When SEO is mentioned, a mixed reaction often follows. On the one hand, organic traffic from search engines is usually very valuable and profitable traffic compared to visitors from other sources.
On the other hand, SEO is for many a book with seven seals and can also be frustrating due to the frequent changes in the Google algorithm.
In this article, I talk about the two of the most common mistakes that lead to a guaranteed loss of ranking and traffic.
If you avoid these mistakes (which is relatively easy), then you are already on the right track to get more visitors to your website.
Over-optimization has been a factor for years that can lead extremely quickly to a loss of ranking for Colorado businesses any beyond. You could easily test it out (which I don’t recommend). Your website currently occupies a top position for a certain keyword? Just take this keyword and repeat it several times in the page content. At least once in the page title, once or even several times in the URL and of course also in the meta description as well as in the actual page content.
If you were to modify an existing site in this way, you could see your ranking being ruined the next time the Google Bot visits you. But that’s no big surprise. This excessive keyword stuffing has had this effect for a long time.
What’s important to know is that Google has tightened the rules a bit on over-optimization. What until recently was considered good Denver SEO practice is now already in the dangerous area of over-optimization.
For example, it was usual to insert the target keyword of a page in h tags (headings), to mention at least one image on the page in the alt tag, to insert it in the URL of the page, the title and the meta description and so on. It is also often recommended to mention the target keyword in the first and last paragraph of an article and display it in bold at least once.
For a while, this policy was at least partially useful, and it couldn’t hurt to use the same keywords on your website. In the meantime, such a frequent repetition of a keyword is usually regarded as over-optimization. So what can you do to avoid being penalized for this?
I follow two simple guidelines that serve me very well:
I never thought much of deliberately repeating a target keyword to achieve a specific, supposedly optimal keyword density in the text. The content and readability of the text always has priority!
I am often asked how many repetitions of a keyword are too many. In my opinion, this is quite simple: if the keyword is repeated so often that it seems a bit strange to read, it is already much too much. In my daily practice I have written countless articles and optimized websites. I can’t remember any case where it would have made sense to repeat the same keyword in the title, in an h1 heading and in an h2 heading.
Enter your target keyword in the Google Keyword Tool and you will get some suggestions for closely related keywords. Google understands synonyms and knows which keywords are similar to each other and belong to the same group. So you can easily use related keywords to your target keyword, and Google will still be able to rank your content optimally.
According to this Colorado SEO company, crucial factor in Google rankings are still inbound links to your page. And one of the strongest keyword signals is the anchor text of these links.
I have to admit that I personally sacrificed some niche sites on the altar of anchor texts. For a long time it was extremely effective to put 80% or even more of all anchor texts from incoming links on the exact target keyword for which you wanted to rank. In other words: If I aim for the top position for “birthday gift ideas”, practically all links that I create myself look like this: Birthday gift ideas.
With the penguin update, Google has put an abrupt end to this practice. This analysis shows that the anchor texts of the incoming links had a lot to do with the ranking changes after the penguin update. And many webmasters, who had become careless when building links, paid bitterly for it – for me, too, this led to the punishment of some pages.
The consequence for you? If you create links to your site yourself, make sure that a good, “natural” mix of anchor texts is retained. Mix your target keyword as anchor text with similar keywords, URL links (i.e. the anchor text is the URL of the page) and also anchor texts that are not related to the topic of the page (e.g. “this article”, “new blog post”, “click here”, …).
The anchor text problem is much smaller if you are not directly creating links yourself, but are pursuing other forms of inbound marketing. However, even with very legitimate promotion methods like publishing press releases or writing guest articles, you need to be careful and provide some anchor text variation.
Online marketing is fast moving and marketers who don’t read blogs quickly lose the connection to modern strategies and developments. We are constantly seeing new features in social networks, search engine algorithms are changing – not to mention new technologies such as AI.
Anyone who wants to operate modern, successful online marketing must therefore always be up to date. On this blog, we talk about SEO, particularly applied to the Denver area and Colorado as a whole. Search engine optimization is our focus because we have always believed it to be the strongest and most profitable marketing opportunity for any local business. Also, we have a knack for it! Yes, we also care about good web design, UI, colors and so on, but even the nicest looking website is pointless without search traffic from Google.
We hope you leave our pages more informed than you were when you found them!
Mike & Judy