As a writer, I have the daily internal (and sometimes external) battle of deciding whether to spend the day creating a post, or splitting that time up between content writing and keyword research. I want to create something so beautiful, it will make my reader reach for the Kleenex, but as a marketer, I know there’s no point in writing something unless it can be found by the big bold Google bots. Yet there’s no reason I can’t do both. SEO and content strategy go hand in hand.

I used to have a problem with SEO. I wouldn’t take it into consideration during the writing process and didn’t fully understand its importance. It didn’t take me long to realise that there can be a balance between quality content and SEO.

Here are four truths that helped me come to my senses:

1. Google will love you

Google used to reward a website if it dotted keywords all over and spent time and money getting some backlinks to it. Now, although still relevant, content holds more weight. Keeping content fresh and relevant by blogging is the best way to do this.

2. You’re creating content that people want

The proof is out there. There are tools like Google’s Keyword Planner that tells content writers, marketers and business owners what their customers are searching for. Let this guide your content strategy. This not only improves your website’s quality score, but it gives you the opportunity to rank for keywords outside of your chosen primaries. Clever blog titles and meta descriptions can attract customers to your website through your blog. Just make sure once they get there, you’re providing them with quality, contextually relevant content and a clear call to action at the end.

3. Get more eyes on the quality stuff

Like I said above, I had a hard time coming to terms with sacrificing quality content for keywords. That was until I realised I didn’t have to. Including SEO in my content strategy just meant I was increasing the chances of people seeing the lovely words I had written. It has honestly never sacrificed the context of my writing, just added more planning and structure to it. Which can only be good.

4. If done right, it can save $$$

Having a well-ranking blog at your disposal is the equivalent of having the sight when playing the lottery. It’s gold. It means you don’t need to spend as much marketing budget on pushing the content out. And it also means the traffic you get to your site is of better quality. They have searched for a solution to their problem, and you have provided that solution with your content. That’s quality traffic in my books.

The key to content and keywords is finding the balance. Whether this is on your website, or on your blog, keyword stuffing is no longer accepted and let’s face it, it’s just lazy.

So, how do you think you stack up in terms of content and SEO?

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