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Is SEO a Creativity Killer? The Toils and Tribulations of Searchability and Readership

Is SEO a Creativity Killer? The Toils and Tribulations of Searchability and Readership

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How can you marry creativity and SEO? Where does the rigidity of SEO end? Can they coexist in a single piece of content that is supposed to attract attention, inspire, and stir emotion? In this article, we take a closer look at creativity and SEO searchability. And guess what, after a few tribulations, we discovered that they work astutely well together.

Every content writer’s doom. We write for users, not for search engines. Then why do we need search engine optimisation(SEO)? Content is an integral part of SEO. Whether it’s a blog post like this one, website copy, or a news report, SEO brings it in front of users.
Furthermore, uniqueness and creativity make any piece of content enjoyable. So, yes, SEO impacts the way we create content for the web. But it does not affect creativity. (At least, it shouldn’t). Of course, for the sake of remaining faithful to the quality mandate, we purposefully excluded from this discussion any SEO content that can contain ‘variations on lettering’ (aka euphemism for typos) or other aberrant keywords and phrases like ‘how to speak Japan language’. If you are an SEO professional, pardon our chattery criticism of search engine algorithms and how they work. We respect your work and hope you have a sharp enough sense of humour to enjoy this article.

Common-sensical SEO

Is SEO about repeating a headline or its idea a million times in an article? No. SEO is about user experience and readability. As a writer, you feel perhaps constrained by the rigidity of repeating things in a slightly different way. It does not appeal to the reader.

Well, this is perhaps a challenge that every content writer must overcome. The problem with SEO and any AI is that it doesn’t understand intent, style, and tone. Therefore, any ‘passive’ or ‘transition’ words may be flagged. This leads to the next question – ‘Where can we draw a line on SEO?

Marrying rigidity with creativity

Why can’t we write organically? Why can’t we write organically? For the reader? After all, readers don’t care about search engine algorithms. They don’t, but we do. So, here is a thought.
While we must not ignore searchability completely, there are ways to spruce up an SEO piece.

For example, addressing the reader directly, using the 2nd person ‘you’ is always a good hook. Words like ‘you’ and ‘your’ appear six times up to this point in the article. If you’ve reached this far without noticing, it means the trick worked. 😜
The purpose of any piece of web writing is to educate, communicate, and inspire. Even articles written for ‘free traffic’ can and should do that. It all starts with finding a well-ranking topic.
The so-called ‘skyscraping’ technique alongside tools like SEMrush, MOZ and others can help you find a good scoop and ranking keywords to include in your article.

Making the boring interesting

Whatever the topic, writing content that offers solutions to pressing problems is a foolproof way of increasing your website visits. Remember, people save and share content that they find useful. The more potential users read and share your content, the higher your reach. Therefore, it is vital that you build your SEO strategy around your audience’s challenges and needs.

User experience comes first

How many times have you heard the sentence ‘People don’t read’. Great. Why do we write content, then?
The age of cold-calling is long gone. The digital era birthed a new way to approach potential users, engage them, and sell – content marketing. Search engine optimisation is a core element of content marketing, and one of its essential principles is user experience. How do you write with user experience in mind?
Writing for the web is a different type of writing. It is not entirely creative, definitely not literature, not a sales piece and definitely not rocket science. Here are a few things you need to have in mind when writing for the web or a blog article like this one:

Be concise and speak plainly.
Mind keyword density (not more than ⅓, depending on the length of your article).
Be sure to include your primary keyword in the title and meta description once.
Organise your article for users who skim through – split it into sections using catchy headlines, including your keywords or phrases.
Add a few listicles – ‘X facts you need to know about Y’ to your content schedule.

Don’t forget multilingual users

Writing content with multilingual users in mind is also key to your brand’s visibility across borders. Condensing information and containing creativity in shorter, laser-focused sentences is a virtue and essential to make your content easy to navigate and translate into other languages.
Depending on your brand’s tone of voice and style, you may opt for more formal or informal writing. However, the key element to consider is translatability. How do you write translation-ready content? Here are a few tips:

Leave sophistication aside.
Avoid idiomatic expressions, colloquialisms, or rhyming phrases (that is, if humour is part of your brand). Should you need to use them, you may wish to recreate them in the target language, as a direct translation would not work.
Finally, your content must make sense to the end-user. Agreed?

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