Do you participate in #blogchat? Every week, this weekly discussion on Twitter focuses on a specific topic and bloggers everywhere are invited to join in. Because I often have more to say than what will fit in 140 characters, every Sunday night (or Monday morning), I post about some of the most interesting #blogchat tweets. Join the conversation by commenting below.
(Still confused? Read more about #blogchat here.)
This week’s theme: Open mic night!
Whenever there’s an open mic night at #blogchat, you never know where the conversations will go. I didn’t get to participate myself tonight, but one of the tweets that stood out in the transcript was this one:
@grtaylor2: I go into every post w/ a conscious keyword strategy. Then, I write the content for the audience.
My first instinct is to want to argue. No! Do not write for search engines! You have to write for your readers! What are you doing?!? WRONG!
But in reflecting a bit, I think grtaylor2’s tweet is spot on the money because he used one word: conscious.
Keyword use in blog posts can be downright horrible. I’ve seen posts where not only were keywords stuffed into the text unnaturally, but the overall information in the post just didn’t make sense. If you’re writing for search engines, you’re never going to build a viable blog, unless you can also offer something of value. And because so many people make the mistake of using keywords in a crappy way, I think many bloggers have the natural reaction of wanting to argue anyone who says they write with keyword strategy in mind.
But this approach can make sense. In actuality, if you don’t consider keywords at all, you probably are doing a disservice to readers.
Because frankly, if certain keywords are popular, that means that people are interested in those topics. That doesn’t mean that you need to stuff your blog posts with keywords to pull in traffic, but if you’re ignoring your readers’ concerns, you’re missing out the opportunity to really help your community.
Check out your stats. What keywords are bringing people to your blog? These are topics where you can expand with more posts. Check out search engine reports. What keywords are popular in your topic area? These are topics you should cover if you haven’t already.
Yes, you should focus on awesome content, but the conscious addition of keywords can also help you reach out to people who don’t yet know about your blog. Good keyword strategy can help you build your community, not just drive up your traffic numbers. Don’t ignore this way of connecting with your readers.
Thanks for the mention Alli. There are so many ways to look at it but when I try to explain it to someone not familiar with this strategy, I use the analogy: Article content is the automobile and it needs (keywords) gasoline to travel but the audience is the road it travels on.
SEO purists may argue my point but at the end of the day search engines don’t create community – readers do.
That’s a great quote: “Search engines don’t create community – readers do.” Love it!