We are officially living in the future of marketing and SEO is all the rage. That which once resonated as some sort of secret key to unlocking the advertising magic of the internet has now become more like basic common sense to anyone and everyone who creates online content.
With this in mind, one starts to wonder, is it possible to over-optimize a website? Have we finally crossed some sort of un-marked threshold where getting back to the grassroots of developing authentic online content will see higher ROI than the science of SEO? In this article, we will set out to answer these questions by analyzing some of the most common SEO mistakes.
Is It Possible To Over-Optimize A Website?
Yup. Not only is over-optimization possible, but it’s also a surefire way to ensure your website doesn’t rank in the search listings. If this sounds like a nightmare, that’s because it is. After all, what could be worse than spending hours researching SEO and optimizing your content only to find out that everything you have done is just working against you? Luckily, there are some critical mistakes you can avoid making which will prevent over-optimization:
Is Keyword Stuffing Okay?
Although keywords are the real key to SEO success, the way search engines handle keywords in the modern day is significantly different than how they were treated in the yesteryears. Keyword stuffing used to be the cat’s pajamas, and for a good reason–it was highly effective. However, in more recent times, major search engines (especially Google) have become more intelligent when it comes to keywords, to the point where keyword stuffing is penalized by search engines. Google even went as far to deindexing websites which hadn’t updated their outdated SEO content. Long story short, just don’t do it!
What is Bad Internal Linking?
Internal links are amazing for SEO, and if you aren’t already using them, then you’ve been living under a rock. However, many online marketers and entrepreneurs fail to realize that phrases you use as anchors for your links can pose a problem if they are also keywords. To avoid this pitfall, you’ll also want to steer clear of linking phrases which contain the same keywords as the domain you are linking to. For example, DO NOT link the phrase “Kids love having the coolest school supplies for back to school” to a destination such as domainexample.com/coolest-school-supplies-for-kids.htm
What if My Keywords Aren’t Niche Specific?
This is perhaps one of the most common SEO mistakes that marketers make. It’s important to remember that in the world of keywords, not all keywords are created equal. When you focus on keywords that aren’t specific to your niche, you are essentially confusing Google in such a way that it will more likely ignore your link than rank it. Why? Because Google operates in a way that categorizes websites based on their attributes. When a website has too many attributes, Google doesn’t know where to focus the site. Bottom line: stick to choosing keywords which are the most relevant to your core niche.
Should My Links Vary in Content?
When it comes to both internal links and external links, there is one primary rule of thumb that must be observed in order to avoid over-optimization: don’t point all your links to the same page. Instead, make sure that you build out your link network in such a way that your links are pointing to both the primary pages of your site as well as the deeper pages of your site, and the same goes for external sources. If a majority of your links point to your homepage, contact page, or about page, then you are doing it wrong. Good SEO linking practices should be about 50/50, with half your links leading to a primary page and the other half leading to deep pages.
SEO is tricky, even for the most knowledgeable of experts, and if history is doomed to repeat itself, its likely that the SEO practices of today will eventually become obsolete as well. So what can be done about it? Make sure that you regularly keep up with the latest developments when it comes to SEO, and keep track of the most common SEO mistakes that marketers make so that you can elevate your optimization-skills to a level you never knew possible!