When the concept of SEO first emerged, it seemed as though it caught fire overnight. Suddenly, everyone knew the “great secret” of Internet success.
Unethical or misinformed Internet marketers began to take advantage of keywords and key phrases, stuffing as many as possible into a nonsensical page of content designed only to get the search engines to rank the page more highly.
As a result, SEO became a nasty word for many people who valued doing business honestly. It wasn’t long before the search engines revised their algorithms to weed out these spammers. Today, SEO has reclaimed its rightful place as a powerful online marketing tool. The trouble is, few people seem to understand how to do it the smart way.
A Shift Away from the Search Engines
Yes, the entire point of SEO is to get attention from the search engines, but savvy SEO people know that isn’t the end game. After the change in algorithm, many people began to understand what successful online personas knew all along: it’s not the search engines who buy products.
Today’s SEO — truly smart SEO — is written for the consumer. Webmasters and site owners are increasingly relying on clean, clever website coding, viral content, and social media to increase their ranking with Google. They are steering away from the keyword stuffing that makes a website painful to read. They are focusing on the people who will actually be making a decision to take an action.
Getting it Done
Now, all this isn’t to say that keywords are now worthless. They aren’t. If you’re selling a GPS paving control system, then you better mention it somewhere on your website. The difference is, you don’t need to try to mention it in every other sentence — or even more than two or three times on an entire page.
So here’s how you do it: Think about what your consumer base would find interesting or helpful, and then come up with an angle that ties it back to your products or services. Then just write as if you were speaking to a friend. Use casual, approachable language, but do keep it professional.
If your topic really is relevant to your product, then your keyword will naturally work its way into your content throughout the conversation. You don’t have to force it, make it obvious, or otherwise shove it down your readers’ throat.
The best part is if you create content that people actually want to read and enjoy reading, you’re bound to find they're willing to share it. A really stellar post could go viral, and you’ll be getting the best kind of search engine attention there is: organic backlinks that tell the search engine your site is hot and relevant.
Adrienne Erin is a social media and internet marketer who loves to share the tips she’s picked up over years spent growing with the industry. She writes regularly for Search Engine People and SiteProNews.