SEO, including the on and the off page parts of it, has to be one of the most hated things among bloggers. Your job as a blogger isn’t to just write – you have to make sure that your writing is seen, and no one else but you will be interested enough to bring it in front of the people; so, apart from the blogging, you have to do a lot of networking and, yes, SE optimizing.
With all the recent changes in the way that Google looks upon the websites and their rankings, some have hoped that it’s the end of keyword optimizing and link building, and that good content will somehow finally be able to find its way to the readers by itself. Unfortunately, it will probably never be the case, simply because if you want to use Google as one of your primary traffic sources, then you have to teach Google what you want them to know about your content. And, since Google in plural means “Google bots”, you have to adapt your writing to the way they will able to “read” in order to be able to serve your content when a relevant query is typed in.
How it shouldn’t be done
You know about keyword stuffing, the procedure that once upon a time allowed a webpage to rank for a certain term if it had it included in the content enough times. This technique was so popular, and it was working so well that even the pages that had a keyword density of 50% – that means that every second term is the targeted keyword – were ranking pretty high in Google. There were even theories that a keyword density of 2,47% or 4,06% is the perfect score that will skyrocket your rankings, and people obsessing over it, just like the rules that each title and header tag should contain the target keyword near the beginning, and God forbid you forget about optimizing the URLs…
Well, if you have been doing that, and you’re wondering why your blog is now nowhere to be found on Google – there’s your answer.
How it could be done
You are a blogger, and one thing that Google have allowed you to do now is to be one, and to do what you do best – write your awesome content, without paying much attention to the keywords. Still, you do have to pay some attention to bots, and here’s how you can do that painlessly.
Write first, and then think about them!
That’s right. Let your ideas flow and do the optimization part later. There are plenty SEO plugins that can help you optimize your articles, but don’t use them until you are happy with what you wrote, they will only distract you. It’s best to write offline, in some word processor – because if you do the writing within the WordPress and you have an SEO plugin installed, it will probably drive your focus away from what you want to write about.
There are two approaches in the keyword research process: you can do it before you start writing – which isn’t bad, a good research of the keywords related to what you want to write about can help you get more great ideas; or you can go looking for the keywords that best describe your content afterwards. Either way, make sure that you don’t think about the exact key phrases while you’re writing.
After you’re done, try to find the best place in your text to place the phrase -yes, once is enough if you have only mentioned the concept once. The titles and subtitles should be natural, so keep the ones that you’ve originally written; if possible, tweak them to match the keywords you’re optimizing for, if not, don’t push it. Synonyms are just fine, as are different phrasing and partial matches of the key phrase.
But that’s something to think about later. You are, and you should be, writing for the people first. And looking at it this way can be deliberating – just try it. There’s a reason why on page and keyword optimization are the first things that a new SEO trainee learn, and the same reason is valid for the blogger as well: it is just important. But it doesn’t have to be something that you will obsess over.
About The Author: After a lot of trial and error and a number of testing websites, Andrew found what works for him. Currently optimizing http://www.midislandcollision.com/.