SEO from a writer’s perspective

I’m no expert on SEO, but I’ve been on the receiving end of a lot of SEO-related instructions, and one learns a little by a weird kind of osmosis. I’ve done a bit of reading, and I expect I’ll do more. It’s just that I have writing deadlines to meet, and so I get around to it slowly. Still. I’ve picked up a few things:

Keyword stuffing is a disaster for your website

Not too long ago, it was all about repetition. Jam in as many keywords as you can in the tags, meta-tags and text, and you’re sorted! How I hated those hideous little creations with keywords and phrases squeezed in at every conceivable opportunity. Writing them was worse. I tried to make my texts bearable for the reader, but it was rough going.

Then the algorithms changed, bless them. To my eternal gratitude, they found new ways to measure the value of your content. Nowadays, it’s all about quality information. Sure, you still need your keywords and phrases, but repeating them a million times doesn’t score you points.

Your website can get higher rankings and actually be easier to read! That’s good news for you, your prospective clients and for me – your humble website writer.

Links still rock (as long as they’re relevant)

Search engines like links, but these days, they’re fussy! While you’re writing, you’re researching. You don’t have to be an expert to write on any subject, but you must take the time needed to grasp it. You (or your writer) are probably going to find what you need online. If you find your info on a non-commercial site, why not cite it by means of a link? It gives you extra credibility with your readers and search engines like it because they can see that you’re offering useful resources.

Perhaps you’d like to tell people about some handy tools that don’t compete with your services or that can help them evaluate their need for them. It’s good information. Link to it. Search engines are looking for good information. When someone hits google, they’re supposed to find something they want to know. The crawlers that rate your site are programmed to find it.

Internal links are great too. Just make sure that they’re appropriate and don’t always take people to your home page. If you’re talking about a product, link to the product’s page. If you’re mentioning a useful service, link to your services page and so on.

Don’t repeat yourself or copy someone else

Time was when unscrupulous people could simply copy and paste content or repeat the same information over and over in the hopes that search engines would notice it. I’m sure you’ll agree that the first option is unethical and the second is just plain boring for anyone who visits your site.

There was a time when you could get away with plagiarism and when repetitive writing impressed algorithms, but these cheats don’t work anymore. You need original content. OK, so your writer can’t say the sky is green (unless you pay them to), but they still have to give you something that’s reasonably individual. Word for word copying and duplicate content will now earn you penalties form search engines. Where does that leave your site? In the doldrums, that’s where! Thank goodness you aren’t even considering such strategies!

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About andreadurrheim

I'm an ex-horticulturist turned horticultural journalist turned radio broadcaster and general freelance writer. I'm hoping to promote my work through my blog and find out more about other writers too!
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