I’m really bad with the SEO. I know we’re supposed to be using it to stay on top of the search engines, but I’ve been lucky enough to get good search traffic without using obvious SEO techniques. I try to use my keywords when I can, but the truth is, I don’t want to sound too keywordy, if that makes any sense. Sometimes, obvious SEO titles are just silly. When they’re used five times in a paragraph, it looks spammy, at least to me. When I do use SEO I try and find the words and phrases sounding most natural.
The Problem with SEO
I used to write for many sites that used very obvious search phrases for their article titles. I got a little burned out trying to write articles around phrases such as “find cheap refrigerator” and “discipline dog school.” I mean, really. See, here’s the thing with SEO: People don’t search like they speak. If I were to look for a chicken soup recipe, I might type in “chicken soup recipes.” If I went to the library to look for chicken soup recipes, I wouldn’t say to the librarian, “chicken soup recipes” as that would sound very rude and not give much information. Instead I would ask the librarian to please direct me to the cooking aisle or ask her to kindly help me find cook books featuring chicken soup recipes. Likewise, if I wanted to find an inexpensive refrigerator, I might type “find cheap refrigerator” but I wouldn’t say that same thing to a refrigerator salesman. Writers write like they speak. SEO doesn’t always read well.
Another writer once told me she’s a successful writer because her clients’ websites always ranked high in the search engines. I told her she knew good SEO techniques but poorly written articles also make it to the top of the search engines. Don’t confuse good writing with good SEO.
Avoiding the Dumb SEO Stuff
When I (remember to) use SEO here at FWJ, I do my best to avoid the dumb stuff. You won’t find any “find cheap refrigerator” blog posts here. To be honest, FWJ’s place at the top of the search engines has more to do with luck than skill or being an SEO guru. I hope that by using words and phrases that flow naturally, the way you read it will flow in the same manner. I can’t do that with idiotic key phrases.
Thankfully a lot of the truly horrible SEO writing appears to be a thing of the past. Two or three years ago, there was a lot of silly writing going on. Nowadays, it’s more toned down. Sure, there are still people writing silly key phrases, but it’s not as rampant as in its heyday.
You’ll see some SEO at FWJ, but I hope you won’t see anything dumb…and if you do, feel free to call me on it!
Do you use SEO on your blog or website? How is it working for you?