SEO has it’s place
It can help your site index higher in a search, and while it isn’t something you should completely ignore, I still get a little twitch every time a client asks if I also “do” SEO.
No self-respecting web designer or marketer would completely ignore SEO, I still put the Yoast plugin on all my sites, but that doesn’t make it as important as people have been led to believe.
Here’s the deal.
SEO is a practice that makes a website easier to read for a computer.
It makes it easier for a computer to analyze the keywords on a page & figure out what sort of content is on there, and what kind of search terms to link it to.
In theory, this is important. We do want to be found by search engines.
In practice, it should be something we are aware of, and that we mindfully consider before publishing our content.
It factors in, but it doesn’t lead the way.
Content comes first, SEO is secondary.
Why is this? Don’t we want to make it as easy as possible to be found by search engines?
Not exactly. Perfect SEO means the search engines can find you really well, but has nothing to do with how easy it is for the humans (the one’s that matter) to understand and read your page once they arrive.
The robots might love your page, but if real humans find it hard to read, boring, or just don’t engage with your content, wtf is the point?
You used to be able to pull a fast one on the SEO crawlers and stuff keywords all over your page.
They’ve caught on to that, but these tactics highlight a really silly mentality about the purpose of your website that is (tragically) still quite popular.
These are solely traffic based decisions, made by people who just want traffic (they don’t care if they make actual connections).
Their end goal is to make money off the ads in their sidebars. They are in the business of hawking other peoples wares.
That my friends, is a really stupid business model.
The SEO & ad rules will always change. What works one day, will stop the next when the rules are rewritten for the umpteenth time.
You know who has great SEO?
Seth Godin. Just type “seth” into Google and his work comes up.
This is in no way from being mindful of keywords, meta descriptions etc. This is from showing up every day for years and years, and writing thousands of blogs, millions of words.
This has gained him millions of email list subscribers who genuinely value the wisdom he drops into their inbox each day.
No ads, no shoutouts, no affiliate links. Just high-value content, gifted to millions of people each day. It works too. His ideas change the minds, and the lives, of people around the world every day.
This practice sells quite a lot of books and courses too, Seth is definitely not struggling by not depending on sidebar ads.
Ask yourself, would you rather write content for computers or would you rather write to change the world? The choice is clearly yours.