How Keywords Could Be Killing your Blog
You probably know the story.
You want traffic from Google. So, you learn SEO. You build a website with SEO in mind. You publish articles on your blog with SEO in mind. But, the website doesn’t take off the way you want it to.
Some people like the content. A few even buy something. Most visitors come and go quickly without so much as a goodbye.
Are you obsessed with keywords, SEO and Google search results? Maybe obsessed is a little strong but the real question is – are you giving Google too much power over your content?
There’s a lot of competition on the internet. Entry barriers are very low. Getting traffic through SEO, search engine optimization, is a very popular way to get traffic.
If you use keywords on your website, and build enough backlinks, one day, maybe, if the big G “trusts” your website, they might decide to make you number 2 in the search results for your targeted keyword right below Wikipedia.
That’s all nice and good but a problem arises when you restrict what you write about because you’re too focused on traffic from Google. Do you choose your title based on keywords or what your market wants to read about?
Are you afraid to write articles that are too short out of fear that Google will deem your content “low-quality?” I get it. You don’t want to rock the boat with Google. But, if it’s preventing you from writing your best content, you may need to make a change to really get the traffic you want.
Even if you write naturally (no keyword stuffing), it could be subconsciously affecting your content. Ask yourself – would you write differently if search engines didn’t exist? If you had to get traffic from social media, word-of-mouth, guest posting, would you write differently?
One of my very first blog posts (on another site), I wrote an article about Internet Marketing Strategy From My Grandma. In that post, I said something about banging my head against the wall. Well, search engine robots aren’t that smart and when you put “bang” in the same sentence with “grandma” you end up getting visitors that aren’t exactly looking for Rated PG-13 material. And now, I’ll probably get more after this post, but that’s okay because I’m committed to my content first.
With Google on the prowl for low-quality content, article directories have been in the spotlight and they’ve been increasing their minimum word count to decrease the likelihood that the content is classified as “low-quality.”
So, now do you have to worry if you publish a short 100 word article that Google will think it’s “low-quality” solely because of the word count? Who knows!? Search engine traffic is great but it can be gone in an instant for many different reasons.
If you want an example, all you have to do is look at the story of Gourmet Gift Baskets dot com, which you can read about here. The short version is that the SEO company they hired paid for links and Google removed the site from their index once they found out. In total, it cost them about $4 million in lost revenue. Not good. Gone in an instant.
There are only 10 spots (not counting ads) on the first page of Google, 3 of which get the majority of the clicks. It takes a lot of work to get there for significant keywords and there’s no guarantee you’ll stay there. There’s always long-tail traffic, but even that’s not consistent.
Of course, SEO is just one way to get traffic. The number one method to attract traffic is to create great content. Unfortunately, your desire to get traffic from Google may be affecting the quality of your content. Don’t blame it on them. You’re responsible for the content you create.
But, consider putting quality first. Write about topics that your audience wants to hear about. Write in a way that inspires your visitors. Make sure that subconsciously you’re not writing for search engines first and people second.
Focus on getting traffic by connecting with people in your market through guest posting, social media, networking, being helpful and sharing what you know. If Google happens to send traffic your way, great. If not, so be it. Focus on creating outstanding content for your target market.
This isn’t a revolutionary step for most people. In fact most bloggers don’t pay attention to keywords or SEO. I know of several successful bloggers that don’t do anything at all for SEO. The problem is that some people don’t consider themselves to be bloggers, especially if their blog is for internet marketing purposes.
You see, bloggers should be good writers. It’s not enough just to share great information. You need to entertain and captivate with your writing, and at the same time, share helpful information. It’s as much about who you are as it is about your content and your writing style. Don’t neglect the blogger side of you.
Remember search engine traffic is just one part of the puzzle and if you try to force it, it can affect your content in a bad way. Be the best at what you do.
Create awesome content that people want to share.
Create awesome content that people want to talk about.
Create awesome content and give people a reason to come to your site.
When you do, the search engine traffic will be the icing on the cake.