SEO SEO SEO! Really? That's it?
Contrary to what you may have been told these days - SEO is not the be all, end all for good information networking. In fact more often than not these days it is being used to jam keywords and phrases into repetitive, plagiarized or gobbledygook content.
Recently I was advised to change the name of one of my blogs because it wasn't Search Engine Optimized. Really? Does it need to be? Isn't that what meta tags and contextualized keywords are supposed to do? She said "creative names don't work any more". They don't? Someone better go tell these guys: amazon, hulu, yudu, etsy to name a couple I logged into yesterday.
If it were up to this self ascribed marketing 'guru' we wouldn't have any creativity at all in our postings. She advises to keep it all "search engine friendly". But that's just the trouble with the web these days. How many times have you done a search and clicked through to what you thought were going to be perfect answers to your query only to land on some awful pre-digested, cannibalized flotsam assembled by some kind of SEO bots? Happens to me all the time to the point it's actually very annoying. Particularly when it's got freezy frames and pop ups that somehow seem to buck my browser. In other words it becomes obvious that the site I landed on was actually designed to be misleading to get my eyes to have to look at their ads.
I'm not suggesting I was being told to go to this horrid extreme - but I was being told to massage my own creative output to conform to terms people were already using to find the topics about which I write at the root level. I'm saying I don't believe you must nor should go to that extreme. I think the happy medium is accomplished by installing and using widgets that help you insert properly researched keyword metatags, tags and categories into your semi behind-the-scenes search engine structure of your pages and posts.
Content is king. Creative Content is the key to authentic connecting! Contrary to the advice from some (mostly those without a depth of knowledge but happy to employ buzz words and lightly absorbed foundational concepts) a stream of original, entertaining and legitimately illuminating online material is the route to assembling your tribe of interested and engaged followers; whether we're talking about your website, Facebook page, blog or Twitter feed.
Use Keywords - Just Don't Misuse Them
So, yes, use researched keywords and phrases - just don't misuse them. Do apply your brain to your output. Give it your unique stamp! And, hey, who said you can't quote popular items and add your two cents into a wildly popular topic?
Just remember if you want to be thought of as original (where originality leads to choosing you, your content, your products, opinions, services, etc) you're going to have to actually be original!