The Less Is More approach to avoiding Over Optimisation

Wednesday, 12th January 2022

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) remains an absolutely critical part of any digital strategy.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) remains an absolutely critical part of any digital strategy – a website that is well-optimised will be far more likely to deliver on its business goals, whether that’s revenue, awareness, enquiries or simply information.

But SEO is partly a specific science, and partly a patience game – getting the basics right at the start and analysing performance over time to review and implement improvements is simply good practice. 

But one also has to be patient and let the work that has been done take effect, as Google’s crawlers analyse and develop rankings for the site.

And critically, one has to be careful not to fall into the over-optimisation trap – unnaturally frequent changes, especially too many at one time, will raise a red flag with Google and could lead to a drop in rankings.

How do you know what to look out for? Here are some clear markers of over-optimisation:

1. Keyword-rich anchors for internal links

Your website’s link profile is one of the most important aspects of good SEO, and whilst internal linking is good and necessary, you need to be careful not to use keyword-rich anchor text – for example:

Find out more about Realnet’s bespoke web design services. (where ‘bespoke web design services’ links to the relevant page URL). This is seen by Google as loading links too heavily, without the necessary respect for context. 

A better way to frame this link would be as follows: Building a bespoke website that is tailored to your needs is something we pride ourselves on being able to do. (where the link would take the user to the same URL, but the optimised text is diluted within a natural language sentence.

The exception is using an anchor that is the same as the root domain URL, for example, ‘Visit Realnet.co.uk for more SEO advice’.

2. Keeping it relevant

Keywords that are relevant to your website, business and content are great for SEO, as long as they’re used appropriately and in context.

Using ‘buzzwords’ that may be high-value but not relevant to your website at all is a big no-no – the simple tip here is to stick to your niche, with keyword relevant content appropriate for what your website visitor is expecting and wanting to read.

3. Internal linking that spreads the love

Internal linking is a great tool for SEO and helps visitors to your website to find new or more information. But you need to consider the ratio of links that point to top-level navigation pages (for example, home, contact, about us etc.).

Ideally, you should look for a ratio of about 50% of links that point to deep internal links, with the balance pointing to top-level navigation pages. That way, your link profile is strengthened which, as we’ve mentioned before, is one of the most critical aspects of good SEO, and visitors are served a rich and diverse mix of content across the full spectrum of your website.

4. H1s and ‘less is more’

H1 tags are exclusively to be used for a page’s main heading. Whilst the misconception may be that using more than H1 will improve SEO, the literal opposite is true. Multiple H2, H3 and H4 headers is no problem at all, but stick to one H1 per page.

5. Know who you’re linking to

Creating a range of relevant and useful outbound links is great for SEO but be very careful to link only to reputable sites with good domain authority, preferably above 20, and sites that reinforce your niche or specialist area of focus.

6. Keep your feet clean

Your site footer needs to be kept as clean and functional as possible – simply put, Google devalues footer links because they deliver so little value to overall site SEO. Keep your name, address and phone number there, and a way to get in touch. That’s it!

The above tips are a guideline for ensuring good, relevant and effective SEO. At Realnet, we understand the value of good content and build websites that deliver results. Find out more, contact us today on 01223 550800 or info@realnet.co.uk.

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Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is the process of increasing your website's visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs) primarily through Paid Advertising.

Keywords are words and phrases that show what your content is about. They are the words that your target customers would search to find your page. It’s important that your keywords match the content on the page, or this will affect your chance of being shown on the search engine results page.

Local SEO is marketing your business to local people. This means when they search for a local business, they find you. This can include listings on directories such as Google My Business or Bing Places for business, localised content and online reviews.

This is a great marketing strategy placing your business in front of the customer at the exact moment they are looking for your services. An example would be plumbing businesses in Cambridge appearing in search results when a potential customer searches ‘Plumber Cambridge’.

Link building is acquiring hyperlinks from other websites to your own. Google sees these links as votes of confidence for your page and includes this when deciding your page ranking for certain keywords.

SEO means Search Engine Optimisation. This is the process of getting your website to show in organic (free!) search results. All search engines such as Bing, Google and Yahoo have search engine results pages (SERPs). This is what is shown when you search.

These pages consist of links to websites and other content such as videos and local listings. Your website being search engine optimised will make changes to your website that mean you are more likely to show on these pages as the search engines match the most relevant page.