When you set out to create a compelling blog, you want to engage the audience and position yourself as the expert on the topic you are sharing. But it is important to also write an SEO-friendly blog, so it is found, and of course read, when your audience is doing a search using your primary keywords.
If you are using WordPress for your blog (and these days, who isn’t), a great SEO plug-in — such as Yoast SEO — can make it easy to optimize your blog posts for search engines. But, if you aren’t careful, you can easily become a slave to your SEO software, writing and re-writing your post to make your plug-in happy. And you run the risk of watering down or dumbing-down your writing, or creating a stiff blog post that reads like it was written by a robot.
Remember, you’ve installed your SEO plug-in so you can hit all the marks in your blog post: set your focus keyword; set your image; create a good title. Unfortunately it’s easy to fall into the bad habit of repeatedly changing your posts to make your SEO software happy rather than keep to the content you want to promote.
Your software may be telling you that you’re not using your focus keyword enough or in the right places such as the headers or first paragraph. You don’t score well in “readability” so your blog becomes “too hard” for readers; but do you need it to be “easily understood by 13-15 year old students?” Of course not… unless you are selling products to 15 year olds!
Does writing for SEO purposes and writing to captivate your audience have to be contradictory goals?
Not at all. You just need to keep content at the forefront of the process and remember that you know your target audience better than your WordPress plug-in.
You are the expert.
Managing a business or marketing its products qualifies you as an expert in your particular field and, as such, you likely have something to say about your market that people might actually want to read — or even share.
Concentrate on the challenges your customers face, the market landscape and what your business does. The keywords in your posts should be many of the same ones that should already be integrated into your website, and should focus on the goals of your business. This will make it easy to use your primary keywords in a natural way so your posts don’t sound forced.
Create content based on your expertise that will drive people to your site and automatically help you create SEO friendly content.
Write to your audience.
What information does your target audience actually want? The key is to put your audience first and provide useful information, help fill a need or solve a problem.
By creating a strong content marketing plan and figuring out who you audience is and what they want, you can best determine the type of content you need… and allow this to inform the blog posts you create
The solution is simple — create the kind of content you’d like to share, connect the content to your expertise and follow the basic guidelines for optimal SEO. And let you SEO plug-in work for you, not the other way around!