Write content for SEO?
Do you mean I should still waste my time on search engine optimization in the face of what Google is doing with its algorithm updates?
Is SEO still necessary in this era of Google Panda, Google Penguin, Google “Exact Match Domain” and all the talk about over optimization?
Is it not enough to simply write some great, quality content and wait for the traffic to come pouring in?
Writing Content for SEO is Still Very Important!
It is clear that many today are frustrated with Google and its many algorithm updates with many others concluding that SEO is dead! However, you need to get this straight, no matter what is happening, writing content for SEO is as important today as it was some three years ago!
For one, the search engines still remain the biggest sources of information online. Yes, many are, today using the social media sites to get the opinions of peers and friends but the search engines still occupy a very large position as information sources. This is not minding the storm blowing through the industry. Ignoring the search engines when you want to drive traffic to your e-commerce sites or blogs is therefore an un-wise decision as a business person.
Besides, the search engines still remains the biggest sources of free targeted traffic. If your business site or blog is professionally optimized and it ranks high on the search engines, you are not only sure of driving some of the most targeted traffic online but also doing so for free!
And, I truly love the sound of free!
Oh you do too? Lol!
So, you can see the importance of content for SEO?
SEO Is Not Dead; Still Write Your Content For SEO!
You must understand that Google is not in any way against SEO; Google is simply sanitizing the environment!
Right from the beginning, Google had always maintained that quality content and incoming links from highly relevant sites is the secret to ranking high on the search engines. But the problem over the years had been blackhat SEOs who instead of working by the rules decided to game the system creating poor, quality content and building fairly inexpensive links using linkfarms and private link networks.
But now, Google is saying, enough of blackhat SEO! So, what is dead or dying is blackhat SEO but search engine optimization as originally intended is still the same! There always have been and will continue to be one way to high search engine rankings and this is,
Creating fresh, high-quality, well-written valuable content that is optimized using the right keyword phrases and building high-relevant backlinks from the right websites.
You can quote me on that!
Recommended: “Is SEO A Dead Web Marketing Strategy?” (I wrote this back in 2009. Please read it!)
So, the question is, if SEO is not dead and Google is not, in any way against optimizing your web content, how should webmasters and bloggers go about writing content for SEO and not fall under the hammer of Google Penguin?
How to Write Content for SEO in A Post-Penguin World!
1. Commit To Quality And Value-Adding Content
Let me quickly dispel the wrong belief which many have swallowed hook, line and sinker over the years.
Content is not king; and never have been!
Before you throw stones at me, listen to this:
I can authoritatively say that the wrong notion that content is king is what has caused much of the problems of search engine optimization – article spinning, content scrapping, content farms and all the other automated content generating strategies that has over the years bedeviled the SEO industry, all were a result of this wrong understanding that content is king – the more the better!
But right now, Google is coming out clear that content is not king.
Did I hear you say, this is heresy?
Ok, let me make myself clear,
When Marketing online, VALUE and not CONTENT is the real KING!
It is not a case of QUANTITY but QUALITY!
This is where many webmasters and bloggers have always gotten it wrong when writing content for SEO. Right now, if you want to rank high on the search engines and drive free targeted traffic to your sites and blogs, your content must be VALUABLE, of high quality and well optimized with the right keyword phrases.
The post-Penguin internet is the era of VALUABLE content. But beyond that, your content must have the ability to inform the search engines what your content is all about. And this is where identifying and using relevant keywords in your content comes in. it is the keywords you use that will ‘guide' the search engines to know where to place your content in their index.
Forget to use the right keywords and the search engines will be confused about where to place your content. The result? When someone uses the search engines to look for information, your valuable content will be missing from the SERPs!
So, value rules, but quality, SEO optimized content stands out tall. You must note this when writing your content for SEO.
Unfortunately, not many business persons or bloggers knows how to write SEO optimized content without making that content sound gibberish to the site visitors.
But that shouldn't deter you if you are in this category. Nothing stops you from getting the help of professional SEO content writers.
2. Join The Guest Blogging Bandwagon, But…
Please, note that BUT because you will be the better for it if you do!
Agreed, guest blogging has become a norm amongst bloggers and it is presently the surest way of building backlinks – which as we have said, are necessary for high search rankings – so, you should become a guest blogger.
But, there is a problem which I want you to note very carefully…
Guest blogging is indeed a good way to build backlinks, especially if you guest post on blogs like the WebIncomJournal.com which is a ‘do-follow' blog (If you want to guest post for us simply follow this link!), but guest blogging simply because of backlinks will ultimately harm you in this post-Penguin internet.
Did you just asked, how is this so?
Then listen and listen very well. Google's Penguin update is a war against linkfarms and any other un-natural link building system aimed at garnering search engine favor. To understand this you must understand how Google look at links.
When Google introduced links as a ranking factor back in late 1990s and early 2000, Google considered the fact that a link from another site to your site is a VOTE of confidence coming from the linking site. Now, if you know what a vote is, you will understand what Google wants here. Remember that comes from our idea of election into political offices.
So, let’s use the big one of the moment, the forth-coming United States elections.
What do you think President Barrack Obama or Gov. Mitt Romney should do to win the elections?
Convince the United States citizens to give them their votes, right? But what if they decide to use some undemocratic ways to get those votes? That's against the rules right?
It is just the same with guest blogging. Remember, you are sort of paying for those links with your guest post. The only way they are different from other un-natural link paying strategies is that the host blogger agrees to the links because of your guest post!
So, how can you justify that link? One, provide value in your guest posts and two, guest post only on related blogs! This way, Google Penguin will be able to look at your links and give them a pass mark.
So, use guest blogging to build backlinks but make sure those links earn their true value.
I really hope I could give you some tips here on how you can achieve all you want with your guest posts, but this space will not be enough. So, I will ask you to download a free copy of my special report “The Wordsmith’s Guest Blogging Manifesto!” you will definitely thank me for it!
[UPDATE: While I was writing this I never knew Matt Cutts of Google did something in line with my thoughts on guest blogging. But following Veer Modi's comment (see comment below) I went searching for “Google’s view on guest blogging for links” and I picked up this video done by Matt Cutts. Please watch it and see that my thoughts on this subject are not far from what Google is thinking! :)]
3. Make Your Content Sharable
The third point I will advocate for writing content for SEO in the post-Penguin internet is to ensure that you make it easy for your blog readers or site visitors to share your content. You can do this by simply adding sharing buttons on your articles and blog posts. If you are using the WordPress blogging platform, adding social media buttons and bookmarking buttons on your posts is simply a matter of choosing a plugin and you are set up!
Placing social media share buttons on your sites and blogs is not just about promoting your content on social media sites. Google and many other search engines are already using social signals for ranking sites. So, your expertly written SEO content will have more chances of ranking high if your blog readers or site visitors find your content valuable and they decide to share the content with their social contacts.
The more shares your content receives will determine, to a great extent, your SEO rankings. However, if there are no options to share your content; your valuable content would simply lose that opportunity to gain some power on the search engines!
Writing content for SEO in the post-Penguin era is not really some rocket science. You simply need to listen to Google and understand what the search engines want from you which is nothing but creating fresh, high-quality and valuable content, optimized using the right keyword phrases and building high-relevant backlinks to your content. If you write your web content with these in mind, ranking high and driving targeted free organic traffic from the search engines will be a child’s play to you!
Alright, that's my watertight strategy for creating content for SEO in these times of Google Panda, Google Penguin and who knows what is coming next!
Share with us your thoughts on this strategy. Do you think this is ok? Are you using it right now?