It’s rare to find an article discussing SEO that’s still relevant 5+ years after its publication. When Expert Author Ian Hollander’s article “Writing Articles For SEO – The Silly Simple Reason It DOESN’T Work (And Increase Your CTR by 200%)” appeared in my search, I have to admit I was skeptical, but I was also intrigued.
Let’s take a walk through the main points of Ian’s article.
- “Creative content is obviously ANYTHING that gets your message out in a way that engages, entertains, inspires, enlightens or encourages people to want to know more about you, and what you love to do (your services, your coaching, your recommended resources, etc.) … Creative content … is written with PASSION and purpose and a sense of personal power about your niche, your industry, your market and what you LOVE to discuss. It has no focus on keywords or algorithms or any silly strategy at all.”
We couldn’t agree more. Creative, custom content attracts followers and LEADS because it’s driven with a passionate force: you.
- “Contrived content is the kind of work that most of the “gurus” will tell you to focus on. The stuff that is about secret strategies, loopholes, shortcuts and other silliness that is supposed to take advantage of some sort of perceived imbalance in the online entrepreneurial ecology (i.e., all of those “sneaky secrets” the search engines don’t know about … but THEY do!).”
Contrived is a good word here. It brings to mind all of those spammy articles that plague our submission queues as well as “writing for SEO” practices. In our book, contrived content would be defined as often thin, unoriginal, derivative content that is built around keywords, not insights. It fails because it often doesn’t fill the needs of readers and it lacks the staying power of “creative content.” If it’s searched, contrived content will only meet a referential need (e.g., reader finds answer and closes the window), but it’s important to bear in mind that this form of content is up against EVERYONE else in your niche.
- “[In] my own business, stopping a focus on keyword anchor text, and instead … ONLY worrying about crafting the right message to get the click, directly bumped my traffic by well north of 200% … Why? Because instead of worrying about using the right ‘words’ in my resource box for SEO, I instead could focus on coming up with a compelling message that got folks to be curious and take the next step to visit my site.”
Yes and no. We agree; it’s easy to get wrapped up in “quick SEO fixes” because it’s easier to believe it’s the SEO’s fault instead of the quality of the articles in question. Also, you should always followup with a compelling call-to-action in your Resource Box. However, there are “minor tweaks” like using the long-tail method in your article title and implementing the co-occurence technique in your Resource Box to increase your brand association and click rate.
Should you focus your entire efforts around these “tweaks”? NO WAY. Always let quality be your guide.
- “… the idea that then writing hundreds of articles and syndicating them around the web to small directories with unique anchor text would BENEFIT your website, has probably done more to kill otherwise creative content marketers than anything else (because when it didn’t work … or worse, they were punished for it with even LOWER rankings … they gave up!).”
Let’s expand on “small directories.” Publishing content with a reputable article directory will help you increase your bottom line, whether it’s to build exposure, drive traffic, or increase your credibility. However, where many Expert Authors go wrong is placing their content with an ill-reputable directory. Posting to more article directories or websites is not better. It’s just more. Publishing original content to reputable article directories with quality guidelines and a community of quality authors will help you succeed in your efforts.
We found Ian’s article simply sensational. Do you agree with Ian’s take on creative content and contrived content? What about his take on SEO? Do you think article writing has changed greatly from 2006 to today? Let us know in the comments section below!