When I was new to blogging, I got really caught up in SEO tools, reading articles from every “expert” that promised to tell me how to write a post that would go viral.
I looked for secret tips about backlinks, metadata, readability scores, and optimization. And you know what? It didn’t help me get more clicks at all. It made my writing sound stilted and awkward! Not only did my readers not like it; I didn’t even like it!
So I stopped caring about SEO. And you know what? Ever since then my content has been better. I have more readers than ever before. So let’s talk about how you can stop caring too…
|Embrace a holistic content strategy|
|Focus on creating valuable, reader-centric content|
|Prioritize authenticity and unique perspectives|
|Build a community around your content|
|Shift your focus from keyword obsession to meaningful engagement|
|Consider long-term sustainability over short-term SEO gains|
|Recognize that quality content naturally attracts attention|
|Don’t dismiss SEO entirely, but balance it with broader goals|
|Experiment with different content formats and angles|
|Measure success beyond just search engine rankings|
Stop Reading SEO Tips
SEO tips don’t work. Do you know why? They’re not real. That’s right, they’re fake! They have been created by people who have never written a single line of content in their lives.
And they are always trying to convince you that they have some special insight into how Google works that will make you rich overnight.
If you’re reading this article, then I can guarantee that if you believe even one SEO tip out there on the internet, then there is something wrong with your brain.
Think about it: What could be more ridiculous than someone claiming they have an answer for everything? And yet that’s exactly what all these so-called gurus are trying to do by posting blog posts about their “SEO secrets.”
And if I had a nickel for every time someone told me their secret method was guaranteed to get my website ranked first on Google within 24 hours… well… let’s just say I’d be able to buy some pretty nice lotto tickets without ever having to worry about paying off my student loans again!
While some may consider SEO an integral part of online success, I’ve found a different path. In my article on Why I Gave Up on SEO, I delve into the reasons behind my decision to move away from traditional SEO strategies.
Focus On Your Audience
First, know your audience. Know their needs, pain points, interests, and buying habits. Know what they care about and why. This can be done through many different methods such as surveys or social media listening tools like Talkwalker.
The more you understand your audience the better you’ll be able to answer questions such as: who are they? What do they want? What drives them? Their fears? Concerns? Motivations?
Make Each Piece As Great As You Can
You don’t need to know SEO, but you do need to know what your readers want and how to deliver it.
The best way to do this is by focusing on quality over quantity. It doesn’t matter how often you publish if the content isn’t good enough for anyone to read in the first place.
You should be producing good work every time, whether that means writing a longer article every week or publishing a shorter piece more frequently.
You can also alternate between these two approaches based on what feels right at the time (and remember: short posts are more likely to get shared).
The important thing is that each piece is as great as it can be before being published – which means spending time editing and rewriting until it sounds just right!
Craft A Catchy Headline
The headline is the most important part of your content. It’s the first thing people see, and it’s how they decide whether or not to read on. That’s why it’s so important to get it right if you don’t, you’ve lost your audience before they even have a chance to see what you’re selling.
The best headlines are those that go straight for the jugular: short but sweet; directly addressing a problem readers are trying to solve, and written in language that makes them feel like this article was custom-written just for them (even if it wasn’t).
A great headline is both informative and engaging it tells people what they need to know while making them want more information by promising solutions or answers.
If a reader sees a great headline and clicks through, only then will they find out whether or not this post has what they’re looking for:
Do the first two paragraphs sell them on their value? Is there enough specific detail about how this method works that readers can imagine themselves using it? Is there evidence in these statistics or case studies?
Building an authority website in a competitive niche doesn’t have to be daunting. Check out my insights on SEO for Tourism to learn how to establish your expertise and gain traction in just a few months.
Write A Killer Introduction
Your introduction should engage the reader and deliver on that promise to “show them something they haven’t seen before.” So, what does that mean for you?
Keep it brief. The introduction should be a hook, not an essay. You want people to stick around to read the rest of your copy, so keep it short and sweet one or two sentences at most (and preferably one).
If potential reader wants more information, they can always scroll down and read the rest of your content after reading your intro… but if they don’t want any more information from you in the first place, why would they bother scrolling through even part of your page?
Consider Your Word Count
Word count should be important to you.
Longer content allows for more optimization opportunities, and longer content is also seen as more authoritative by Google.
Longer, more in-depth articles can better solve your users’ problems, which leads to higher engagement.
A page that’s too long might slow down the user’s reading experience, but shorter pages do not tell a complete story and may alienate some readers if they have to scroll back and forth through pages just to get all the information they need from one piece of content.
If you’re a brand new blog or business with no reputation built up yet.
Your writing will set the tone for how people perceive you and it’s hard enough to build credibility without throwing away words on cheap self-promotion techniques like listicles or clickbait headlines (which we’ll get into later).
You don’t want your first impression with someone who lands on one of your posts being “I’m bored already; this isn’t interesting at all.”
Use Metadata Judiciously
While you shouldn’t ignore metadata, you should use it judiciously. The following is a list of things not to do to avoid over-optimization:
Don’t stuff your metadata with keywords or phrases that aren’t relevant. You don’t want Google or other search engines thinking your site is spammy and drinking it as a result.
Don’t create pages just for the sake of using them as anchor text on other pages (the practice some call anchor text “cloaking”).
This doesn’t help anyone, but it can hurt you if those pages are linked to low-quality sites that contain black hat SEO techniques like keyword stuffing or backlink manipulation in their content.
Don’t try too hard you’re not fooling anyone by adding fake words like “SEO” into every page title and heading tag!
Just do what makes sense for the topic at hand and trust yourself (and your readers) enough not to worry about whether something is keyword-stuffed enough for Google’s liking…or if some algorithm will penalize them because no one else thinks that way either.”
While I’ve embraced a different approach, there’s undeniable value in effective SEO copywriting. Explore the Benefits of SEO Copywriting to understand why this strategy can bring tangible results to your online endeavors.
Link To Other Content From Your Website
Link to other people’s content. Linking to other people’s content is a great way to tell Google that you think their content is valuable, and also not plagiarism or spam.
Link to your content. Linking back to your articles shows that you’re proud of what you’ve written, and helps Google confirm that the site is being created by one person (not multiple authors).
This also helps readers find older articles they may have missed in previous searches.
Link where it makes sense within a sentence or paragraph; don’t just link out for no reason! For example: “I love drinking lemonade on the beach.” Here we could link back up the chain: “Here’s my favorite recipe for strawberry lemonade!”
Use Existing Content To Optimize New Content
One of the easiest ways to optimize your content is through internal linking. This means that you’re linking to other pages on your site, but it also means linking out to external resources.
For example, if someone finds an article on your website that they like, but they realize there’s more information about the topic at another site, link them there! That way they can keep reading or even check out what else you offer as well.
Or say someone wants an answer to one specific question you should probably link them directly back in the article itself so that they don’t have to spend time searching for it again later (and maybe never finding it).
The same goes for social media posts and emails: if you’ve written something great about a certain topic or resource and want others who follow you online or subscribe via email signature links and newsletter updates to know about them too (and vice versa), do not hesitate!
If anything else helps drive traffic back towards your website then all end up being good 🙂
For those starting their SEO journey, understanding the basics is crucial. Dive into the world of on-page optimization with my comprehensive guide: SEO 101: The Beginner’s Guide to On-Page SEO.
Promote, Promote, Promote!
The best way to get traffic is to have other people promote your content. This can be done in a variety of ways, but the most important thing is that they are authentic and relevant.
For example, if you write an article about how to brew the perfect cup of coffee, it’s going to be hard for someone who doesn’t drink coffee or care much about it to share that content with their friends and followers.
Luckily, there are many other ways you can promote your content such as using social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter or email newsletters that reach out directly to your subscribers.
One thing I’ve found very effective is paid ads on Google search engine results pages (SERPs) which appear at the top or bottom of search results pages depending on where users click when searching for something specific online.
Usually, these take some time before showing up but once they do they’re very effective in getting clicks back towards your site! They could also just be due diligence though because I’m sure everyone else does this too…
The Best Way To Optimize Your Content Is To Create The Best Content You Possibly Can. Go For Quality, Not Quantity
If you’re reading this, chances are you make content for your business. If that’s the case and even if it isn’t you should focus on creating quality content instead of worrying about SEO.
Do you know why? Because when you focus on creating great content, everything else falls into place: search engines will find your site and send traffic to it; other people will link to your site, and people will share what they’re reading on social media.
It’s not hard to understand why this is true. People want the good stuff! And when they get the good stuff, they tell their friends about it (and sometimes tweet about it).
Creating valuable content goes beyond just SEO. Explore the broader realm of content acquisition in my article: How to Get Information from the Internet, and discover ways to enrich your content strategy beyond search engine considerations.
The best way to optimize your content is to create the best content you possibly can. Go for quality, not quantity.
You don’t need to know SEO inside and out to create content that does well; what you do need is a comprehensive understanding of your audience and how they consume information.
Taking into account the other factors we mentioned (such as metadata) can help ensure that your quality content gets in front of the right people.
But if you hire someone who’s just going through the motions, it doesn’t matter how many keywords or links they produce you’re not going to get any real value from their work.
Here are some additional resources for further exploration on the topic of SEO and content creation:
SEO Basics: A Comprehensive Guide
Learn the fundamental concepts of SEO, from keyword research to on-page optimization, in this comprehensive guide.
Writing Content for SEO: Strategies to Boost Your Rankings
Discover effective strategies for creating content that not only engages your audience but also ranks well on search engines.
Mastering SEO-Driven Content Creation
Dive into the world of SEO content creation and understand how to tailor your writing for both readers and search engines.
What is the importance of SEO basics for content creators?
Understanding SEO basics is essential for content creators as it helps ensure that their content is discoverable by search engines, leading to increased visibility and traffic.
How can I write content that is optimized for SEO?
To write SEO-optimized content, focus on incorporating relevant keywords naturally, structuring your content with headings and subheadings, and creating valuable, authoritative information.
What role does keyword research play in content creation for SEO?
Keyword research is the foundation of SEO content creation. It involves identifying the terms and phrases that your target audience uses to search for information, which guides the topics and language you use in your content.
How can I balance SEO considerations with creating engaging content?
Balancing SEO and engaging content involves finding the intersection between user intent and search engine algorithms. By creating content that answers users’ questions while adhering to SEO best practices, you can strike this balance effectively.
Is on-page optimization important for SEO-driven content?
Yes, on-page optimization is crucial. It involves optimizing various elements within a web page, such as title tags, meta descriptions, headings, and images, to ensure that search engines can understand the content’s context and relevance.
Costantine Edward is a digital marketing expert, freelance writer, and entrepreneur who helps people attain financial freedom. I’ve been working in marketing since I was 18 years old and have managed to build a successful career doing what I love.