By Johnny Nguyen

Over optimization is one of the most common SEO mistakes I see daily. I’m talking about all the new web-designers or ambitious business owners that try to take SEO matters into their own hands. They’ll read a few articles, find some free SEO tools online and go wild on their websites. They’ll get excited about learning new information and stuff their website full of keywords. They’ll wait anxiously a few weeks and then miserably wonder why they’re not ranking any higher in Google despite all the work put in.

The problem is simple – “over optimization“.

Over optimization basically means you are trying too hard to rank your website for a particular keyword. Over-optimization hurts your website in two ways:

  1. Keyword density is too high
  2. Keyword weight distribution is spread across too many keywords

Over-optimization doesn’t work because Google’s search engine is algorithmically intelligent enough to know that your website’s content isn’t natural. Google’s search engine can tell that you’re trying too hard by forcing your keywords into the content. If your target keyword or keyphrase (example: Los Angeles Brand Marketing) is repeated across a single web page so much that it makes up over 10% of the web copy, Google is going to know the word usage probably isn’t natural and you probably won’t get ranked higher for using the keyword so many times. If anything, Google might even dock points from your website for that search term.

The other thing new webmasters need to understand about the SEO process is that Google distributes weight across all your keywords. If you put too many keywords into a single page (example:  “luxury brand marketing”, “premium brand marketing”, “fancy brand marketing”), Google might be confused about what your website is really about. What ends up happening is that instead of scoring that whole page 100% for one keyword, Google now treats it as one web page scored weakly across the multiple keywords.

So how do you fix over-optimization? Easy, just optimize each page for no more than ONE KEYPHRASE. If you have other target keywords, use a separate page of your website to optimize for each one.