Want to get more writing jobs, and write for high-paying clients? It used to be enough to write well. That’s not the case these days. Clients want results — they want to be found online. This means that search engine optimization skills are no longer optional for writers.
Let’s start at the beginning. What’s “search engine optimization?” Basically, it’s ensuring that content is discoverable on the Web: increasing its visibility.
As of this morning, the Web contains almost nine billion INDEXED Web pages. “Indexed” is the key word. A page which is indexed by the search engines is discoverable online. Many are not.
Since the search engines are simply scripts which index Web pages, you can see that an understanding of how they work, and how to ensure that pages are visible, is essential for any writer who wants to build a Web writing career.
Here are five reasons you must understand how SEO works.
1. Client Expectations
When they hire you to write Web content, your clients want that content to be visible. If it’s not… they won’t hire you again, for any amount, because you’re costing them lost sales.
2. Clients Pay for Results
When you understand SEO, and write Web content that gets results, your clients will not only hire you again; they’ll put you on retainer. They’d be fools not to do that.
3. You Can Work With Bigger Clients
Bigger companies (and increasingly, publications) EXPECT that you understand how SEO works. If you don’t, you won’t get hired.
4. You Can Help Your Clients to Revamp Their Sites
The Panda and Penguin updates decimated many sites’ traffic. They need Web content creators who understand white-hat SEO. They need you do to more than the basics.
5. You Can Get More Traffic to Your Sites and Ebooks
Selling ebooks? You’d better understand SEO. Indeed, your books can outshine books by major publishers; they don’t understand SEO. You’ll got a window of a year or two before they get wise, and crush you.
Until last year, I hesitated to write too much about SEO for writers. There were many reasons for that; the primary one being that I didn’t want to scare writers, and you could get along just fine without knowing a backlink from a hole in the ground.
That’s no longer the case. These days, the more you know, the more you’ll earn — that’s the bottom line. (Pun intended. :-))