Search engine optimization of your online content is very important and crucial for the success of your website or business. It is true that social media campaigns or other marketing measures can bring targeted customers but often the number is well surpassed when you get free-targeted traffic to your website from search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing etc.
But where should you draw the line? When should you stop overdoing SEO and ensure that your tactics do not come as a boomerang and harm your site in the bigger picture. Here are some tips, which are worth considering when you should stop overdoing your site’s SEO:
Stop Over Optimization of Links with The Same Anchor Text
Even kids are well aware of the fact that links are the most important factor, when it comes to search optimization of a specific page. Search bots can crawl through external as well as internal links and most importantly, these links pass valuable pagerank and Google juice to your pages.
But you should not go over the board and try optimizing a page for a specific keyword phrase. A typical mistake I see many bloggers do is that they try to gain incoming links for a specific page with the same Anchor text, which is not at all a wise SEO practice.
Example: You have a page on “blog widgets” where you provide widgets and tools for bloggers. You know it is important to get incoming links to this page with the anchor text “blog widgets” so you try to gain links with that specific anchor text. So far so good but if a large number of links come through the same anchor text; it might appear to be spammy.
The search bots can determine whether a specific link is organic or paid in nature and whether the anchor text should carry proper weight in context. If the links are natural, then their anchor texts should be slightly different. Natural examples: widgets for blogs, blog marketing widgets, useful tools for bloggers … you get the idea.
Inference: When you are trying to build links, ensure that all the anchor texts are not exactly the same and there is a healthy balance. Similar words are to be welcomed while exactly same phrases and keyword combinations on a large number (say 300 links) should be avoided.
Stop Throwing the Same Words Over and Over
When a search bot crawls your page and it finds multiple occurrences of the same keyword and phrase combinations, it gets slightly annoyed. They have this typical reaction:
“You know what, the first time you say a phrase, it’s interesting, the second time you say the phrase, it’s still a bit useful. After a while, we rather realize that okay, you have said it before. There is no need to say the same thing over and over again.”
So instead of using the same keyword and phrase combinations, you should format your content so that it is interesting. Include multiple variations of the content, similar words and meaningful information are a plus.
Do not include the same sentences and phrase combinations multiple times on a page. Rather than helping you to rank for that specific long tail of search; it might go against you.
Stop Over Optimization of On Page SEO Factors
Let us assume you want to rank for a specific term: “Hosting services.” First of all, stop using this phrase on multiple on page SEO areas. Some examples:
- URL of the page is www.domain.com/hosting services
- The page has 12 images and everyone has the Alt attribute “hosting services”
- The page has 75 incoming links from other areas of your site and every anchor text is “hosting services”
- You are using this phrase 34 times on the page’s body.
- Your Title tag has the word “Hosting services” at the beginning and at the end.
- You are using 10 variations of related tags e.g “hosting services, hosting service, blog hosting..” and so on.
- You have stuffed the meta keywords and meta description with this keyword and similar variations.
It’s not going to help. You can scratch your head and wonder why your page isn’t ranking at all but that’s the bitter truth. You’re not going to rank for anything which is not natural and which has been done forcibly. It’s that simple
The search bots can determine whether a specific page offers value to the users. They have more than 500 different signals and they judge the user behavior and usefulness of a page in great detail. Hence, excessively worrying about the on page SEO factors won’t help you in the bigger picture. If your page is useful and provides value to the users, it will rank on it’s own even if you don’t stuff it with keywords or don’t have too many incoming links to it.
In short, stop obsessing about too much seo optimization, focus on the user behavior, and value aspect of your page. You should be then in good shape.
About the author: Amit writes a tech blog at Ampercent. Be sure to check out his tips on optimizing video content for search engines.