Why You Should Avoid Using Stop Words
Stop words are words that cannot be understood by a search engine. They mean nothing and are skipped over. Words that fall into this category include: a, an, and, are, as, at, in, is, it, of, or, on, the, to, this, what, when, which, where, and with. The logical thing to do would be to remove these words from your content to make it more search engine friendly. However, have you ever tried to write a paragraph without using that list of words? It can be difficult to do. There is no way for you to eliminate the usage of these words without diminishing the readability of your content for your users. However, there are edits you can perform in order to make your content more search engine friendly while still keeping it appealing to your users.
Write First and Edit Later
Proofing and making changes to your writing as you write is awkward. It disturbs the natural rhythm of writing. This is why it is better for you to compose your content before editing. Avoid giving too much thought as to whether or not stop words are being used and let your natural writing style flow. Remember you can remove unnecessary stop words in your final draft editing.
Editing For Bots
You have to find a balance between composing content that is both search engine friendly and user friendly. This is actually where SEO techniques are really going to come in handy. For example, formatting is very important when it comes to optimizing the content of your website for your users. You can eliminate stop words and enhance the formatting of your content at the same time. When you eliminate these words you are going to create shorter sentences. This is beneficial because most people do not really want to read a website; they just want to scan it for information. This is much easier for them to do if you have short, sweet, and to the point sentences.
Some keyword and keyword phrases read a little awkwardly because stop words have been removed by the web developer and/or SEO writer. They do this because it does not really matter to the search engine whether they are there or not. You want to avoid awkward sentences and this can be accomplished by using stop words in moderation.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that avoiding stop words does not mean to eliminate them entirely from your page of content. It just means that you should be attentive to where they are placed. Try to avoid using them in titles, headers, descriptions, captions, and keywords.