11 Mar SEO Advice: Are You Accidentally Over-Optimizing Your Website?
If, like us, you happen to run a professional web design company (which in 2016 means you’re also running a full-service internet marketing shop), then you spend countless hours researching the latest SEO news, algorithm updates, trends, and industry rumors. And if you don’t have the stomach to spend whole afternoons discussing the finer points of anchor text over-optimization, then you don’t last long in this business.
But the truth is most businesses owners don’t actually care about their anchor tags, toxic links, or the next Google Penguin update. They just want to know one thing: will it improve my rankings? There are a number of techniques for optimizing your site for Google searches, but our Seattle SEO company often has to warn clients that those same techniques can hurt your rankings.
Getting to page one is like threading a needle.
A. Backlinks, B. Keywords, C. Responsive Design, or D. All of the Above?
We promise that every web design company has heard some version of this story before:
A frantic business owner calls you up and explains how Google just penalized their website out of the blue, for no reason, and can’t you please help?
Inevitably, this poor soul admits that they’ve been working with “SEO Experts” who offered a sweet deal: 100 links for the price of one dollar and guaranteed page one rankings! Well, when hundreds of sketchy Russian link farms suddenly start sending traffic to your website, Google notices. And when every one of those links uses the same anchor text, which just so happens to be your most important keyword, Google brings the hammer down.
Unfortunately, it can take years to undue the damage done by these kinds of blackhat SEO tricks. So how can you avoid their fate?
Beware taking shortcuts on your way to page one, for a start.
It’s why the “All of the Above” approach to SEO can get novices into trouble. Yes, backlinks are perhaps the most important ranking factor. Yes, it’s important to lace your site with carefully selected keywords. Yes, meta tags and anchor text and social media activity are all important too.
But there’s a dirty word here at our Seattle SEO company: over optimization. After all, SEOO just doesn’t have the same ring to it.
It’s a Hard Truth: Slow and Steady Wins the SEO Race
We know the kind of pressure business owners are under every day, and we know enough about SEO web design techniques to understand the stakes as well as anyone. In one study from online advertising network Chitika, the number one listing for a Google search will suck up 33% of traffic. The second position gets 18%, and the clicks decrease dramatically after that. In total, 60% of all traffic goes to those top three search results, and fully 75% of searchers never even bother to click on page two at all.
All of the techniques we’ve mentioned are basic Internet marketing tools we can use to optimize your website for Google’s web crawlers. But those web crawling spiders are smart, and if you over optimize your site with keyword stuffing, sketchy link farm tricks, or copy-and-pasted content, you’ll get trapped in Google’s web.
The best way to avoid the wrath of Google? Trust the real SEO experts at our Seattle web design company, slow and steady wins the race to page one every time.