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The number one thing about SEO that people just don’t get

There’s one thing about writing search engine optimised copy that people just don’t seem to ‘get’ – and I’m including here some people who make a living out of SEO.

I have clients who ask me to write SEO pages for them, to promote their business. Some use ‘expert’ SEO advisors, who come up with dozens of search terms they want included on a particular page.

I keep telling these people, you can’t do this. You can’t optimise a web page for that many different keywords and phrases. It just doesn’t work like that.

If you’re going to create an SEO webpage, you need to optimise it for just one keyword or phrase. Just one. Not half a dozen others tagged on alongside. Just one.

Let’s discuss bananas for a moment. Say I wanted to optimise a page for the phrase ‘Hawaiian bananas’. But because I also have other varieties of bananas for sale, I decide to mention them as well. I add some details about Costa Rican bananas, and Jamaican bananas.

Pretty soon, that webpage isn’t optimised for Hawaiian bananas at all. No. It’s optimised for bananas. But that’s not going to do me much good, since bananas is a very competitive search term.

My niche web page about Hawaiian bananas just lost all its SEO juice, and now it’s having to compete with every website out there that mentions bananas. All 14,200,000 of them. Whereas, there’s only 2,200 pages that mention Hawaiian bananas.

Actually, make that 2,201.

Picture by Jason Gulledge via Flickr

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • essay papers April 26, 2010, 7:23 pm

    nice blog! for me SEO is the most power full tool on the net… thanks for sharing!

  • seo packages May 3, 2010, 8:11 am

    Actually, two is a better number as this allows you to take advantage of the 60 characters Google allows you in your page title.

  • Simon May 3, 2010, 3:12 pm

    Lyndon – good point, although I think the principle remains: really go for one, add a second if it doesn’t dilute the first, add a third if you can, without interfering with the other two. But don’t start out with ten keywords for one page.

  • cosplay July 26, 2010, 3:39 am

    Actually, two is a better number as this allows you to take advantage of the 60 characters Google allows you in your page title.

  • Roger December 12, 2010, 9:44 am

    Traffic Revenue! This has to be one of the most frustrating conversations with companies in that simply driving traffic won’t bring in sales…. getting the mindset right with the correct goals is oh-so crucial…. If you simply target revenue/conversion then don’t expect huge traffic and vice versa…. don’t expect your broad traffic to drive sales