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The last couple of years have been an exciting time in the world of SEO. Many businesses are now starting to realize the importance of website optimization, and they are implementing basic SEO techniques on their website. I’m all for SEO increasing in popularity, but I’ve started to see an ugly side of it- websites that are over-optimized. Nothing sends chills down my spine like seeing a site that’s gone overboard with the SEO. We get it- you read a few posts about optimization and you thought you’d incorporate it into your site. That’s great, but you really chill out with the SEO. Here are some signs your website might be too optimized.
- Ridiculously Long Title Tags- Just because you can squeeze 65 characters into your title tags doesn’t mean you should. I know there are many SEOs who go on and on about the importance of taking advantage of this precious real estate. But a title tag that says “Flower Shop in Houston |Houston Flower Shop | Buying Flowers in Houston |Bridal flowers” looks a little ridiculous. Stick with just one, maybe two, key phrases per title. Any more than that looks spammy, and it doesn’t enhance the usability of your site.
- Even Longer URLs- Hand in hand with long titles are even longer urls. If you think a long title looks like spam, a url with 20 keywords stuffed in it might as well be waving the red flag at the search engines to let them know they’re spammers. Yes, you want tocreate keyword rich, descriptive urls. But you can easily do this in fewer than 5 words. Personally, I prefer url extensions to have 3 to 5 words in them. Any more than that looks messy and unprofessional.
- Humans Can’t Understand Your Content- One of the most common misconceptions is that anyone can write SEO content. Sure, writing SEO copy isn’t rocket science, but you still have to be a talented writer. You have professional copywriters create your brochures, sales letters, and other marketing material; so, why not have a professional SEO writer handle your SEO content? I can’t tell you how nauseating it is to read poorly written, keyword stuffed content on these over-optimized sites. Here’s a tip- read your content aloud to hear how it sounds. If it doesn’t flow naturally, you need to ditch it. Don’t sacrifice quality content for SEO purposes.