"Too Much of anything can be a bad thing... and the same goes with SEO!"
The above statement is true in life, but it’s incredibly important not to over optimise your website. Whilst it’s beneficial to have an optimised website, an over-optimised one could end up ranking worse than if you never bothered in the first place. It’s unfortunate, but it’s something which has been created to stop people manipulating the rankings.
Can you over optimise a website?
You certainly can. SEOO, or Search Engine Over Optimisation is the practice of making your website too optimised, to the point where you make so many improvements that Google start to suspect blatant manipulation.
Over optimisation penalties exist for a reason, because Black Hat SEO consultants used to manipulate rankings.
If you aren’t sure what over optimisation is, keep reading below as I’ll explain everything that you need to know.
Over Optimisation was previously a Fast Win
There used to be an easy way for websites to rank for specific keywords. It’s something that we still see websites doing today, although their rankings are being penalised for this.
For example, we’ve seen a Plumber trying to rank in the West Midlands. On their homepage, they would include a list at the bottom of the page which would be all of the keywords they are aiming to rank for. I’ve attached the image of their site above.
This website also goes one step further, by ensuring that the human eye really struggles to read the text.
Some other websites would hide the text, by ensuring the Font colour is the same as the background. It’s a black hat tactic, but it worked… for a long time. You won’t see this working now though.
It's no longer a Fast Win
Although Over Optimisation is slightly different to the Keyword Stuffing issue we’ve just discussed, it’s actually quite difficult to understand when you have over optimised your site.
This is one of the reasons why SEO Consultants such as myself exist.
Google is evolving every single week, rolling out new features, algorithm updates or requirements. It’s a consistent battle, as SEO consultants have to work hard to understand what now works, but just as they do… Google release new changes.
Let’s take a look at the most common over optimisation mistakes.
Non Relevant Keywords / Non Relevant Niches
You should remember your audience when creating content for your website. A few years ago, you could write content and stuff keywords for different niches and manage to rank.
For example, if you have a Plumbing business, you could still manage to rank for crazy queries such as ‘How to run faster’. The most common method would be to use other terms though, in the adult niche!
If your website is ranking for lots of crazy keywords in 2020, Google will notice that this is a spammy and unrelevant experience for your audience.
Even if you feel like you’ve exhausted fresh content in your niche, I’m sure you’ve got much more in your inventory. We can also assist with Fresh Keyword Research. Staying relevant will also boost your website authority, giving you a real presence in the SERPS.
Multiple H1 Headings on Your Pages
When writing content, you’ll be able to select headings between level H1 and H6. H1 should only be used for your pages main heading.
Some content creators only think that this is a Web Interface & Design setting, but that isn’t the case.
You should only use a single H1 Heading, but you are able to use multiple H2,H3 and so on.
Keyword Rich Anchors
When you’re building links, both internally and externally via outreach you need to build a link profile. Internal Links are very important, but using the same keyword anchor next is a fast way to over optimise your website.
For example, let’s suggest you’re selling Footballs.
Check out these footballs
This would be an example of an internal link to my product, a football. If you do this a few times, it’s not a problem.
However, you will need to diversify. I’m on hand to assist with this.
Keyword Stuffing Your Service Pages
As I mentioned above with the plumbing scenario, Keyword Stuffing is a huge no-no.
It’s a less common strategy now, but many businesses that serves a wide number of cities, they would list all of the services in the footer, or at the bottom of the page.
It’s a very risky strategy in 2020, and it’s a definite over optimization mistake.
Your footer should contain your business location, contact information & your most useful pages. Remember, your customer wants a good experience.
Worried that you've Keyword Stuffed?
If you’re worried that you’ve over optimized, we are here to help your website. There’s nothing more crippling to business than losing rankings, as it means your potential customers will click on your competitors site instead.
Contact us if you have any concerns.