Search engine optimization (SEO) is a very powerful internet marketing tactic for generating leads and/or sales. I have yet to hear a client say that is doesn't work. In fact, majority of feedback indicates that SEO is the best marketing initiative our clients have implemented, with the best return. This is echoed throughout the industry. SEO generates such good results that instead of focusing on the user experience, website owners often focused on SEO and go overboard making changes to a website with mostly SEO in mind.
Basic research on the topic of SEO will disclose different and varied tactics. Depending on the date an article, case study, or suggestion was posted, suggestions on what works and what doesn't will vary. The truth is that there are many, many factors that contribute to high rankings within the search engines. The importance of each SEO tactic and how it's best employed changes by day based on the search engine. It's also important to note that no one single factor will result in high rankings. In the early days of SEO one of the most effective strategies that contributed to a strong position was the frequency of keyphrases on a web page.
Many amateur webmasters still think this is the way to high rankings and as such duplicate over and over again the number of times a keyphrase is used on a page – adding the keyphrase manifold to the title, body content, navigation, links, etc. This narrow focus becomes very obvious and the lack of professionalism is immediately apparent. After November 2003, keyword density as a measure of relevancy in Google’s algorithm became ineffective.
Many web pages that heavily use keywords got removed from the search results. One thing is for sure, SEO should not control your website. Although SEO is very important, your website's user experience is the number one factor to consider when making decisions about navigation, content, design, and layout. The art and science of SEO should be incorporated carefully. Duplicating words just for the sake of SEO in today's landscape won't help. Instead of getting excited about implementing a new optimization tactic that you've read or heard about - stop - talk to your SEO company and hear their expert opinion.
Remember SEO companies do this every day, all day long, and have a much better understanding of what works and what doesn't. Let the experts help you do what they do best.