What do we mean by “SEO”? Yeah, sure, you could say “Search Engine Optimization”, but that’s just because you’re trying to be funny. In the real world, if we ask people to define or explain SEO, we’d get as many different descriptions as we’d have writers. Let’s try to cut through the fog a bit.
SEO: Is it dead, or just transformed?
Want to have some fun? Just google “SEO is Dead”, and see what you get. The really funny thing about it, is that you’ll find half of the posts are by people who are actually SERIOUS when trying to say that there’s no more place for SEO; and the other half will be using the “SEO is Dead” slogan facetiously, pointing out the still-important-aspects of HOW TO PRESENT YOUR CONTENT IN WAYS THAT THE SEARCH ENGINES CAN EASILY INTERPRET IT.
I think it’s best to just think of SEO as “transformed”. Yeah, the heart and soul is still there (I’m talking about white-hat SEO, ok?); but the SHAPE is different.
SEO: Is it something you do AFTER you write content, or WHILE you write content?
C’mon guys. This question ought to be answered by now!!! Yes, SEO is something that happens AS YOU WRITE GOOD CONTENT. How can this be? How can a copywriter take care of SEO WHILE they’re writing. It’s simple! Make sure that you’re producing RELEVANT CONTENT (i.e. stuff that people are reading) and that you’re getting it to the right people (yeah; those that will share it). You’re already producing QUALITY CONTENT, right? Then take care of the search engines by making it RELEVANT (address the reader’s need / answer the reader’s question) and making it SHARE-WORTHY (intriguing enough to to be send on to the reader’s friends).
But aren’t there some TECHNICAL aspects of SEO BEYOND good content writing?
Yep; there ARE some technical aspects that you OUGHT to keep in mind:
- Lay out your seo title (and url) in a way that search engines can easily determine the theme.
- Compose page descriptions for human readers, but with attention to “engine intelligence”.
- Have a real, human author, linked to their G+ page (authorship)
- Link OUT to good sources that complement your content.
- Link INTERNALLY to other related posts on your site.
The reason I’m not going to detail these simple tech aspects is this: If you write good, quality content you will not HAVE TO worry about the deeper intricacies of search engine algorithms. Why? Because those algorithms are BUILT and DESIGNED to identify good content as “good content” (and move it up into higher search ranking). Sure, you ought to keep in mind this short list of “technical aspects” (above), but JUST FOCUS ON WRITING QUALITY CONTENT!!
If you don’t trust me, read this…
I just read a great article (actually, it’s a transcription of a great podcast). Last week, Andrew Youderian took a few minutes to interview AJ Ghergich, for the eCommerceFuel podcast. Andrew and AJ talked extensively about SEO, eCommerce, Marketing, and what 2014 will bring. You can listen to the PodCast at the eCommerceFuel site by clicking here. Or you can read the transcript by going to Ghergich.com, where Kate Gramlich Roumbos laid the whole thing out for us! Either way, you’ll read (or hear) some great stuff. In fact, I’m going to revive a two-year old quote by Lee Odden that was included in Kate’s post:
IT’S NOT SEO ANYMORE, IT’S MARKETING. DEAL WITH IT.