I wouldn’t be much of a writer, especially a writer who tends to work with digital communications, if I didn’t have some understanding of SEO. I do have it. I’ve read books about SEO; I’ve made recommendations to clients about headings, subheadings, meta tags, titles, et cetera, et cetera; and I’ve learned about black and white hat SEO and long-tail keywords.
I have that background, but I tend to ignore it. I don’t care about gaming the system. Of course I want my content to be found, but I’m not going to write for a search engine or a search algorithm. I’m writing for myself, and I’m writing for others – both my audience and the people for whom I occasionally write. I use tags and categories, but I use them in order to make site navigation easier. That is the reason I use those things. It isn’t so that my site gets ranked higher even if that is one of the end results of using them.
When people ask me about SEO, I tell them not to worry about it. First worry about the writing. Write something of quality. Write something you would be proud to call your own. Write something that brings pleasure to you and to your reader. When you write in that way, you don’t have to worry about SEO. The SEO often takes care of itself because good writing employs synonyms and repeats key phrases and ideas. Once that piece has been written, you always can return to it and consider SEO. You can optimize your text but only – only – after you have dedicated yourself to writing something with staying power, with durability.
What do you think about SEO?
Photo: Sean MacEntee (CC BY 2.0)