Let’s Talk some SEO. Can a creative writer combine it with SEO rules without losing his writing identity?
So, you are a creative writer that loves writing and considers writing a gift of art. To you, writing has little to do with marketing, and much to do with speaking your heart out. Personally, I have always regarded writers as divine creatures with a given charisma to touch souls. That being said; I am sure many of you creative writers have already noticed the rapid changes that have occurred during the last 2 decades and the importance content plays in practically every aspect of one’s online life and presence.
Yes, truth is that not everybody writes to get more sales leads or to promote and sell products and services. And, of course, not everyone that reads online does not look for something to buy, or an idea behind a mastermind that could solve their problem. Some writers simply want to express themselves and hopefully, somewhere along the way, ardent readers will take notice. I can only imagine the deep frustration one might feel, when realizing that the web actually acts as if it were a vast marketing machine that, for the sake of higher search engine rankings, a writer will need to bend his writing and adhere to the rules applied, so to achieve SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
Good news is that you do not need to betray your art, or wipe the truth out, in order to get found. You just have to “spruce up” your writing, by bearing in mind some basic SEO rules and on-page SEO techniques. Fundamental SEO awareness is all it takes to rank well in Google, and here are 5 super SEO tips to start things rolling!
1. Concentrate on your Target Audience
Who is going to read your content? This is much more of a struggle to creative writers than copywriters, but it is significant you stay focused on your reader. This is perhaps THE most important SEO rule.
I assume you are all over this article because you want to attract an audience. Right? In this case, you need to provide your readers with useful, informative, or relevant content (and even better, all 3 of them). In other words, try to answer the following questions: What’s in it for your readers? Why should they read yourstuff?
An unwritten rule is that you will have to care about your readers first, before they start caring about you. Therefore, if you have been more self-focused when writing, and if your writing was all about you, this is the time to inverse it.
2. Do not Stop Writing Naturally
Nobody said SEO articles necessarily deprive a writer of his personal style. Just be yourself, even when writing for SEO purposes. After all, Google does not give a round of applause to content that sounds as if it was written for search engines, rather than humans. If Google knows one thing, this is that all searches are conducted by humans, and humans want naturally-flowing written pieces that are unique and rich. To cut it short, KEEP THE QUALITY OF YOUR WRITING, if you are after longevity, and high return rates!
3. Focus on 1 idea for Each Writing Piece
Creative writers tend to experience a burst of ideas that they usually want to incorporate in each piece of writing. It is like opening a door, which leads to a huge corridor full of doors that you want to open (and finally open!). This massive flow of different ideas, every time you start writing, has to be limited to one idea per blog; and everything else you write, should simply back up that idea. As for the title, which causes headaches to most writers, you can either write it first and work off of that, or finish your writing and then distil a title from what you have already written. Whatever suits you best!
4. Identify your Keywords
The words or even phrases that best describe your main (and only) idea per post are your keywords. We use keywords to help both users/visitors and search engines understand what is the purpose and the meaning of what you are writing.
There are the so-called primary keywords (most important words or phrases), and the secondary keywords (words or phrases that can also be used to describe your idea). For example, this post has “SEO” as a primary keyword, and “Creative Writer” as a secondary keyword. Since SEO is a very broad keyword, it will take forever to rank high, so I have used my secondary keyword to narrow it down and give my post a push. Hopefully, I will see it in Google’s top results sometime soon!
It is important you sit down and decide on your keywords, before you start filling the lines.
With all the above in mind, it won’t be long before you realize you can actually write naturally AND have a keyword-focused, valuable piece of writing at the same time!
5. Mind Both your Title Tag and Meta Description
The most important factor when doing on-page SEO is the title. A smart and to-the-point title will draw people’s attention and help them understand what you have been up to! Think about it…what is the first thing you look at when searching for something, before you realize you have found something that interests you and is relevant to your search? Yeah, the title.
Now, what is the second most important thing you consider before clicking on a search result? From personal experience, I bet it is the small blurb just below the title that describes the content you are about to read. This is what we call a meta description. Given its significance, it is best if you do not let Google (or any other search engine) fill it out for you. This is a miss strategy. Why? Because Google will take parts of your post and stich them together, without caring if your meta description reflects the meat of what you are writing about. As a matter of fact, when Google creates your meta description, it could all end up quite amusing, and you may read stuff that is hilarious! So, save yourself the trouble and always want to have precise control of everything that has to do with your content and how you sell it. What you really need is a compact summary of your content (30 words more or less).
SEO does not have to make you swear off Creative writing. And, now you know how to be a creative writer that rocks SEO!