The Write Stuff
July 2016 Volume 12 Issue 5
Bye Bye Keyword Stuffing: Part 2
Last month, we focused on Google’s Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI), citing an article from Brandgfx. Now, as promised, we move on to discussing how to optimize copy for search engines using the most up-to-date techniques.
Writing naturally isn’t the same thing as optimizing for search engines. It’s a great start, especially for your readers, but really only addresses a few specific variables for search engine optimization (SEO). Getting your site or individual content ranked higher on search engines takes a lot more than simply writing naturally.
In all honestly, marketing and SEO experts are still trying to game the “search engine” system. Which isn’t all bad. Of course clients want to rank higher than their competitors, and who doesn’t want to show up on the first page of the all-mighty Google?
True SEO experts understand that the “gaming” doesn’t ever require black-hat strategies like keyword stuffing. SEO is an incredibly complex science — balancing a combination of multiple SEO strategies for on- and off-page optimization. The more you know about search strategies and algorithms, the better you’ll be at playing the game. For example, you can enhance your LSI keyword optimization based on TF-IDF (Term Frequency–Inverse Document Frequency) techniques that look something like an algebra equation. Sound complicated? It is.
The moral of the story: simply write your blogs and web page content naturally — preferably with assistance from a professional writer/editor — and then work with an expert who can get you ranked higher on Google and other search engines.
I’m often asked how long I think a blog should be. My answer: long enough to provide “meat” but short enough to be read in its entirety — generally no more than 500 words. Not everyone agrees with me, especially SEO “experts” who think blogs need to be at least 1,000 words. I’m not sure who would read to the end of a blog that long. Would you?
A Pet Peeve
As a writer, your goal is to produce copy that’s easy for people to follow. For that reason, consistency is very important. One of my pet peeves is seeing someone use the word “first” without subsequently using “second,” “third” or more, as appropriate. To me, that’s like creating a “list” that has just one item; it’s puzzling and makes me wonder if something has been forgotten.
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