Should I be listening to SEO or my own thoughts?

If you’re going to write blogs, as I’ve just started doing, it’s usual to want people to read them.  Somebody not subscribed to your blog might use a search engine to look for the subject you’re writing about.  That’s where search engine optimisation (commonly abbreviated to SEO) can be useful when mastered.  This is the art of making sure that searches for a keyword list your blog on the first page.

Being new to this I am trying a WordPress plugin called Yoast SEO to help write search engine friendly posts.  This plugin checks things like keyword density and readability continuously as you type.  The image below shows one aspect of this from an earlier post where I’ve ignored it’s findings.This is the first post I’ve written where I’ve taken any notice of what Yoast SEO is telling me.  The green light is on for almost every aspect of its analysis, even though it’s taken a lot longer to write and several cups of tea because of this.  It’s too early to say if it’s affecting my style of writing.  The readability section has had me going through every sentence, adjusting it’s length and choice of words so I guess my style will have changed to accommodate its findings.

As I continue to write I’m sure I’ve been concentrating more on what Yoast SEO wants me to write rather than what’s flowing from my mind.  My workflow would not have been constantly interrupted had I not been ‘tied’ to creating my first SEO friendly post. My style, and possibly some of the words I used would also, no doubt, not have changed..

Would I continue to use it?  The only answer I can give to that at the moment is maybe.  I still don’t understand what transition words are, or the difference between passive and active.  Without adding any more, I’ve got a ‘good’ for SEO, and ‘ok’ for readability.  Time will tell if SEO actually works, and draws people to this blog.  If it does, how would I know that a search engine brought them here or other means?  This area needs more research.

2 thoughts on “Should I be listening to SEO or my own thoughts?

  1. Generally, the received wisdom is that well-written content is, naturally, good SEO. Google and the like are trying to focus in on content that is written for people. So, if in doubt, write for people and the rest will work itself out.

    That said, good SEO can also help you focus on what exactly each post is about and keep you topically on track.

    • The more I write the more I agree with you. Getting good SEO and readability (according to Yoast) is becoming easier.

      As Neil Gaiman once said, ‘I wrote, and then I wrote some more, and I became a better writer the more I wrote’.

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