Happy Halloween! We’re all in the haunting spirit today, and in honor of today’s frightening holiday, we thought it would be fun to share three of the spookiest – and sometimes downright terrifying things – we’ve come across in our years of optimizing websites for search engines.
Lack of Focus
It’s easy to want to optimize your website for everything. We get it. As a business, you have so much to offer, and you want to show up in search results whenever you possibly can! However, as tempting as it can be to try to target every keyword you can think of relating to your business, optimizing for too many keywords can result in a scary mess.
The number one goal of website content should be to be useful to your audience. If your website audience understands you as a company and is compelled by your web design and content, they should have no problem spending time on your site, clicking through to more pages, and returning for future visits.
The problem is, if you can’t narrow down your focus, your web design and content become confusing and can negatively affect both your search rankings and the user experience of your website.
Your best bet is to focus on a few keywords at a time and build a strong search engine optimization plan to drive more site visits via search engines. We promise that in the case of SEO, focus is king.
Here’s a hypothetical question for you: You’re a kid out trick or treating, standing in front of two houses. The first house is giving each trick-or-treater a big handful of single wrapped hard candy or some other “filler candy”. The house next door is handing out one full size candy bar to each trick or treater. Which house is going to be more popular with the trick or treaters – and might even get some return trick or treaters? Likely, the house handing out the full size candy. Why? Quality over quantity – kids always remember the house that gives out full size candy on Halloween.
Search Engine Optimization is much the same way about keywords. Think of over optimizing for a keyword like the filler candy in your trick or treat bag. Now that we know that when it comes to search rankings, you need to focus on top keywords and optimize for them. But you can over optimize for a single keyword, too, and the results can be horrifying. Google has been known to penalize sites for over optimizing a keyword, but beyond that, you owe it to your audience to deliver clear, concise text that answers their questions. Filler text to meet a keyword quotient creates a bad experience for your website visitors, and the search engines will start to notice. Steer clear of the filler to focus on using your keywords well where it makes sense, and your search rankings will follow suit.
By now we know that duplicate content and search engines don’t get along and that avoiding duplicate, and similar, content is key to SEO success. But how can you steer clear of the scary world of duplicate content? The best thing you can do is maintain linking consistency throughout your site, but you can minimize similar content on pages on your site in two ways. The first option is to combine your two similar pages into a single, expanded page that covers the same topics as your two pages without repetition. The second option is to expand each individual page so that they have distinctly different, but relevant, content for their individual URLs. By maintaining link consistency and dealing with similar content pages that exist on your site, you’re well on your way to avoiding the paralyzingly frightful world of duplicate content.
Brad Anderson is the Executive Director and Founder of Fruition. Brad’s focus is supporting Fruition’s team to enable sustainable growth and excellent client satisfaction (EBITDA growth). With a strong statistical background, Brad built Fruition’s in-house software that is used to manage client success.
President & Founder, Tru Family Dental
Marketing, Dependable Cleaners
President & Founder, Family Travel Association