convey.

Get around this by writing a page or article warning readers about the dangers of "cheap online marketing." Not only will you get this popular keyword phrase into your copy, you will also build credibility for your business.

7.Try and use "stop" words in choppy phrases

Without stop words like "of", "the", "a", "for" and so on, some keyword phrases are incomplete thoughts. Including stop words like these makes them more complete. Since these words are so common, search engines choose to ignore them...much like punctuation and line breaks outlined earlier.

8.Have keyword specific pages

Especially if you're an ecommerce site, many keyword phrases are unrelated. And including too many keywords on a single page dilutes the focus of that page. So create keyword specific pages and focus on one or two keyword phrases per page. Doing so will make the copy look natural to your readers but make the search engines drool at all of the naturally fitting keywords.

9.Combine keyword phrases

Using some stand-alone keyword phrases too much makes copy sound repetitive and impersonal. But you can make your copy sound more personable and natural by combining some keyword phrases. Search engines will see two keyword phrases but your readers will only see one.

Example: website SEO content, SEO site optimization

10. Add other words

Many keywords by themselves sound unnatural to someone reading a site's copy. Standalone keywords can make copy clunky and difficult to read. Sometimes they need some help to make them sounds better.

To make these keywords sound more natural, add words to the beginning or end of a keyword phrase. Descriptive phrases like "experts", "agents" or another term that applies to your business are great candidates.

Example: content creation experts, web copywriting professionals, online marketing agent

11. Include keyword phrases in testimonials

Testimonials offer a great way to not only provide potential customers with others' prior experience with your company, they offer a great opportunity for keywords as well. Much of the time though, a customer writing a testimonial will not use keyword terms someone may use for a search online...they will simply name the product or say "it."

With their permission, replace these phrases with your keywords for even more ranking opportunities.

These are just a few, but effective ways you can work more keywords into your copy without sacrificing its quality or flow. You want to include keywords in your copy because that is how people find you online. Having a strong presence of good keyword phrases is a major step in bringing high-quality traffic to your site.

Following the steps above will go a long way toward maximizing the amount of keywords on your page without creating copy that's repetitive, boring and gets you penalized by the search engines.
August 9, 2010

Stone Reuning is president and founder of SEO Advantage, Inc., an online marketing firm and website optimization company that helps businesses turn their websites into powerful lead and revenue generation tools.

Beginning with a focus on search engine optimization in 1999, SEO Advantage now brings a full multi-disciplinary approach to each client website. Clients enjoy dominance on Google, Yahoo and Bing through a suite of unique pay-for-performance search engine optimization and online marketing services. Experts in SEO, social media optimization, online reputation management, and website conversions work hand-in-hand with small business owners and client marketing departments providing complete copywriting and creative web design support.

You'll find SEO Advantage referenced in books such as Writing Web-Based Advertising Copy to Get the Sale and the BusinessWeek bestseller The New Rules of Marketing & PR, as well as popular ebooks like The Small Business Blogging Blueprint.


This is a really fantastic list. Thank you for compiling it. I have been able to insert tricky words into text by using your first tip and placing the start of the keyword at the end of a sentence or paragraph and placing the rest of it in the next sentence or paragraph!

This is a great list I am going to send it to all of my content creators so we can maximize effectiveness. Much of the editing I do is to ensure that we are using the keywords while still making everything sound natural. This article will help


Some good advice, it's always a challenge to write well and incorporate odd keywords when you need to.

Wow! Such an informative article. You're such a generous man. Thanks for sharing this post.

Thanks for the info! I especially love tip #6- what a clever way to use phrases like that to benefit your page!

Good post, it has always been a challenge to maximize your keyword in an article and putting them to stand together as one great content.

When I first started my site, I was stuffing it with keywords and I was wondering why it's not working. I started decreasing my keywords like the article said and it works much better.

Great info,

I have uncovered some really great keywords with huge traffic volumes related to my niche but found it really difficult to optimize my web page with them. These tips are really usefull, I would never have thought of them. I especially like the punctuation tip and the first person tip.

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Search Engine Guide > Stone Reuning > 11 Ways you Can Maximize Keyword Exposure without Sacrificing your Content