How to Avoid the SEO Over-Optimization Trap

SEO marketing is all about delivering more targeted visitors to your website. But have you over-optimised?

You know you need to optimize your website for the best visibility in search engines, but can you take SEO too far in your quest for search engine domination?

Over-optimization of your website in SEO marketing campaigns is different from knowingly using black hat SEO techniques and wilfully ignoring the search engines’ guidelines to artificially boost your rankings. However, over-optimization can also cause negative effects on rankings. We show you how too much of a good thing can hurt the optimization of your website and when to say stop.

Tips for Avoiding Over-Optimization for SEO

Think of your reader

Remember search engines don’t buy your products or hire your services, people do. Make your keywords flow naturally and blend cohesively with the content. With search engines becoming more sophisticated, keyword density should be a thing of the past. In your SEO marketing strategy, use related keyword phrases in place of your targeted keywords in some instances to make your copy seem more natural and seamless.

Variation is key

A surefire way to arouse suspicion with search engines is to use the same exact keyword phrases in all your on-page elements such as your title tag, headings, descriptions and so forth. Try to use different variations of your keyword phrase across a page. This also applies to image optimization as well; give each image a unique name that reflects the content on the page.

Deliver what was promised

The on-page elements of your SEO campaign should also reflect the content on the page. Search engines will look at all these elements to try and understand the content on the page and then rank your web page for relevant keywords. If you do not deliver what is promised by the search engines, your visitors will bounce off your page and visit a more relevant website.

Build a natural link profile

Avoid creating a link profile with too high a ratio of targeted keywords. If you use too many internal links with anchor text containing your target keywords, you may find your search engine ranking may actually drop. Search engines want to see a natural link profile, so create anchor links with related keyword phrases and elements such as your company name, domain name etc.

Build backlinks progressively

A sudden influx of thousands of links can raise a red flag with search engines and may cause your rankings to drop. Create backlinks from a wide variety of sources and build them gradually over months not weeks. The websites you are linking to must also have high authority and be trustworthy, quality websites which are related to your industry.

Avoid duplicate content

You may have various websites and while it may seem like a great idea at the time to copy and paste from one website to another, duplicate content is a no-no in the eyes of search engines. Search engines have a preference for websites that update their websites with unique, fresh and interesting content. There are tools readily available on the internet to check whether copy has been duplicated from your website.

Monitor your search results

Your SEO aim is to progressively improve your rankings for targeted keywords. With organic search engine optimization, it may take up to three months for a new website or web page to start ranking. Don’t expect to appear on page one from nowhere. If you see a sudden ranking drop look for possible over-optimisation issues and without doing anything drastic, de-optimize.

Remember the end goal of SEO is conversion so keep your eye on the prize and don’t lose focus on providing an optimal user experience on your website and interesting and engaging information about your products and services. Contact us to find out more about how to walk the fine line between good SEO and over-optimization of your website.