So, as some of you may know, a lot of the work I do has at least something to do with SEO. It is mostly writing SEO-friendly copy that reads naturally and functions as informative, engaging content for websites so that visitors actually find it useful. I always think about the SEO as being the secondary function of what I write. Primarily it should be user-friendly, be interesting, make sense and make them feel like they haven’t wasted time reading my content. Then, and only then, must the SEO aspect kick in, which helps people find that content.
I am in two minds about the blogger’s relationship with SEO. It may surprise people to know that for someone who produces SEO-enriched content every day, I don’t do anything at all in the way of SEO for my own blog. I don’t use an SEO plugin, I don’t figure out keywords, I don’t change a single thing about the way I write for SEO purposes. Yet I still have PageRank. OK, so it may be a PageRank of 1, but that is still more than a lot of these little WordPress-hosted blogs. So how on Earth has this happened?
I truly believe that bloggers don’t need to undertake any special SEO measures when they write. If you’re even an adequate writer, you should be using the terms people will search for at some point in your posts. For example, when I reviewed Celebrate by Pippa Middleton, I obviously used the terms ‘Celebrate’ and ‘Pippa Middleton’ in the post. I didn’t deliberately spend time researching the terms, because chances are, you’ll hit most of the main ones if you’re writing comprehensively and not being repetitive.
I also feel that focusing too much on the SEO detracts from the love of writing. I mean, I LOVE writing, and I write my blogs for the sake of writing. I know that my posts will be viewed by people whether or not I fill them with SEO-friendly copy, but I feel happier writing in a way that comes naturally to me and not constantly trying to slip in the ‘right’ terms and phrases. I’m not writing to make money, so maybe this is where the difference comes in, but because I do this for my own enjoyment I am more than happy with my own little readership.
It might be difficult to understand where I’m coming from for some people. You might be asking why I don’t want as many people as possible to read my posts and why I won’t put in the effort to get everything optimised. Well, I know how to do it. I could do it today if I were so inclined. But I’m not. It would suck all the joy out of writing this blog for me if I spent all my time coming up with ways to get more people to read it. I like the fact people still find my blog without doing anything at all to get people here other than writing in my own style about things I’m interested in.
Also, once I’ve finished a day of writing SEO content, the last thing I want to do is sit down and write more! If you’ve made your way here through Google (and lots of you do every day, because I enjoy reading what people have searched to find this blog using WordPress Statistics), I’m proud of you, because all I have done is written something I think people might like to read, and if you’ve clicked through to find this blog, you’ve proven me right and I am very grateful.
What do you think? Is SEO an integral part of your blog, or do you prefer to take a more passive approach? Which SEO techniques do you use to help readers find your blog?