This blog ranks surprisingly well in search results which is particularly nice because I’m almost never paying much attention to SEO at all let alone writing to keywords. I know, I know, but while I think about that kind of thing when marketing a book or advertising my eBay items, I started this blog as an informal little thing just to get my thoughts out and it’s kind of hard to get out of that habit. I write what I feel like writing and I don’t give a lot of thought to how it’s going to play with the SEO algorithm of the day.

Writing to Keywords: Do I really have to bother thinking about SEO as I blog?

Even the word SEO sounds all scary and advanced which is silly because it really just stands for Search Engine Optimization and means tweaking your site and content to make it more likely to rank high in search results. And who wouldn’t want to get their content in front of more eyes?

But not writing to keywords is just leaving money on the table when it comes to bringing in the right kind of traffic that’s interested in what I write about. I’ve always hated hitting the keywords hard when I’m blogging because it felt like it was all just a game… but the fact is that playing the game gives you an edge when it comes to getting traffic to your site, building your mailing list, developing a following, selling your stuff, or whatever you’re trying to accomplish with your blog.

Writing to Keywords: Do I really have to bother thinking about SEO as I blog?So as I start to focus a little more with future posts on writing to keywords and playing the SEO game, here’s a few quick little tips to help you do the same.

  • A keyword is often a phrase or several words strung together and the longer the keyword, the less competition for it there is. So while you’d have a lot of competition for the keyword “eBay Seller,” you’d have less for “how to become an eBay seller” or “how to sell on eBay for beginners.”
  • What do you see your ideal visitor typing into their search engine to find your site? That’s your keyword and that’s what you write to. Start thinking backwards and brainstorming a list of things your ideal readers might be searching for to find your site and you’ll have an excellent start on this SEO thing.
  • While there are fancy keyword tools out there, a really quick and easy way to get a list of keywords similar to the ones you thought of are to look at the bottom of your search results at the “Searches related to…” section. That’s based on real search trends so it’s a great way to spot alternatives you may not have thought of that real users are looking for every day.
  • While there’s an ever changing science to riding the wave of current SEO trends (because search engines are always changing how they rank content), one of the constants is repeat your keyword multiple times. Sometimes this seems a little awkward and unnatural compared ​to how you’d normally write but it’s the simplest way to really hammer it in.

And sometimes you can just write. Paying attention to your SEO is not The New Way You Always Have To Blog From Now On. It’s just another tool at your disposal. Write to keywords as often as you can but if you feel like just writing a blog post and not worrying about keywords or SEO at all, go for it. The good thing about taking the time to learn about all of this and practice a bit is that it’ll start to become second nature and you’ll automatically start writing more SEO friendly content even when you aren’t trying to.