Think Google isn’t smart enough to tell you are over-optimizing? Wrong answer! But you can get out of that rut…

Search engines, besides figuring off-page ranking factors, can tell when a website is updated. As proof, see the newly-indexed page in SERPs and the traffic increase afterwards. Updates are rewarded, and to make updates that are optimized (SEO) is even better.

But what about over-optimizing? What about going over the same page again and again to make sure all your keywords are in the right place, with proper density, etc?
Too much is not good, leads to stagnation, and can push your website into a “holding pattern” among the ranks. Especially if the SEO is done mechanically, with cookie-cutter methods, or any strong adherence to “best practices”. Having your website held up is not a good situation to be in when it supposed to be doing the lead generation for your business.

Optimization should be nailed down the first time. Get it right and get out,  at least for a few weeks and don’t worry about it. Don’t flail on the same page day after day, obsessively checking the page’s rank, analytics, etc. and then going back for more tweaks. It’s not natural, and it’s not rewarded. It is a waste of time and money to try to go for the #1 spot all-at-once with on-page SEO efforts. It just won’t happen unless your business is in an amazingly small niche market.

DO IT ORGANICALLY

You may revisit the page after some time (at least 6 weeks) and if you have modifications to make, then make them.  But do it for the right reasons. For example, you find out you’ve been laying out a unique selling position in words that your customers don’t use and you want to make an attempt to get on target with them.
Let your optimization efforts echo the actual written copy of the page. Never optimize for keywords that aren’t reflected in your content. That’s just dumb.

SHARING WORTH MORE THAN SEO? BAH!

Don’t stress about perfectly optimizing your home page and pathway pages. What you should worry about is that they look good and are captivating to people first. Make sure they hold the viewer’s gaze, and provide information in ways that leads them further into your website. Instead of worrying about your SEO, how about sharing some of your knowledge with the community around you? We would really like that!

We just smile and shake our heads at people who are obsessed with SEO. Sure, it’s a way to make sure the search engines know what you’re talking about, but it can’t replace content and it ain’t no magic bullet. We would advise any business owner who manages their own website that’s it’s way better to make updates on a regular (at least monthly) basis than to spend your time learning SEO. Anyone use Facebook? Add it up; how much time you spend on that? Those are personal updates. You mean to tell me you don’t have as much to share about your livelihood?

BE SOCIAL

Take a risk, put information out there to be consumed. Never worry about “giving away the shop”. Like a cool glass of water after a workout, information is the ultimate thirst quencher. After the searching and clicking and scrounging is done, people are looking for information that builds trust. Putting it all out there will make your website essential to people you are looking for services like the ones you provide.

Your goodwill in providing insight to your trade or business will be rewarded in higher conversion rates and a healthier community around you.

After writing this, I saw this video on seomoz that touches on some of the points here
http://www.seomoz.org/blog/stop-optimizing-and-start-creating-whiteboard-friday

Another article with some good advice:
http://blondish.net/stop-over-optimizing-seo-on-your-blog/