October 29, 2014
SEO writing is a specialized type of writing, where the author tries to develop content that will catch the eye of Google and result in a Web page being listed in Google’s search results.
Most writers who engage in this type of writing focus on getting the right keywords into the text to win the Google listing and to score a click from Google to their website or their client’s website.
I have done article marketing myself since 2000 and I know from personal experience this technique works. In 2010, before I closed down a couple of my less profitable domains, I was seeing three-quarters of a million visitors a year to my websites, with 6.5 million page views.
Thirty-five percent of my traffic was derived from Google: 265,000 visitors per year.
About 50 percent of my traffic came directly from the articles I had on the Internet that were promoting my websites: 375,000 visitors per year.
Even in the first 10 months of 2014, my current websites have seen 189,000 visitors, with 990,000 page views.
The bottom line is that article marketing still works, when you do it correctly.
The problem is that the way most SEO writers do it WILL NOT produce the same kinds of results I have seen.
Most freelance SEO writers are focused only on producing just enough words to get paid and sprinkling in enough keywords to make their services seem valuable to their webmaster clients.
Given how most SEO writers approach writing for the search engines, it is no wonder that Google’s Farmer update devastated the article directories a few years ago. Ezine Articles, for example, saw a 90 percent decrease in its Google search results, which led also to a significant decline in EZA’s traffic.
Even after the devastation of the Farmer update and subsequent Google updates, most SEO writers have missed the boat on how to overcome the real problem.
When they took the hit, EzineArticles responded by telling authors to increase the average word count of articles from 300 words to a minimum of 400 words per article (and 600 words in “spam prone” niches, in 2013). In doing so, it helped perpetuate the myth that the problem was related to low word count.
When flying airplanes, all pilots know if they begin a journey of 1,000 miles, and they are off by a single degree on their trajectory, they will end up 16.7 nautical miles from their intended destination. If their flight is off by five degrees, they will end up a full 83 miles from their intended destination.
If you are telling your SEO writers that the solution to the problem of how to overcome Google’s anti-spam technology is to write more words, then you are sending people down a path that will leave them miles from their intended destination.
The problem with SEO articles was NEVER low word counts…
The problem with SEO articles was that they never appealed to the people, who were finding those articles in Google’s search listings.
Google was intent on improving their user’s search experience. To make sure that their users did not go somewhere else for search services, Google had to take steps to improve the quality of materials available to their users.
Google’s users do not want to read 600 words of gibberish, intended to fill a page with the words that will look good to Google’s search algorithm.
Instead, Google’s users wanted exactly what they have always wanted:
• Articles that answers a question they might have…
• Articles that help them solve a problem…
• Articles that tells a story they want to read…
• Articles that deliver the best quality information in an easy-to-understand and interesting manner…
When was the last time that you read a “SEO article” and found it informative and fun-to-read?
What is that you said?
Our future customers are selfish…
For some reason, people want to be able to read fun or interesting articles that answer to their specific needs.
The one thing, above all other things, that SEO writers fail to do is to have empathy for their readers.
They fail to realize that people want to read articles that offer more than a jumble of words that contain keywords of interest to their readers.
They fail to give readers what they want.
Search engines like keywords… People want answers.
Here is the interesting aspect of this approach to writing articles…
If your article answers the reader’s questions in a way that the reader felt was interesting or useful, then people will share your article on social media.
And what is the key to getting Google to pay attention to your article? Links from external websites, including social media?
Finally, we can see the nuts and bolts behind creating SEO content that makes a real difference for the people using it…
Sure, keywords are important to get the attention of Google, but so is the quality of the story you tell.
Google needs two pieces of information to judge your content useful to its users:
• Keywords – to understand the nature of the content;
• Links from Third-Party Websites – to understand the importance of the content.
Any SEO writer, who fails to understand what it takes to create content that appeals to the end-user, is in essence stealing money from your marketing budget, by selling you false hope and pretend rewards.
It has been my experience that you can hire freelance writers at pretty much any rate at which you want to pay for those services. You can hire writers for peanuts, or you can pay more to ensure a better quality article.
When you hire a freelance writer, it is your job to tell your writer what kind of content you want in return for your money.
If you tell your writer that you want SEO articles, you will most likely get 600 words of pure gibberish, dotted with a few keywords here and there.
If, however, you instruct your writer to create an article that answers a question for the reader, then you will get the kind of content you want written, and it will actually help with your SEO goals.
Remember that old anecdote… “He who has the most money makes the rules.”
If the freelance writer wants your money, they will follow your rules. So, don’t be afraid to tell people what kind of content you want them to create for you.
“The Missing Ingredient in SEO Writing” should be obvious by this point…
If you don’t give readers what they want, then Google cannot and will not give you what you want – more Google listings, more traffic and more sales…
Now that you know how to make your SEO writing shine, what are you going to do with this information?
Giving readers what they want seems like a simple solution, but how exactly can you do that? If you are writing articles to get free traffic to your websites, check out the article marketing guides found on WritingPuzzle.com. If you want to learn how to apply the same writing concepts to your nonfiction books and reports, then check out the 42-page PDF, “72 Hour Nonfiction Books.” Bill Platt has been providing services, tools and training to writers and small business owners on the Internet, since 2001.