It’s because we don’t want to know about it. We put it in the too-hard basket.
But it’s not your fault.
I get it.
I’m female and I’ve banged my head against a wall for far too long when it comes to SEO.
You’ve probably been hammered that you have to get your SEO “done right” that SEO becomes yet another thing you’ll get to one day… another chore in your online business.
The problem with SEO (and many other online marketing concepts) is it’s terribly misunderstood. It’s become almost a throw away word. It’s a topic that is dissected and discussed in such a macho-man style that it’s far too confusing and overwhelming for the majority of sassy female entrepreneurs to understand let alone implement into their business.
Search engine optimization is an inexact science. Nobody except the men in white coats over at Google know the algorithm that Google uses to index and rank websites on its search listings. The best anyone can do is to test and try different SEO methods and track them to see what works and what doesn’t.
And ladies, herein lies our first problem. The majority of SEO tips and blogs are written by men, which is generally only understood by other men, geeks and tech heads.
Now this is not a dig at men and nor am I trying to start an SEO gender war. There is some great content out there but ladies if you’re anything like me, we like information to be delivered in such a way that is simple to understand, logical and easily absorbed.
But First, Don’t Believe The Naysayers Who Believe SEO Writing Is Dead
As I read on the MOZ forum the “SEO is dead” argument is the Internet version of the boy who cried wolf.
A person who understands how search engines work will have a BIG advantage over someone who just hopes for the best.
What has changed is that SEO has evolved… a LOT.
Anyone who is familiar with the penguin and panda updates would know that what it takes to create a well-optimized web page is constantly changing and expanding.
And when it comes to writing web content humans matter more…and always will.
So if humans matter more, then why should us ladies even give a hoot about SEO when writing our web content?
Because if we’re writing helpful, compelling, and informative content for our readers, “it should naturally contain the elements the search engines look for when assessing relevance,” says Glenn Murray from Divine Write Copywriting.
And that is a key point here.
Search engines still need a way to assess relevance. Sure, you could leave it to chance and let the search engines determine what they deem is relevant.
But you, as the sassy female online entrepreneur that you are, should provide the search engines the signals you want to be found and known for.
I don’t know about you but I like to be in control of my online business.
In other words you are in control of how you want search engines to index and rank your online content.
Write For Your Reader First And Then Optimize Your Content For Search Engines
To optimize content for search engines, you still need to carry out keyword research, choose the most relevant keyword phrases to target and then plan clusters of pages around those keyword phrases.
Yes I know. It can be a little confusing right? This is the problem with SEO – it’s always so damn confusing. Yet too many gurus and bloggers rattle off obscure phrases and concepts like we’re all supposed to understand them.
Some of those complicated sounding terms are only relevant to some online businesses. In fact, they’re only relevant to larger businesses that are trying to rank in ultra-competitive searches, like “fitness”, “car” and “weight loss”. For the micro business and solopreneur, SEO writing is a lot simpler to understand.
All You Need To Know About SEO
“Google (and other search engines) learn from simple signals,” says Glenn in his fabulous ebook Practical SEO Copywriting (affiliate link).
In the ebook, Glenn says Google wants to return relevant search results. But it isn’t very smart and certainly not as smart as a human visitor.
Glenn continues, “it can’t understand your page. It can’t infer. And it can’t make sense of pictures, color or music. So search engines rely on simple signals to learn what your page is about and to determine whether it’s relevant to a search query. If those signals aren’t available, Google won’t know how to index your pages and your site won’t rank in the searches you want it to — no matter how relevant your content actually is.”
You Need To Provide The Signals
“You need to make sure all the right signals are there so the search engines can fully appreciate the relevance of your content,” says Glenn.
So what are those signals?
In his ebook Glenn says “when Google comes to your page, it analyzes the words mathematically, and makes some educated guesses about the subject matter, based on that math. It looks for:
- the most frequently used words
- the words in headings, bulleted lists, numbered lists and links
- bolded, italicized and underlined words
- relationships between all of the above words and between those words and the rest of your copy. I.e. related words, similar words, parts, stems, and so on.”
But Humans Are Smarter Than Google
That’s the tricky part. What Google wants and what humans want are quite different.
You need to write for both Google and humans and that can be challenging.
But not impossible.
While Google needs signals to determine what your page is about, humans don’t need as much handholding as the search engines. Humans are able to quickly tell what your page is about. If you dumb things down too much, by stuffing your page with keywords, you’ll put your visitors off and they may never come back.
The big question is how do you write web content that pleases both the search engines and humans for your online business?
I said it already: Write for your visitors first and then optimize your content for search engines.
Here’s A Secret…
You don’t need to be an SEO expert. You don’t need to slave away reading a whole bunch of SEO blogs.
(That’s what you have me for).
Because 95% of people don’t bother to do SEO at all.
Remember, it’s too hard for most people.
So if you were to put some basic SEO in place on a web page or blog post, you’re going to stand a good chance of outperforming your competition. You don’t need to rank #1 in Google to get a lot more traffic to your website.
My goal for 2013…
…is to make your web content writing needs a LOT easier. I want to help you stand out online.
That’s why I have a new series that I’ll be running over the next month or so.
Using practical examples I will show you how to optimize your web content for the search engines without making readability difficult for your visitors.
I’m going to show you simple ways to put some basic SEO in order. You’re going to learn how to fix some simple SEO leaks on your site.
I‘m going to show you how to:
- Conduct free keyword research
- Measure keyword frequency with a word cloud
- Where to place your keywords
- And more
By the end of this series, I hope to empower you to begin writing web content with more confidence for both search engines and humans without the jargon-y mumbo jumbo…and without a whole lot of effort.
If you’re not on the email list, be sure to GET ON IT so you don’t miss out. And if you know someone else who is overwhelmed and frustrated with trying to write web content that attracts both the search engines and humans and you believe will benefit from this series, then share this with a friend.
One more thing: If you have any specific questions about writing web content, leave a comment asking your question. I hope to build it into this series.