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Want to know one of the things that grinds my gears?
“SEO experts” who claim they have a “secret formula” that’s “100% foolproof.”
Why am I ranting so early in the morning? Let me explain…
Earlier this week, I received a note from a super-smart SEO writer who ran into a…challenging…prospect.
Why was the prospect challenging? Because he wanted her to write and to structure the content exactly how [fairly well known SEO “expert”] said to do it.
But, here’s the problem.
The writing formula she was supposed to follow made the content sound weird. The writer was concerned that the content (and the keyphrases) would sound clunky if she followed the SEO writing formula.
And, when she gazed into her client crystal ball, she realized that all the articles she’d create for this guy would sound exactly the same.
As soon as I read her note, I wanted to update this blog post and to add one more client type to avoid.
Some clients attach themselves to an expert’s writing and believe everything he says. If the expert says, “hey, add 20 additional keyphrases into your content,” the client would say, “great idea” without questioning it.
And this is sad.
Meet the new “expert.” Same as the old “expert.”
I’ve been in the SEO writing game for over 20 years. If there was a “no-fail” SEO writing formula, don’t you think I would be on a beach somewhere counting my Benjamins and watching the waves?
Of course I would!
The reality is, there IS no sure-fire SEO writing formula.
The “best” approach depends on the keyphrase, the target reader, the query intent, and the current competition.
What works for your site may not work for mine. Creating content for a smaller business is different than creating content for a competitive industry.
Plus, SEO (and SEO writing) is always in flux. Cookie-cutter approaches don’t work.
The thing is, there are always SEO “experts” who pretend they have all the answers. There are always sexy, well-branded folks touting their way of doing things.
Often times, these folks are immensely popular. They’ve got the branding stuff down. Folks cite them all the time. Their SEO skills…well…they may not be the best. Heck, these folks may not even work with clients.
In short, I’ve seen many “experts” come and go.
What’s my best advice?
If you read an article that insists there is only one way to do X…run away.
If you try something you learned from an expert and it makes your copy sound weird — don’t upload the copy. Change it until it’s right.
If you’re reading conflicting advice, and you’re not sure what to do — hire someone you trust and ask them.
Just because someone has 15,000 followers on your favorite social network, it doesn’t mean they know their stuff. It means they’re good at branding.
Don’t let the cult of personality mess up your SEO content.
Whew. Rant over.
What experience do YOU have with SEO experts? What grinds your gears? Leave a comment and let me know! :)