Writing SEO

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I suppose much of my talk about grammar and syntax and high quality content has not addressed what some believe to be the most important aspect of writing web content: SEO.

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is basically the use of keywords that, when woven into an article’s content, will (hopefully) help rank that particular website higher in search engine results. In other words, you the writer discern what keywords and/or phrases people are searching for and use those words in your writing. Then the website where your SEO article is posted pops up in response to people’s keyword searches.

Sometimes, clients have a list of keywords they want you to use. Other times, you will need to find those keywords yourself. A helpful tool in this regard in Google Adwords; but Wordtracker has a pretty good reputation for keywords, too. I also read an article recently by a writer who discerns keywords by brainstorming and intuition, and she claims to be quite successful.

Keywords can be single words, two-word phrases, or “long tail keywords.” The latter are often used when one writes about very specific products or topics, playing on that internet irony of drawing more customers by targeting a narrow audience.

However, it seems that SEO – and how much time a writer spends on it – may not be as important as some think. There are some writers and bloggers who question its importance, noting that there are successful website owners who do not use SEO in their content.

Frankly, I am happy to write with SEO or without; the client decides. I find it challenging and interesting to include keywords in my articles, but if a client does not require it, I can still produce a well-written piece. Ultimately, that’s what counts.

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