The SEO writing craze has been and gone (for most of us)... For all the clunky SEO headlines, blatant SEO filler content, and SEO writers advertising their services, you wouldn't have thought it had left.
While Google's updates in the last 5 years have punished poor SEO practice, so many of us are still being misled by out-of-date information. It sucks, but we can do something about it.
The web is becoming much more user-focussed. That is - content that improves a user's 'experience' will be looked on more favourably by Google. Content that is informative, that is shared on social media, and has a high percentage of bookmarks and return visits will be ranked highly. Have a look how Google ranks pages below:
As you've heard countless times before, written content is your brand's voice. The 'dialogue' between yourself and your reader should be true to your brand's identity, and true to their unique needs, desires and problems.
Content that is written like this is far more likely to rank highly compared to weak, clunky, keyword-stuffed content. Thing is - you can still utilise SEO, keywords, metadata and all that palaver. You just gotta' be subtle!
Applying the Tip
View 'Copy' as a Conversation
...Because, you know, blurting out nonsensical phrases like 'web developers London' in the middle of a conversation will quickly send them running.
View your website copy as a conversation with a friend, whom you're informing and convincing that something (product/service) is awesome. If SEO phrases or content makes your 'conversation' sound clunky, change them immediately.
You wouldn't keep repeating gibberish and jargon during a conversation (hopefully!) - don't do the same on your website.
Spent Your Time Wisely
Try to spend the majority of your time researching, writing, and promoting. If you put in the effort to create effective copy first, and leave the SEO aspects to last, the chances that your content will be driven by SEO are slim.
Take the following graph as a good indicator of SEO tasks:
As you can see, only a fraction of time should be spent on the technical side of SEO. Spent the rest of the time writing and engaging with your audience. They'll thank you for it.
Daily Writing Tips is where I share my expertise on web writing, content strategy, online business, creativity, and more.