As a search engine marketer, I often get asked how to generate content for SEO. Although SEO has evolved in the past 10 years, my answer has always remained the same – don’t generate content purely for SEO reasons! You should be generating content for your users first and foremost!
I know that sounds weird coming from someone in this industry. But here’s the thing...the search engines want to give users the best experience they can. If they don’t, those users will go to a competitor. Thus, the search engines are constantly coming out with algorithmic updates and data refreshes in an attempt to rid the results of those that don’t provide value to the users, i.e. websites that utilize spam tactics, thin content, or are just plain old irrelevant. If you have always been focused on providing value to your users, you have likely survived those updates and refreshes. If you have focused solely on the search engines and tried to game the system, you have seriously put yourself at risk of being penalized.
Another question I get asked often is how many keywords to include in a webpage, blog post, etc. While Google’s motto is “don’t be evil,” I think that sounds a little dramatic. I prefer to think of it as “don’t be sketchy.” Trying to stuff keywords into a page just to rank well with no regard for your user base is a little sketchy, don’t you think? Not to mention, it doesn’t make sense. If you target eight keywords on one webpage, your users are going to be confused as to what the page is about. If users can’t figure out what your content is about, how will a search engine be able to? Pick one theme per piece of content and stick to it.
Now, that doesn’t mean to go repeating that theme ad nauseum either. Search engines are much better at recognizing synonyms and derivatives than they used to be, so use them to demonstrate your theme. Long gone are the days of trying to stick to an exact ratio of a primary keyword per total word count. You can showcase what your content is about without repeating “keyword A” six times in one paragraph. Bottom line: write original content in a way that sounds natural yet reflective of your theme, focus on the needs of your end user, and most importantly, don’t be sketchy!
Kerri Fleming Koncius
Koncius Digital Marketing, LLC
Website coming soon, find me on LinkedIn!