We have all heard the saying that too much of a good thing can be poisonous. Every writer tries to implement search engine optimization tactics to make sure their site turns up high in web searches. However, just when one starts to get the hang of SEO you realize that Google might start penalizing websites that are over-optimized.
So how do you know that your website is over-optimized?
If your content has too many keywords and exchange of too many links then that qualifies as too much SEO.
Below are steps to take to ensure that your site does not get the label ‘overly optimized’:
1. Focus On Link Quality Over Quantity
There are millions of link sellers online and you can buy 10,000 profile links for as low as $10. However, that does not mean that you should. Instead, create quality links that will reflect well on your site.
2. Write For Your Audience First
Any content written that specifically focuses on SEO is difficult to read and understand. Focus on providing your audience with useful content and trust that links and search engine results will follow.
3. Avoid Linking To Toxic Sites
Note that the sites that you link to are almost as important as the sites that link to you. Most writers ignore the peril of linking to toxic, low-DA, or spam sites. Links flow both ways. If you link to a toxic site then your site will receive negative SEO repercussions as well. Instead, focus on associating with or linking to healthy sites in your niche that have a strong reputation.
4. Keyword-Stuffed Footer
One of the ways to shoot your SEO in the foot is by over optimizing your website footer. Google devalues footer links and due to their position at the bottom of a page’s content, they receive minimal crawler recognition. Footer links add no SEO value to a page. If you insist on adding a bunch of keywords to your footer then you are risking over-optimization.
5. Do Not Use Non-Branded, Keyword-Dense URLs
Some writers choose hyper-optimized URLs instead of healthy and balanced brand names. You should not create a URL simply for its keyword value. Remember that your brand name is too important to compromise by making it a keyword. If you need to rank for branded traffic, you need to have something different in your brand name rather than just keywords.
6. Stop Using Multiple H1s On A Page
An H1 header is for a page’s main heading. Unfortunately, some writers think that awesome SEO means using a bunch of H1 text. Using more than one H1 tag on a page is over-optimization. You can use several H2s, 3s and 4s but there should only be one H1.
7. Do Not Use Non-Relevant Keywords
Do not use irrelevant keywords to try to gain traffic. When Google indexes your site, it takes into consideration all the keywords that you use across the entire domain then rank your site for relevant queries. Too much use of unrelated keywords or content will detract from the overall strength of the site in the SERPs.
Over-optimization occurs when we focus too much on technical SEO. While SEO is fine and good if, you focus too much on the nitty-gritty technical details of SEO you end up losing sight of the bigger picture. Once you get the hang of SEO just focus on creating useful content. If you want to see your SEO taking off, then launch into the world of content marketing. Create a site with a perfect technical SEO and that means creating a site that does not suck.