The Best SEO for Your Blog is No SEO
The how-to bloggers are constantly updated their SEO advice. Every six months or so they come out with new recommendations based on changes to Google algorithms or what they hear others are experiencing success with.
"Write long, epic content."
"Repeat your keywords in the first sentence."
"Answer the question of your title in the second paragraph."
"Include keywords in your title and url."
"Optimize your meta-description."
"Put videos and photos in your articles."
I think it's all a bunch of hooey. Besides a few common-sense things (listed at the bottom), I haven't done any SEO in all my years of blogging.
The reason is twofold.
First, it changes over time. There are articles I wrote ten years ago that still get excellent traffic. If they had been stuffed with keywords - which was the advice back then - then that wouldn't be the case. In fact, my site would now be penalized for having such content.
Every article you write should count indefinitely. You put so much work into them that it would be a shame to rewrite them or get rid of them altogether.
One of the great things about writing a blog post is that you only have to do it once, and it can pay dividends for years to come.
Second, focusing on SEO tends to make your writing sound commercial, manipulative, and not-so interesting. Readers are people, and to get them coming back, and perhaps even purchasing something you have to offer, you want to connect to them as people.
They have real worries, fears, and concerns. Your goal should be to alleviate them, to make the complex more doable and the mountain climb a little less daunting. A cold list of facts, no matter how helpful on their surface, just doesn't cut it.
It's perfectly okay to use an outline or make a mental plan of your article, but when you sit down to write, let it flow naturally. Rely on the wisdom you have inside you and allow for your humanity to show through.
Google is in the business of providing the best of what people are searching for. Thus, your objective whenever you write a post should be to give the best of what you have to offer.
I trust that if I'm able to provide it, then Google and the other search engines are going to find a way to get it in front of those who most need it.
My experience has bore this out.
Do good work. Connect with people. Help them and help solve problems. Perhaps, inspire them. And you will be rewarded with traffic.
I mentioned that there are a few things related to SEO that I do recommend. They're simple and just plain common sense, but critical to your success.
Make sure your site is mobile friendly and easy to navigate.
Keep an eye on your page speed and ensure it's as fast as possible.
Be sure your title matches your writing.
And that's it.
Other than that, just be genuine. Write well and from the heart. Edit and proofread. (Then do it again.) Spend your time perfecting the craft of writing rather than on SEO, social media, and the rest of it.
Produce good stuff and they will come.
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