Can you over-optimise your content for SEO?

Posted on September 9, 2009


Keywords are important for SEO; everyone knows that. However, when you’re writing content can you over-egg your omelette? Can you insert too many keywords into an article to tip the balance of your attempted SEO so that your content has an adverse affect?

If you can, what is that balance?

This is a tricky question because when first dabbling in SEO you’ll realise that the content you write affects your rankings. When you use certain phrases, longtail phrases of three or more words, you’ll begin to rank and receive traffic for those phrases. The more you write about them, the better you’ll rank.

This will understandably lead you to start writing more and more about topics relevant to your website, by using keywords that you want to rank for. You’ll use them in titles, in the first paragraph, use them as links and begin to sprinkle them liberally throughout your content.

When does this become too much though?

There is no magic number with regards to mentions of keywords, or percentage of keyword density, but if your content begins to read poorly then you may find that you’ve over done it. If your content reads badly it will not only cause reduced rankings in the SERPs (as Google penalises your website for spam) but it will put off your visitors.

Write for your visitors, not for search engines. Use your keywords only when necessary and above all, do not get hung up on keyword densities.

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