Just over seven months ago, I wrote my last regular blog post for GetPaidToWriteOnline.com, after a two and a half year stint as a regular contributor. Since then, I’ve stayed in contact with Sharon and simply put, I can’t stay away any longer! [Editor’s note: and we’re happy to have you back, Dan!]
I’m not coming back on a regular basis (yet!), but since I’ve started working at Zine, I’ve realised I’ve got a lot of information to talk about that would be of use to writers – so here I am!
For those of you who don’t know, I work at the digital media agency Zine, developing and implementing SEO strategies based around the production of high quality, unique content. SEO has changed drastically over the last two years in particular, almost going from a resource where there’s a check list-style process to follow to one that’s so focused on the customer experience and journey that in many ways, ‘Search Engine Optimisation’ is no longer an accurate term to describe the process.
So, how does this link in with you as a freelance writer?
When I first started freelancing, I wrote a lot of SEO-based copy. I didn’t know it at the time, but it was kind of ‘the way’ to get into freelance writing and so there was a lot of this type of work available.
Generally speaking, it worked by the client giving you a keyword and you would produce a minimum of 400 words around it, with the keyword in the title and mentioned twice within the copy, linking back to a specific website from at least one of them (with the keyword as the link’s anchor text). The content would then be published on a website and the more articles produced, the more links were created and subsequently, the greater the impact on the SEO strategy.
Today, although content and link building are still vital to success, these style posts don’t really work anymore. Google has changed its focus (for the better) and as such, writers don’t necessarily have to have as great of an understanding about SEO as they once had to.
And instead, they need to hark back to their knowledge and experience as a writer.
I work with several writers in my current position, some in-house and some freelancing and they all produce content for different reasons for the SEO strategies we’re delivering. At all times, however, I stipulate that quality must be the more important consideration than anything else when we’re looking at the content.
It genuinely doesn’t matter how many keywords are included in the copy, where the links point to or what the anchor text is if the quality of the copy isn’t good enough – you need to think of the customer / reader first and foremost and then work backwards. Just by naturally writing about the topic on an in-depth level you should be including any suitable keywords and links, but if you haven’t, when you’re proofing the piece, see where – and if – you can work them in without jeopardising the overall quality of the copy.
What’s interesting here is that this, in many ways, isn’t a SEO technique, but a writing one. When you’re producing content, you want to feel confident that the reader understands exactly what it’s about, gains something valuable from it and subsequently knows what or where to action – and if you focus on this when you’re writing a ‘SEO’ piece of content, the results should be as you and your client expect.
So, to answer the question in the title, it’s very little – as long as you have enough writing experience and understand just what your audience wants, any SEO factors should fall into place perfectly.
Ah, it’s good to be back!
Photo credit: MrClean1982