If there is one thing that can really mess up the rankings of a website, it’s keyword dilution. I have seen sites ranking pretty well, up to the point when somebody, either the Webmaster or its site owner would try to “stuff” as many keywords or key phrases on one page as he or she could.
Later in time, as they look at their results, they are shocked to realize their site has dropped off a cliff, in terms of its positioning in the major search engines.
When a client comes to me and asks me to “squeeze in” more than one keyword on the same page I tell them of the risks of doing that. I explain to them how it’s a bad idea and how their competitors will almost assuredly be on top of the results pages, while they might be… who knows where they might be (!) its impossible to tell with any form of precision in any way.
The best way to avoid keyword dilution
The ideal way to build and optimize a site is to have the same number of pages as the number of keywords you have. Using the professional keyword research facilities of WordTracker, if you have a site where you have established that you will need 15 keywords or key phrases for it to be well represented in the search engines, that means you will have to create and optimize 15 individual pages and submit them to the search engines. It’s just as simple as that.
For your homepage, if your main topic and the whole theme of your website is to sell “Widgets”, then optimize your homepage for the unique and single keyword “widgets”. If on the other hand your widgets are of the industrial grade and your site is all about that, then I would optimize the homepage with the keywords “Industrial widgets”.
Don’t try to dilute your homepage with useless terms such as “We have the nicest red widgets, blue widgets and green widgets”… Leave that for your inner descriptive or products pages. Adding in the colours on your homepage would be the best example of keyword dilution and it’s exactly what you should always avoid.
For another example, if your company manufactures very exclusive widgets used only in the medical profession, specifically only in surgery rooms, you might want to optimize your homepage for the words “Surgical room widgets” or “Widgets used in surgical rooms and in the medical field”. If your competitors only optimize the keyword ‘widget’, your site should do a lot better in the results pages, if you follow the above example.
Always remember that single keywords are always much more competitive to optimize for. In some cases, it’s almost impossible to do it right, since you might be competing against thousands of similar sites such as yours. When possible, (and it usually is) optimize for two, three and even four keywords or key phrases for that added ‘extra punch’ your competitors probably didn’t think of.
Contrary to what many people believe, keyword dilution is not something complicated to understand. It’s basically just common sense. Optimize a Web page for more than just one keyword (or key phrase) and you are significantly increasing the risks that your site will suffer of keyword dilution as mentioned in this article.
The careful identification, selection and placement of the right keywords or key phrases cannot be stressed enough. This very basic and fundamental step accounts for about 40% of the time I spend in optimizing a typical commercial website.
Calculate the amount of hours or days it takes you to optimize your site. When optimizing a site, if you spend less then 35 to 40% of your time researching and strategically placing your keywords as I have discussed here and in so many other articles I have written on this website, than you need to go back to WordTracker and have another serious look at the keywords and key phrases you have selected for, as you probably overlooked a few very good ones.
This final step could mean all the difference for you and the resulting return on investment of your whole SEO efforts. Keyword dilution is one of the biggest mistakes many Webmasters or site owners do. But it’s never too late to learn the right way to do it and to apply these very simple techniques to your optimization strategies.
In the end, it will be time very well spent.