Don’t hate SEO

By | January 28, 2014

Jose: Write a good post, and it will find its audience.

Mary: Write a good post, ensure the search engines can find it, and then the audience will follow. A little SEO won’t harm it.

Jose: SEO makes it so unnatural; I hate reading posts that are stuffed with keywords.

Mary: :-|  SEO = Keywords? X

Advocates of authentic creative content have long scorned search engine optimization, often arguing that SEO is only for low-quality players that use cheap gimmicks like keyword stuffing and link building to rank higher on Google. Write a good post and it will find its readers, they always suggest. But I am a fan of authentic, good, write-ups, and I am all for SEO.

Search Engine Optimization is not merely the process of using smart ways to rank higher in search results; it is about creating stuff that is readable (thus, optimized?) for the SE.

Google seems to approve of SEO; infact, they encourage webmasters to do it — obviously, not because they want to see how smart you are at link building.

SEO-phobes can take a deep breath: SEO might actually be a good thing—and not only for people who are making a living off it.

Snubbing SEO seems to me like an attempt to challenge the SE: I do not give a damn about SEO; my post is so good, you should just show it up — it is like saying I will not send my resume; I know my shit well, the employers should come looking for me.

 

5 SEO techniques you must know

Even SEO-skeptics can use some SE-friendly tips that wouldn’t be so ruinous for their readers. Here’s how you can make your stuff apparent to the search engines without have to compromise on your *conceited* writing.

 

1 – Have clean title in the <h1> tag

You are anyway going to have a title. For the SE: Make it relevant to the post and have the keyword in the title tag.

Another young celebrity invites road trouble X

Justin Bieber crashes his car again 

Won’t the readers love that, too? If 5 people read your article, atleast 15 read the title – tell them straight what it is about.

 

2 – Have some key-word rich sub headings

These H2 and H3 subtitles not only make the article more reader friendly, they given an outline of your story to the SE too

 

3 – Have a clean url

This may not have anything to do with the readers, but hey- it doesn’t hurt you either. Just have your website create clean urls that can have relevant words too.

/post/1  X

/broccoli-can-help-your-eyesight/

The latter are just easier for the SE to comprehend.

 

4 – Use images; make sure they are not heavy

You don’t want the user to wait 5 seconds then switch to another website. The internet audience is impatient. Even large images can be optimized for the web easily in Photoshop. Make sure the image title and alt is relevant, so the SE will know it too. Google may not be able to see an image, but it is smart enough catch the copied ones.  Be original—both for your readers and the visiting bots.

 

5 – Add a neat meta description

It shows on the search engine result page—gives both the SE and the audience an idea of what your page is about. Put a few relevant tags too.

There. You have your post ready. Was it too hard? That’s all the SEO you need, and if you are really dispensing value stuff, the backlinks, and social media shares will come on their own.

Actually, I think that was the whole idea behind backlinks when they were first introduced, and until people started hawking “links for sale.”

The SE is no human; it is not going to read every post to determine its appropriateness for a certain search query, so what is wrong with making your posts (and actually your website) a little friendly for the bots?

Don’t you cut your news story short when the editor doesn’t allow you enough space in the paper? What is so wrong with being a little amicable to the SE bots?

- Mary signs off… Jose is still thinking, but he looks convinced.