(Photo – Flickr Creative Commons: Qfamily)
You can have too much of a good thing.
One doughnut – good. 10 doughnuts – not good. Two beers – good. 12 beers followed by inappropriate comments followed by a massive headache – not good. And the same goes for links and keywords. With SEO – everything is best in moderation.
Let’s start with links. A site, page or release with excessive use of links is not good – search engines find this type of content to be manipulative and “spammy.” The point of a site, page or release is to provide meaningful, useful and practical information for your audience – and adding a link just for the sake of adding a link will hurt your search rankings, not help.
Rule of thumb: Include no more than one link per 100 words of your release.
Quick tip: If you’re thinking about creating a meaningless, content-deprived page to link to just to squeeze an extra link or two in your release – don’t. It’s a mischievous practice – and is an SEO no-no.
And now to keywords. Indulgent use of keywords is called keyword stuffing. This is bad – search engines expect the content on your site, page or release to be designed for readers, not computers. And it’s obvious when you’re writing for search engines – like when a pet store owner uses the word “dog” 50 times in a 200-word release. Keywords should fit neatly and appropriately into a sentence or paragraph so your release makes sense – and doesn’t sound completely ridiculous.
Rule of thumb: Include no more than five keywords in roughly 500 words of content.
Quick tip: Instead of putting keywords everywhere, put them in the right places. The best spots: In the title, headline and a few times naturally in the body of the content. This way, search engines will like your content – and humans will too!
Don’t over-do it. Keep keywords and links in mind – but in the end, you just have to write naturally.
Did I miss any quick tips or rules with links and keywords? Does anyone have an idea for what SEO topic I should tackle next week? Talk to me!