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Preservation and Over-Optimization

Avoid optimizing content too much

Welcome to part one of ten in my new series on the basics of SEO! I have consulted literally thousands of companies on how to optimize their content better for better rank on popular search engines such as Google, Microsoft’s bing and Yahoo! I worked multiple years for Go Daddy and did contracted work on behalf of Google at a company called TeleTech. I have over ten years professional experience optimizing websites for higher conversion rates and rank. My company DESIGNA is also a certified Google Partner and I’ve been named Google Business Community Advisor in 2014-15 and also a Google Partner Community Ambassador.

This will be a quick refresher for some and a new adventure into the fundamental details that ensure a positive outcome from your SEO related activities. So my series this year is going to strictly focus on the simplest, most actionable things you can do with you website over time to effectively increase your PageRank and continue providing relevant information to your website visitors. I’m going to say upfront that there’s no “secret sauce” here, or SEO magic. I don’t subscribe to blackhat methods and even have a disdain for link building activities! If you’re looking for advice in those areas of SEO you’re best to move on, because you’re not going to find it here…

I’ll start with two of my favorite basic SEO tips. One, we over optimize and two, we need to work harder at preserving the web. Don’t go and delete old content because maybe you did too much work on an article, or page tagging. Sure you might be using too many headline tags or improper meta tags. Correct the page’s errors and preserve it unless it’s absolutely abusive in comparison to modern practices! I see so many old websites that were excellent for their time and still provide redeeming benefit and value to your rank. Next thing you know someone is taking a wrecking ball to a decades worth of content and you wonder why you’re nowhere to be found. So I’ve always had this philosophy when optimizing a website for higher search rank; a good, basic practice in SEO is to preserve what you can and add new layers of content. Try not to over optimize…

How to tell if you’re over-optimized:

A basic way to tell how optimized (or over optimized) your pages are is to count how many H1, H2, H3 and H4 tags you’re using. You can also use a word could and look at how often a word appears on a page. If you’re repeating a word (more than what would appear natural), three, four, five or even six times then chances are you’re not really writing for people. You’re trying to write for search engines and that’s not going to get you very far. If your pages are using more than one H1 tag, or too many H2 through 4 it could also be problematic. Basically too much SEO is always a bad thing.

Stick to basic formats such as an H1, followed by a paragraph, then an H2 title with a paragraph and another H2 title tag followed by another paragraph. Next thing you know you will have real organization and structure to your pages for better rank, which is what search engines like Google want because it makes it easier for users to follow along the content in your pages. If your design is failing that could be another problem too. Sometimes people try to put too much on one page and you’re going to create a lot of confusion. I mean this article alone I have enough content for three or four other tips for future content on the basics of SEO!

When you think you may have over-optimized a few pages or even many pages it might help to consult a professional. The person you’re consulting with should be able to explain clearly what is either lacking or over embellished as far as SEO on your web pages. Again, there’s no magical mystery or secret sauce here. If you’re using too many title tags, too much copy or something just isn’t flowing your consultant should able to look at the page and know it within ten or fifteen minutes – thirty tops! Remember too, nobody is perfect when correcting past mistakes or making improvements. Hence the term “optimization”, we don’t always get it right the first go. It’s the process of seeking continuous improvement and scrutinizing your own work that will lead you to becoming a “Master of SEO”. I’ve even been dubbed “the Jedi” by my peers, because of my keen ability to detect and resolve disturbances in “the Force”. All joking aside, if you continue to follow my bi-weekly entries on SEO basics – I’m confident you’ll learn new ideas, concept and actionable items you can apply directly to your pages and search engine optimization practices. You’re going to learn more about internal link structure, external links and much more to come…

As always you’re more than welcome to leave a comment or ask questions in the section below. I’m also available for one on one consultation and optimizations when needed, just call me directly at (480) 277-3675 and let’s setup a time to speak more!

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