Search engine optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a crucial element in determining your web page’s Google ranking. Without it, your page could end up languishing on the thirteenth page, positioned somewhere in between a six-year-old forum post and a piece of My Little Pony fan fiction. It doesn’t help that it is dangerously easy to go overboard with SEO keywords. One of the biggest mistakes that new web designers make is the overuse of SEO keywords.
The assumption is that more keywords will yield a higher Google ranking which will, in turn, yield a higher number of visitors. And all of those assumptions are technically correct. But, as correct as they are, they ignore one of the fundamental properties of a web page: web pages are designed for people. It’s all too easy to lose yourself in keywords, adding them in wherever they will fit, until you’re left with a page that reads like bad modernist poetry.
To your visitors, being inundated with keyword after keyword is akin to repeating the word ‘leap’ until it loses all meaning. By communicating too intimately with Google, you’ve failed to communicate meaningfully with your human audience. They key, then, is to judiciously insert keywords where they make sense and avoid them where their inclusion would seem unnatural. It all comes down balance and the ability to edit yourself.
By balancing your page’s use of keywords against the phrasing you need to communicate its core message, you satisfy Google’s need to see specific words but, more than that, you ensure that your visitors don’t leave disappointed. In the end, you drew those visitors to your page to communicate a message, make sure you don’t confuse that message with out of context, meaningless and repetitive keywords.