SEO – Search Engine Optimization
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, at its core, is beautifying text and images for better ranking on search engines. Think about this for a moment- when was the last time you navigated to page 2 on Google’s search results? Maybe a few rare occasions. How about page 3? Never is the probable answer.
Having your article or Youtube video on page 1 of a search engine’s result page equals enormous traffic. For a monetized article or video, this also equals huge profits. Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is what gives this boost in traffic and consequently money.
SEO – How search engines know an article is ‘optimized’
Search engines are non-tangible inanimate programs. How can they possibly ‘read’ an article and deem it optimized? Well, they cannot. Search engines have programmed bots, called spiders, that crawl an article or website to judge its relevance. They look for website structure, the number of words, words that seem to describe the article or website, likes and shares the article receives, readers who barely read the article and bounce, etc. With is information, these bots index and categorize articles. When a user searches for information, the search engine checks its massive database to see which articles are relevant based on the indexing done, and then displays results.
So optimizing an article is simply convincing the bots your article is the best in a particular category. How to do it is the million dollar question, and the reason there exists a massive industry simply dedicated to ‘Branding’. Luckily for you, we have a complete SEO guide built to help you optimize all your content without shedding a single penny. Here it is: SEO 101 – Optimize Content And Boost Organic Traffic
This article will tell you if it is worth spending time on SEO.
Is SEO Worth the Hassle
The simple answer is yes! You can spend hours drafting the perfect article but if it receives no audience, it has failed its purpose. How can you gain an audience? The major methods are search engines and social media. Social media works on an ‘interest’ basis. No one logs in to facebook with the explicit reason of reading an article or gathering information. But if they find something interesting, sure, they will click it.
But search engines, now that’s a different ball game. People, and I mean in the billions per day, go to search engines ONLY to find relevant information. So if you want traffic, search engines are your best bet. Getting on the good side of search engines is through SEO.
Alright, we have established that SEO is pretty darn important if your content wants exposure. But is there a downside to SEO?
There could be. You see, optimizing an article requires drafting it to possess specific ‘keywords’ a certain number of times. It requires the article to have a certain ‘structure’. The attempt to fit in these keywords could cost you readability and the article could steer away from your style of writing. This is probably the number one hurdle writers face. They write an article to suit their style, encompass their thoughts and portray their perception. But it fails to pass the SEO test. So they modify it, and now it looks good for search engine spiders, but not to the writer.
How To Incorporate SEO And Still Save Style
The answer lies in striking a balance between SEO and style. Firstly, remember that without SEO your article might not be found (there, however, is always the probability of the flipside). Secondly, remember that once found if the article sucks, well, readers will bounce away from your website. Now, when readers bounce away from your website this tells search engines this article isn’t all that great, and these bots then push your article down the table.
So you see, the style also affects SEO.
Here’s the key:
Make sure people find your article: through brilliant SEO tactics.
Make sure readers stay on the article: through impeccable and creative style.
Follow this simple rule of thumb:
Decide what your article will be about, what is the main topic. Now utilize keyword analysis tools (like Google AdWords which has a free analysis tool) to find meaningful, relevant keywords. Make sure these keywords are being searched, but are not being heavily contested. Now draft your article according to your style, and try your best to include the keywords to suit the keyword density. Don’t force the keywords in, this actually raises a red flag with search engines.
All these tips are fully explained here: SEO 101 – Optimize Content And Boost Organic Traffic
And voila, you have an SEO rich, stylish article. Happy drafting.