We’ve provided a lot of services for a lot of clients over the 7+ years that we’ve been in business.

But now that we’ve drilled down into our two services of PPC and SEO link building, we have found that there’s still a lot of misunderstanding about SEO in 2017.

The field called search engine optimization has been around for 17 years and has seen a lot of changes over that time. But some things don’t change and so to know which part has changed is difficult to keep up with. I get that, but it still drives me crazy that people don’t understand the truth of the matter! So today I’m going to talk about how you can over optimize your contents and over optimize your website.

Now I have no data to back this up, so if you’re looking for a data-driven article this is not the one for you. If you’re looking for more of a theory hypotheses, a discussion or debate, read on!

For the longest time we’ve been doing search engine optimization; keyword selection, retitling, redoing content to make sure the keyword was on the page enough times. We’ve also been building backlinks, some with do follow, some with no follow, some with the keyword, some with just the naked URL, some with other things trying to make a “healthy mix”.

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But it didn’t work. You can optimize every single piece of content on your website. You can make sure you have the checklist of ‘is the keyword here? or is the keyword here?’. You can run it through Yoast’s tool, Webceo, grader.com, all of these tests to make sure that you cross all your t’s and dot your i’s.

But, newsflash, that will not make your article, or your website, or your web page rank better.

First of all, you have to write engaging content that people want to digest, that people want to share, that people find value in. As a person who uses Google to solve problems, if I click on an article that’s in the search results that doesn’t answer my question I find it quite irritating. So think, if somebody looking for red Nike size 12 shoes should land on your page but you’re not selling Nike red size 12 shoes on that page, you’re going to annoy me. Word optimize all you want but in the end you have to make sure you’re writing engaging content, that you’re talking about things that people value, that you’re helping people solve problems with not 1, but 2, spot-on answers.

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The second thing you need to focus on is marketing concept which I wrote about in our last post. It is something that is so critical for your business, for your optimization, for your website, for Authority, and in order to rank. You need to market that content so people see it, so people talk about it, so people share it, so people link to it, so people email it. Google wants to provide value to its users and you need to show Google that other people value this, therefore so should Google, and so should Google’s users.

So, when you spend so much time making sure the keywords are put in the right place, making sure that everything is perfectly optimized, I would argue you’re over optimizing.

Case in point – There are over two hundred ranking factors in the algorithm. One of them is the length of time your domain is registered. Google uses this to determine if this site is in it for the long haul. Not every website that is registered for one year is considered to be a throwaway website but it is one factor. So, does that mean that you need to rush out now and register your domains for 10 years and pay for that up front? It sure can’t hurt but it’s not going to significantly impact you either. It’s the same thing should you retitle all of your articles making sure that you have the keyword as close to the beginning of the title as possible… Sure, it could help but it could also hurt because now the humans don’t want to read your content, they don’t value your content because the keyword is so obvious and it just doesn’t read well.

I used to play the role that I would operate for the machine – I would over optimize for Google and let the client pull me back, lowering my optimization so that it reads more human-like. But the funny part is, over optimization is where people focus. “Best Practice” in SEO is to make sure that everything is perfectly optimized, and that you need do everything you can to control all of this.

In the end, we need to wake up. We need to realize, those of us in the marketing community, that it’s more about how we can help people.

Actually, it’s a mission of my life is to help people. I want to help you. I want to help you know that you should not over optimize, that you should not waste your time and effort dotting every i and cross every t. My entire checklist should read ‘does this help people, and if so how do I get it in front of those people? Now you’re talking!

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So welcome to 2017, we’re in the 4th quarter, it’s almost done! For 2018 I challenge you to write content that people care about, that’s going to matter to them and then share it, spread the word, get it out there. If you don’t have the time and energy to do that, hire somebody to do it for you, that’s totally fine but it needs to be a priority. Stop spending money on agencies that over optimize and stop spending your time and effort reviewing keyword reports.

Google has been pushing away from keywords, away from rank tracking. And in a way this is valuable information. If you look at it they’re actually trying to help those of us in the SEO community focus on the right things: creating incredible content that people want to share, content that helps people, content that answers questions.

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So join me in 2018 in only producing content that challenges thoughts, that people want to share, that takes a stance, that is truly informative and that will beat everything else out there.

Hopefully, as I continue to blog here as the founder of Connex, I will continue to make things that are more useful. I will (hopefully!) get off my soapbox about all the things that are going wrong in the SEO community and I will provide value to you.

Join me in my challenge of creating incredible, valuable content that makes a difference in somebody’s life.

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