Why You Should Forget SEO When Writing Content

by Kevin Gallagher from Movin On Up

One of the worst things anyone can do when writing content for their website, is to have it in their heads that they are going to write it with the search engines in mind. Anyone reading about the basics of SEO may well get the idea that having the keyphrases they want to rank for appearing in not only the title and the description tags, but splattered throughout their copy, will impress the search engines. This is frankly not the case and can in many ways be a big turn off for search engines, and more importantly, a turn off for your users.

Here is an example of unnecessarily keyphrase heavy text:

“If you’re looking for search engine optimisation you have come to the right place. SEO companies like this SEO consultancy have the top SEO results in the country for a range of high value SEO keyphrases. Contact our SEO specialists today and they can SEO keyphrase optimiser your website in no time at all.”

Sounds bad doesn’t it?

That’s because all sense of what the sentences were meant to convey has been skewed in a pile of keyphrases. When people read this they will immediately see it for what it is and ignore it completely while search engines will penalize your ranking for not delivering valuable content to readers.

The best way to approach a piece of writing for the web is to forget all about SEO. Write your whole page first and if your page is anything to do with the keyphrase you want it to be optimised for, the keyphrase should have crept in there naturally. If not, never try to shoehorn it into somewhere random. Create a new paragraph or sentence where its use makes complete sense or you will end up with more of the horror show example above.

Here are some final quick tips on writing for your website.

Write in short sentences — helps keep users attention.
Use a conversational tone — keeps users engaged.
Start with the most important information at the top — as people don’t like having to search for the information they want.
Avoid large blocks of text — break them up with bullet points and pictures where possible or users won’t even attempt to start reading.

These are just a few basic tips but hopefully you get the idea.

So next time you start to write your next webpage, turn your SEO enthusiasm down a notch and focus more on what you users will actually want to read. After all if it’s your sales message which is suffering for the sake of a ranking in Google, you can have all the traffic in the world turning up, but if they are met by some badly seasoned keyphrase soup you can be assured that they won’t stick around to read or buy anything from you.

Kevin Gallagher is an SEO, PPC and usability aficionado. He has many years of experience working for a diverse range of clients providing first class SEO services.