They say too much of anything is a bad thing. This is true in life, in general—and in the world of search engine optimization (SEO) and content marketing, as well.
Yes, well-optimized content is a top-ranking factor. Taking optimization too far, however, can prevent your target market from seeing the value of your content, and can, in turn, negatively affect your search engine rankings.
The Consequences of Over-Optimization
Over-optimization used to work, back in the Wild West days of SEO. Since the introduction of Google Penguin, however, websites that were over-optimized suffered low rankings and penalties and businesses had to get the help of the real SEO pros like Third Stage Marketing.
Fortunately, it’s easy to avoid over-optimization when you know the signs of an over-optimized piece of content.
Keyword stuffing is one way to over-optimize your content. Over-optimizing also means having the exact same keywords on every page on your website. Yes, the search engines are smart enough to notice that every single page on your website is optimized the same way. While there is value in putting your target keywords in all prime locations, doing so can make your pages look so unnatural –and this could result in penalties.
Implementing a De-Optimization Plan
Run a website audit and find the lowest performing content, specifically content that failed to attract natural links and resulted in a manual action. After that, you’ll see where you stand, and whether you have over-optimized content.
If you find that you do, redirect the over-optimized content to the better piece that’s already on your website. You may also keep the content and re-optimize it by following Google’s Quality Guidelines. These measures help to ensure that your site does not provide a bad user experience and also help to keep users engaged for longer.
Optimizing is well and good – and necessary. But if you focus too much on the nitty-gritty and the technical side of SEO, you’ll tend to overdo it. Simply focus on generating the best possible content and you’ll see everything fall into place.