Before I get into the topic of “what it means to write for SEO in 2018”, let me discuss how SEO writing has evolved over time, i.e. From the 90s to early 2000’s to how it is now in 2018.
SEO writing methods of 2001
During the 90s SEO writing was very different from what it is today. Back then they used techniques which we call today “the black hat” techniques. SEOs in 2001 mainly focussed to incorporate the following in their content:
- Keyword stuffing, if you wanted to rank for a specific keyword, you were supposed to stuff the contents with the same and relatable keywords.
- Use and reuse a bunch of similar intent keywords with slight variations. Suppose your targeting keyword is “red shoes for men” then you could have “red shoe men”, “red shoe men”, “men’s shoe red’, “red shoes for men”, “red shoe for men” in the same page. Even though all these meant the same thing, the search engine wasn’t capable of recognising them then.
- Usage of keywords in tags
- Usage of keywords in domains and subdomains names
- SEO writing was done for effective search engine crawling while ensuring not annoy the users. This was done by cloaking with too many words. These keywords were only visible to the search engines and users were able to see only the filtered section.
SEO writing methods of 2008
The 2000s saw few changes in the SEO. Although not perfect, it quite evolved on the techniques.
- Keywords stuffing were certainly important in specific locations.
- The exact matching keywords were also significant at particular places. SEOs had pages crafted out for various keywords which shared a common intention.
- Domain names with keywords were less powerful, but subdomains that contained the keywords still catches the attention.
- Links seemed to be more powerful than any on-page optimisation.
Now, what does it mean to write for SEO in 2018?
We have seen what it means to write for SEO in 2001 and 2008. We have also seen minor changes in the SEO techniques over those years. In the present year as we have evolved literally over a bunch of things!! Now, let us see what it means to be writing for SEO in 2018.
- In 2018, solving the searchers’ query matter the most. Google and other search engines intend to provide its searchers with the best quality results. So any content that delivers this purpose is of high priority. Such contents are capable of ranking high in the search engine result pages. You have to know the searcher’s query and craft a content that solves this query in the most suitable way. Someone else who does this job better than you shall have a chance to rank comparatively high in SERPs.
- In 2018 the search engine algorithm is so that intent matching matters a lot more than exact keyword matching. Today no SEO will ask you to make a page for keywords slightly variable and share the same intent. It is possible to incorporate all these keywords in the same page itself if required so.
- The tags that are crucial to doing SEO correctly includes the title, heading, alt, URL and meta description.The title tag must contain the proper keyword and also it should be catchy. It should be able to fulfil the two requirements to rank high and get users to click throughThe meta description is written for the users. The description should also carry the keywords that the search enters into the search box. Search engines usually bold out those words to help the user.Images if present in your website’s page should be assigned with an alt tag, as the crawlers cannot crawl images present in jpg png formats.It is also quite useful if your URL contains the specific keyword.The heading tags (h1, h2) must consist of the keywords for better crawling.
- User-experience matters now, more than ever. It is noted that the pages with lesser bounce back or high retention time are ranked high in the SERPs.
- It is very good to employ words or phrases that are related to the query you would want to rank for. This could help boost your traffic and rank.