SEO just may be the oldest digital marketing tactic in the book that still causes a fuss all over the internet today. You know, like that old Britney Spears record that still plays in your head. Why? Because it works. And it works d*mn good.

The increase in traffic alone makes SEO a thing to worry about when creating your posts but then there’s also the increase in engagement, sales, ROI, brand credibility…I really could go on.

If you’ve been stuck trying to find a way to optimize your website posts for SEO without sounding like a robot, these next words are for you.

The Key to Keywords

At the heart of every SEO optimization strategy is keywords. After all, these words are the phrases your customers type in to Google to find you — or you could rank low for a specific keyword and they could find your competitors. That’s why the use of keywords has become an obsession — to the point it’s making copy sound like robots typed it. That’s why:

You Should Never Stuff Keywords

The old perception of keyword stuffing was the idea that the more keywords placed on a page, the more opportunities the page had to rank. However, Google catches every man-thought “trick” eventually, and when the algorithm caught wind of it, pages started getting penalized and marked as spam.

You Should Use Variations of Your Keywords

One method to avoid keyword stuffing and make your words flow more naturally is by changing the phrase of one or two of your keywords. This way, you’ll only have to mention each keyword a handful of times while still maintaining an informational and keyword-rich post.

For example, switch it up using similar keywords such as “things to see in London”, “sights in London”, and “London Sights” each a few times throughout in a way that doesn’t sound forced.

You Should Research Keywords In Your Field

Spending a few minutes researching niche-related keywords before you even type your first word can help by:

• Giving you new keyword ideas

• Giving you new content topic ideas

• Showing you the top performing phrases in your field

• Letting you glimpse at what your competitors are using — and what’s working for them

• Showing you over-saturated keywords with high competition that isn’t even worth the extra effort

You Should Use Keywords In Other Places Besides Body Content

Even with all of the keyword obsession, many still forget to add their keywords in URL’s, post titles + headings, image text, meta descriptions, and internal links.

Writing for Other Humans

Not yourself, not your other self that does the editing, and not even Google. Actual human beings that want to buy from you.

See the thing is, Google reads more like a human than a robot. So does Siri and Alexa. That’s why they can understand accents, slang, and misspellings. They’ve been built for us humans and that’s why it’s important to stop focusing on just keywords and actually:

Make Your Content High-Quality and Informative

Both humans and Google will know if you’re writing and distributing content for the sole purpose of sales and higher rankings, and ultimately be turned off. They also both want content that is well-researched, to the tone of your target audience, free of fluff, informative, and teaches the user a thing or two.

Wouldn’t you also want the same from a brand you’re giving your hard-earned money to?

Make your Content Personal and Build a Writer/Reader Connection

How else will you sound like a real human being and not some robot mess of reworded text that’s been copyrighted? You can write and tell a reader about the “Top 10 Activities in ___” but they much rather hear your story. How does the topic make you feel? What have you personally done relating to the topic? What results did that experience bring?

Always write like you’re telling a genuine friend information from your brain that you’re passionate about and the reader will feel included, emotional, and connected.

Edit Your Content—and Then Edit It Again

Editing can turn a bland, basic piece of text into the post that lands you your next client. Here’s a few tips towards good editing:

• Read the piece out loud to test fluidity

• Read the piece to a friend for a second set of eyes

• Read the piece at least twice to catch anything you missed the first time

My method of editing is usually to write the first draft the old fashioned way, pen and paper. My creativity flows better when I write this way and it frees up my phone or laptop screen for research without tediously switching tabs back and forth. Then, I type the draft into Google Docs while reading it out loud to fix mistakes and add (or subtract) content I think fits. Lastly after a mind break, I take a third time to read the final draft over to ensure perfection.

Market Like a Boss

On page SEO optimization is important but what’s a great post if neither Google or your audience stumbles upon it? Marketing your post until you can no longer market your post can help your blog post SEO efforts by:

Creating Backlinks

Google loves the h*ll out of a page that receives a lot of mentions. Like Kylie Jenner with a smile watching her instagram notifications blow up. That’s why having a great backlink profile is important to your SEO rankings. When another website in your niche mentions you or your product/service, they’ll generally link back to the specific page they’re referencing to.

This is a win-win, you get a mention and they get to help their readers find quality information. That’s why most industry-related blogs and websites won’t mind if you email them asking for a backlink for backlink exchange. Just make sure the other website is within your field and not spam, linking with a spam website will get you marked as- you guessed it- spam.

Creating Social Media Fire

Social media is one of the top ways to get your content seen by your target audience, create links for your website, and start building your online presence as a whole. Not to mention Google looks at both the quantity and quality of social shares a webpage has.

Just finished writing a travel post about the tropical trip you just finished in Jamaica? Your audience would love to see the images on Instagram and be enticed to click the link to read all about your adventure. But don’t stop there — schedule and create posts for a wide range of social sites including Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, YouTube, and Pinterest as well.

One thing to remember about optimizing a post for SEO is to always write high-quality, informative content with naturally flowing keywords to avoid sounding like a robot. It takes time to rank on Google but if you keep in mind the information above, you’re sure to get it right!