p>Over-Optimization. Nothing denotes unprofessional business practices quite like it. The intention of using this tactic is to promote search engine rankings and increase conversion rates. However, its effects are quite the opposite. Most over optimization tactics are irritating and illogical. Moreover, they cause distrust for the website and product or service employing them.
If those facts do not present enough reasons to cease employment of over optimization tactics, maybe this next one will. Google has begun the process of tweaking the infamous “GoogleBot” so that it will find and penalize websites that over optimize to achieve prime Google results. The Wall Street Journal reports that Google plans to incorporate a new technology called “semantic search.” This technology will produce understanding of the actual meaning of words used on websites and in Web searches.
Below are six types of preferred alternatives to implement in lieu of over optimization tactics.
Use Authentic Titles
Webpage titles should be authentic. They should be written by a person who intends to clearly indicate the subject and type of content the website contains. Titles should be brief, non repetitious, and consist of well¬ chosen words that capture the reader’s attention appropriately. Webpage titles should not be unnaturally manipulated for search engine optimization purposes. For example, a title should not read, “So and So’s Web Design Services…Offering the Best in Web Design Services for the Web Designer in You.” A title such as this is unnatural, illogical, repetitious, and suspicious. While its intent is to increase website traffic, the opposite effect will probably be produced. The title may trick a bot into giving the website higher search engine rankings. However, readers may deem the title suspicious and choose to stay clear of the website, fearing that it may be unsafe or spammy.
Create Quality Internal Links
Internal links should be relevant and lead to a logical continuation of or supplement to the current content. The same link should not exist excessively on the same webpage. Oftentimes, Web designers will repeat links unnecessarily in the content, sidebars, and footers. Sometimes, the link will be worded differently, but still point to the same destination as other links on the page. This tactic is frustrating to website visitors and may deter them from returning to the website. Choose to employ a more logical linking strategy. Incorporate links inside the content and again in a sidebar, footer, or subsequent paragraph, if it can be done logically and sensibly. Otherwise, overusing repetitive links will simply result in poor user experience.
Avoid Unnecessary Footer Links
Link filled footers have almost become commonplace online. Websites often have footers containing lists of links that exist elsewhere on the same webpage or website. Readers would not expect to find these links in the footer. No one would look for them there because their placement is not intuitive. This is a poor Web design strategy. Choose instead to place links in logical locations. Save the footer for navigational links and other information that are appropriate for that location on the webpage.
Reject Text Content Blocks
Text content blocks are generally located on the left or right sidebar of a webpage. They are simply lists of words and keywords randomly positioned in a block arrangement. Sometimes, they resemble word clouds. These types of content elements are spammy and are therefore more harmful than helpful. They draw readers’ attention away from the actual content and to the meaningless content block instead. Use keywords and keyword phrases naturally and logically inside your webpage content. This is a sound SEO practice and will result in better search engine rankings and higher conversion rates than those possible with content blocks.
Reject Spammy Backlinks
Backlinks should be reputable. Those derived from link networks, link building software or websites, automatic software blasts, or article making sites are undesirable and often result in spam and other malicious activity. Backlinks should originate from safe, logical, reliable sources that compliment or supplement the content on the website containing them. Participation in online communities is excellent, but it must be done cautiously and reputably.
Dump Duplicate Pages
Never duplicate webpages unnecessarily. For example, a bakery doesn’t need duplicate pages, one entitled “Snacks” and the other entitled “Treats,” both pointing to and being pointed to from other pages on the same website. A quality user interface does not contain useless repetition of elements. Doing so creates a poor user experience. It confuses website visitors and discourages return visits.
These are just six areas where your website can benefit from professional search engine optimization strategies. Employ proven SEO tactics to create a pleasant user experience, encourage repeat site visits, increase conversion rates, and avoid penalization by search engines.
Written by Mary Knoller. She is a freelance writer and a mother of three. She loves gardening, surfing the web and kayaking. She also loves to be updated on current SEO trends.