Search Engine Optimization, (SEO), has come a long way in the last 20 years. Just as algorithms and search have evolved, so have the practices to keep the internet safe and user-friendly.

Word Stuffing

In the beginning, best practices included stuffing as many keywords as possible into any given blog, and using them over and over again. Articles were so saturated with keywords, they were difficult to read. The methods were so obvious they were offensive. What we discovered, not surprisingly, is that nobody wanted to read an article that was short on information and filled with repetitive words and phrases.

Yes, at one time word stuffing provided a substantial boost to click rates. And Google does pay attention to what content gets the most clicks. But if the content is of no value to the reader, they will quickly leave the page and search elsewhere. Google pays attention to that too. 

Rich Content

Another approach was to create content that was rich in helpful information, written in a way that was pleasing to the reader. But without keywords, those kinds of authority pieces, no matter how beautifully written, were difficult to find. 

Balance is Key

Today, most blog and SEO specialists try to balance both. We at Web Design by Knight work to create content that will be highly ranked by a search engine, but also easily read and enjoyed by the reader. 

Additionally, Google doesn’t really like it when you try to work the system. The old methods of trying to manipulate the algorithms are regarded as cheap, unethical, and they are easily recognizable by Google and other search engines. Ultimately they will hurt your rankings more than help them.

The Ultimate SEO Goal

The most important goal in SEO writing is to make sure people get the information they are searching for. Google favors pages that are easy to find and legitimately helpful to the reader. Search algorithms will look for the best articles on any given topic. And because there are probably thousands of articles loaded up to the internet every day, the competition for the most authoritative article on any given subject grows exponentially over time. 

The articles that best answer the questions of a searcher will ultimately rank the highest. Those articles that don’t, will eventually disappear, or be pushed down in search results. 

Be Specific

These days it’s not enough to just publish a general article on, for example, “Travel to St. Louis.” There are likely millions of articles on that general topic. The goal is to provide content that answers the questions of a specific search. A better approach might be a post on the topic of first-time travelers to St. Louis, students traveling to St. Louis, or senior-friendly tours of St. Louis.

Additionally, if we are searching for travel pieces in St. Louis, we might also include words or phrases like “St. Louis Zoo,” or “The Gateway Arch,” because over time Google has learned these words belong together. 

At the end of the day, SEO is kind of a marriage of numbers and words. At Web Design by Knight, and as SEO specialists, we are always trying to anticipate what your customers are looking for, and how they might be asking for it. It’s also important that your SEO strategy works in concert with your overall marketing plan.

We understand keywords will give your page an initial boost. But ultimately it is helpful, informative content that will rise to the top and give your website the optimal result. At Web Design by Knight we work every day to find that perfect balance for our clients.