SEO should be invisible: to Google and to the everyday user. As soon as you’re looking for a way to “fool” Google you’re going to be writing content and preparing SEO in a way that doesn’t anything but. In my experience, the best way to accomplish SEO is to try to rank naturally instead of forcing the issue.
Perhaps this is the way I work as a writer: but writing by attempting to add keyphrases to your paragraphs can make the writing – and reading – process awkward. By all means, you can go through the content after it’s done and add targeted keyphrases, but having this be your sole intention for the content will come off as unnatural and may very well be regarded as spam by Google – if not now then in the future.
More importantly, perhaps, is the fact that people who overuse keyword-targeted content are less apt to include a wide variety of content. If they’ve got those important keyphrases covered in a page of content, these website owners don’t feel it’s necessary to expand on the site’s content. This is the wrong way to go about providing content on the site. Providing a bevy of non-keyword-targeted content is still advisable because this content will rank for other phrases. You’ll still be bringing in traffic, and even if this content doesn’t convert immediately, you’re still increasing your visibility and brand recognition.
So a few pages of keyword-rich content will not do. You should be continually adding new content, no matter how keyword rich, as Google is prizing frequent updates more than cumbersome keyword-drenched content. The same goes for everyday websurfers. You’re average web user can sniff out a fake website. People have become increasingly attuned to – and annoyed by – dummy websites. They get so inundated with spam and fruitless web searches that they will write-off a site that doesn’t appear legit. Really, even if you manage to fool Google, getting flagged by web surfers is just as bad as a Google flagging.
Outdated Keyphrase Tactics
In the recent past, people looked to overload a site with keyphrases in a number of different areas:
- The web domain
- Page domain
- H2 Tags
- First paragraph
- Hyperlinks throughout the site
- Throughout the content
Now, it’s not as though all of these tactics are outdated. At least not yet. The problem is that people do all they can to balance out the number of keyphrases vs. words on the page without taking into account the fact that the keyphrase is housed in all these other places as well. Put together, this could increase the percentage of keyphrase to content, meaning that Google’s not going to be happy. You need to look at the big picture when it comes to targeting keyphrases, not just the main content.
Which goes back to the idea of why it’s not entirely necessarily to add a slew of awkward keyphrases into the main content. You’ll be accomplishing this by putting the keyphrase in other places. Meantime you can make the content, you know, readable. However, even just putting the keyphrase into metatags, title tags, H2 tags, etc. without including the keyphrase in the main content could result in a flagging, so be careful.
It’s a tough balance to be sure. You want to target users, while still being stealthy. I’d recommend creating frequently updated content using a good title tag every day, rather than going nuts over H2 tags and content phrases for a limited number of pages. The content may not be as keyword rich, but your site will be rich with content, which can be just as impressive to web surfers and Google alike. Basically, SEO should be invisible (and not with hidden content). Both Google and web surfers shouldn’t realize that they’ve been targeted. As Google is inevitably going to change its terms and surfers are going to get more web-savvy, this will help ensure a site’s longevity.
Doing Your Own Copywriting
Writing all that content is cumbersome, especially if you’re an experienced affiliate marketer who might have 20 sites covering different niches. You’re talking writing 20 pages of content everyday – or at least frequently. On the plus side, writing content without obsessing about keyphrases is easier. On the downside, it’s still not very easy. You’ve got to weigh the cost of hiring a copywriter vs. what frequent content is going to do for your rank and sales. Getting free content doesn’t make a whole lot of sense because this content is likely going to be published on more than one site, hurting your rank.
If you only have one website for one business enterprise, this is a much easier proposition, but unless you’re a seasoned writer, it’s still difficult to think of dozens upon dozens of ways to write about the same topic. This is one of the reason’s web owners try and get more mileage out of less content by making static content drenched with keyphrases: they’re lazy and don’t want to create fresh content. Believe it: fresh content is more important than keyword-directed content and won’t risk being flagged in the future.