Writing For The Search Engines: A Nightmare Or A Writers Dream Come True?
If you are a writer that is required to optimize content according to SEO — search engine optimization — requirements, my deepest sympathy. It is like playing chess while creating content. I know, because I do it almost every month.
Whatever your client is asking you to obey is most likely to SEO-hocus-pocus (see my Medium article “The Religion Of SEO: When Belief Is More Important Than Results”). Congratulations, if you work with SEO professionals who know what they are doing!
Still, your work as a writer is not getting easier…
Adopting Your Writing Around SEO Requirements Is Like Playing Chess
Adapting your writing around specific SEO requirements is like playing chess. It makes the whole game easier if you understand the rules behind it. However, not everyone wants to turn into a full-time Internet marketing wizard.
As a writer, I can’t sacrifice writing hours essentially needed to actually write the compelling and interesting content yourself.
So is there a shortcut that you can utilize as a writer — and point your potential clients towards the right direction so they can educate themselves about the all so mysterious SEO requirements?
The easiest way to find out what tickles Google’s taste buds to rank a specific web page higher than the others is by following a new industry-proven insight:
“Since Google obviously itself won't ever reveal their true algorithm secrets: Doing your “own analysis” between 100–500 SEO signals of the top search results on page 1 results is the new game in town.”
It means that an elite of smart-ass programmers enable people like you and me to click a button and collect data by looking at what the top 10 search results have in common. Without becoming an SEO expert yourself.
There is still this slight problem with this for me as a writer: I will have to completely rely on my customer and keep my fingers crossed that s/he is knowing what requirements are needed to make things work.
I get constantly in trouble when I try to tell straightforward to potential clients that if they buy writing services from me that they include, well… - me writing content. Full stop.
Not creating header images for their articles, not doing keyword research of “what readers interests the most” about topic XYZ, not offering know-how to optimize content for SEO.
Does it mean that I do not need to know how those SEO requirements work?
Au contraire! I know actually more SEO know-how than I want to know at this point in time.
What is the keyword density for “keyword density”?
One of the funky requirements is the all-so-famous “keyword density” — the percentage of how often a keyword or keyword phrase such as “keyword density” itself will appear on a web page to the total number of words on that page.
Mention “keyword density” not often enough in a text and Google will not know that your article is actually supposed to be about “keyword density”. Mention “keyword density” too often and you killed your article and page by over-optimization. By writing this article about “keyword density” I already killed it. Did I mention I just used the phrase “keyword density” by now 10 or 10 times already? See — overkill.
And by writing guided on such requirements your will go mad as a writer. It causes actually “writers brain density”. You will be paralyzed stuck thinking about rules instead of writing the best compelling content.
Oh, and mind you here comes long-awaited answer to the question this article was actually asking: “What IS the keyword density for “keyword density” after all? The average “keyword density” for web pages in the TOP 10 results that write about “keyword density” is… 1,66% — and without looking while I was writing I achieved 1,55% with this article — cookies, anyone?
“ My best personal ‘SEO writing tip’ is this: if you start writing content for clients require specific SEO rules — just start writing your piece and do not think about any of those SEO requirements at all.”
Then, in the end, revise your document according to SEO requirements, modify everything once your creative work is finished. Replace keyword phrases if you use too many of the same. Like “keyword density” with “the dense keyword of yours you have been looking for so long for” (just kidding!).
Yet, you still will do your client and yourself a service if you learn some of the basics of good SEO, and for me, personally, the quickest and most affordable tool is called SERPWORX. It is a quick and light-weight Google Chrome plugin that shows with on simple click all essential SEO values.
Here is what it does: it shows you 50 of the most important ranking factors at one glance. Better, it shows those important values to your clients. Tell them about the tool and let them do THEIR work instead of you being bothered to become their free SEO consultant instead.
In fact, when you help your clients to get access to such a tool like this, you get them off your writers’ back and free yourself doing the work you are good at — writing.
Let’s face it, good professional SEO tools can easily cost hundreds and often even thousands per month and should not be your concern as a writer in the first place. I personally have no budget nor even time to dive into all the depths and shallows.
I even consider SEO a dangerous undertow that could keep me away from creative writing, it not done right.
“As an Internet marketer I am fascinated and love SEO as an important Internet marketing tool, as a writer I borderline hate it as necessary evil. “ Semmy
I have not been commissioned by SERPWORX to write this article.It was my own desire to share this. I still might or might not receive a small commission when people click to buy this really excellent product.