Your website used to have great rankings, but eventually you see less and less search engine traffic. You move to page 2, and then, eventually, hardly anyone finds your page on Google any more. Why does that happen?
There are tons of possible explanations, but one of the most probable is that the techniques you followed to optimize your copy don’t work any more. Google’s algorithms are getting more sophisticated, and the keyword optimization tricks that used to give you good positions in search results may now be killing your rankings.
So, what are these on-page optimization techniques that you should have stopped using a long time ago?
Optimizing a Page for Only One Keyword
Google’s algorithms used to be much simpler, and it made sense to use only one keyword per page to help the search engine identify what it was about. Now the number of clues Google utilizes to evaluate if the content is relevant to a search query is much bigger. On the one hand, that means you have much more optimization possibilities: a bigger list of keywords and the green light to use them in various forms will let you create well-optimized, but still natural content. On the other hand, obviously, now Google won’t relate your website to a search query just because that phrase is used on your page with the “right” density – which means your rankings will go down.
Back in the past, SEOs would trick the search engine by stuffing their copy with keywords and keyphrases. Fortunately for its users, Google soon started penalizing unreadable keyword-stuffed content, and websites that used that trick saw their rankings drop drastically. These days overusing keyphrases is a sure way to ruin your rankings, so forget that outdated method once and for always.
Using Keywords Unnaturally
Another mistake many SEOs used to make is trying to force keyphrases that are grammatically incorrect or just don’t belong there into their content. You probably saw pages, where, for example, plural is used instead of singular (just because the writer HAD to use that exact keyphrase in plural). This is always obvious and kills the quality of your content – hence the drop in the rankings, as Google now values quality content above all.
It may seem that keyword optimization has become even trickier than it used to be, but in fact it’s now easier for SEOs. The key is keeping your content natural-sounding and grammatically correct, instead of obsessing with the forms and quantity of keyphrases. As long as your copy is keyword-rich, but it doesn’t show, it will be rewarded with better rankings – and more readers.
Do you still use any of these keyword optimization methods? Have you seen any changes in your rankings within the last few months? Feel free to reply in the comments below.