Last month, we
covered three of the greatest perils
that confront modern websites that are trying to do healthy
. This month, let’s take on three more common mistakes that can come up in the process of doing great search optimization: Keyword stuffing and page titles. With this guide in hand, you should be able to confront these nasty website foes and walk into a world with a better-optimized website than ever before.
1. Use, But Don’t Abuse Geographic Search Terms
Our first great evil is keyword stuffing, especially of geographic
terms. Our well-intentioned efforts to optimize our website for lots of local areas can backfire easily: Think about what people search for when they look for your services locally. Then think about your website’s
geographic keyword placement
. Do you have page titles or text on your site that reads something like “Windshield Replacement Boston Cambridge Somerville Everett”? Do you really want to rank for just “Somerville”? I didn’t think so. That’s how search engines are reading your string of stuffed keywords.
People searching for a town or city name are looking for local information – Like government, local news sources, and others. They don’t want their windshield replaced, their taxes done, or construction work. Optimize for strings like “windshield replacement boston”, not “Windshield Replacement Somerville Boston Cambridge Everett”. If you care about many cities like this, create content for each one. Have a page for each city you serve, and explain your relationship that area, or examples of jobs that you did there. Don’t be shy – it will increase the number of indexed pages on your site, and consequentially your search authority.
2. Place Important Keywords Early In Page Titles
This brings us to our next point: When planning the
for your website, recall that your company’s name is probably your least important keyword. To start with, anyone who types your company’s exact name will be arriving at your site anyway. But more importantly, the words that you put at the front of your page title are the very first thing that someone will see on a search results page that includes you. If their search for “denver datacenter” sends them to a company’s name and not to a page that reads “Denver Datacenter” or “Datacenters near Denver”, they will skip over your result. Put your best foot forward with your potential visitors, and begin with their keyword.
3. Don’t Reuse Your Page Titles, No Matter How Tempting
Finally, be careful of reusing those well-optimized page title names on many pages. Not only is it a bad
, but it will make it very hard to read your analytics reports later. Think back to last month’s article: Be thoughtful of which pages are optimized for what words, and that their content matches that keyword. If you have many pages around the same keyword, think about variations or other words that may fit better, or reword things so that you don’t have five pages with the same name. You’ll be more interesting to your readers, the search engines, and your analytics will be more legible.
Photo Credit: lars604
Originally published Oct 14, 2010 9:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016