If you go back about 5 or even 10 years ago, SEO might as well have been code for “the golden ticket.”
It was like, if you knew Search Engine Optimization practices, then you might as well have had a free traffic machine that you could turn on and off at will. It was a real “in-demand” skill for quite a while.
So much so that the perception of that skill is that it still matters a whole lot. And you know what? Maybe it does…
…but not in the way that it mattered before.
Before, you could keyword stuff your blog articles and title your content in ways that would “game” the search engine into believing you were very relevant to a particular subject.
I mean, hidden texts the same color of the background to stuff more keywords, guest book spamming, meta tag stuffing, and good ol’ web rings were all par for the course back in the day.
All effective ways to drive massive amounts of traffic back to your website or whatever you were trying to drive traffic to.
Things are different now.
The ideas of SEO have changed with the dawn of smarter algorithms and artificial intelligence. You can’t really “game” these systems as easily as you could in the past. They are far more intuitive.
These days it is important to create content with the human consumer in mind, and not the algorithm. Make it for actual people to consume. Trying to game some dumb search algorithm these days…
…is not going to get you very far.
Attention is the currency of the internet today and the competition for it is severe. Strategic headlines as well as intent-based content are critical to getting traction these days.
What do I mean by intent-based content?
I mean content that has a point. Content that caters to a particular market and solves problems for the said market. Not only that but the content also needs to stand out a little bit from the rest. A little entertainment value mixed with some actionable content or a lesson is a recipe for success.
On top of the content itself, the way you title the content matters. People and businesses are vying for attention every day. Attention is a rare commodity. So in order to grab people's attention you have to stand out.
Titles are a big part of that when it comes to content. The good news is you don’t have to be a professional viral marketer to stand out a little bit.
These days are plenty of “viral title generators” and viral subject line listicles (aka giant articles that contain lists of viral subject lines) so there is no excuse not to be provocative with your content titles.
In fact, I think sometimes it’s not a bad idea to plan the title before you ever create the content. That will ensure the effectiveness of the whole thing.
So ultimately, when it comes to SEO, remember it’s more about appealing to humans today. Artificial intelligence is here, it’s being used by the big tech that is running the internet, and it’s intuitive.
So focus on making polarizing content that helps people. That will do more for you today than any kind of “SEO” blackhat gaming of the system.
That’s all I got today! Be back soon for more valuable insights on IM and reaching your goals!
Dominus Owen Markham