In the early days of my online writing career (before I started writing almost exclusively for financial and real estate professionals), I did a lot of SEO work. There was a ton of it out there. The work was fast, cheap, easy to write, and paid the bills early on in my career.
But it also meant writing about stuff that was pretty focused around keywords… sometimes crazy, highly-specific keywords .
So clients would say: “I want you to write a 500 word article with the keyword ‘Colorado ski resort and spa’ in the title, in the first sentence, in the last paragraph, in one heading, and with a keyword density of 4%.”
It was arduous work sometimes (especially when the keyword grammar was brutal but could not be corrected because THAT was the keyword) and although I’m glad I don’t do that anymore, it made me a better writer — sensitive to SEO and keyword densities, and it gave me the ability to write about ANYTHING. Those skills have proven invaluable and profitable.
Thankfully, search engine optimization has changed since those “wild west” days of content marketing. Today, new techniques and technologies have evolved and become more important. Specifically, there is the growth in social media (of course!) and I’m also seeing an increased awareness of how search engine optimization plays into sales funnels (and I can’t tell you how happy this makes me! I’ve been beating this drum for a LONG time).
If you own a website and are trying to get it to rank, you’ve probably seen many of these changes yourself. You’ve probably heard of different Google algorithm changes that have made it seemingly more difficult for you to appear in search engines.
So if you are thinking about your search engine optimization in 2013 and beyond, this is the best 10 minutes and 40 seconds you will spend right now. (It’s from SEOmoz‘s October 12th Whiteboard Friday).