Don’t Ignore the SEO

Writing for PeopleInteresting thread in the Third Tribe forum today: don’t ignore the SEO.

It was started by someone who’d taken the ‘write for people, don’t write for the search engines’ mantra literally – and not done any SEO work on their site.

Now, I’ve repeated the ‘write for people …’ theme many times on this site and I hope I didn’t give the impression in doing so that the SEO will take care of itself.

Because it doesn’t.

SEO breaks down into two parts:

  1. On-page (or site) SEO
  2. Off-page SEO

Broadly speaking, as a webmaster or blogger you have direct control over the On-page SEO. Your control over the Off-page SEO is way more tenuous.

On-page SEO

You need to get your On-page SEO right, because that’s what tells the search engines what your site (or page) is about.

Remember: the mission of the search engines is to provide the most relevant results possible to searchers. To do that they need to know in as much detail as possible what information your page contains.

So the easier you can make it for them to do so, the better the SEO platform you’re building.

Here, then, is what you need to get done for your On-page SEO:

  1. Effective META page titles
  2. Effective post titles (not the same thing, if you’re blogging on WordPress)
  3. Effective use of H tags (heading tags)
  4. Effective META description
  5. Effective META keywords
  6. Effective use of Tags and Categories (if you’re on WordPress)
  7. Effective permalinks (or page urls)

If you get those things right for your site as a whole and for each post (if you’re blogging) or page (if you’re doing a static site) you’ll have created a good SEO platform.

Off-Page SEO

Off-page SEO is where the principle of writing for people, not the search engines, comes into its own.

The principle driver of Off-page SEO is the number and quality of incoming links.

This is because the search engines see each incoming link as a vote of confidence by a third party in the quality of your site.

And the incoming links that the search engines are interested in are the ones created by humans.

So you want to write sufficiently well, and provide sufficiently useful information, that humans will link to your article (or site) or refer your page on to others.

And you definitely won’t achieve that by writing for the search engines.


So yes – write for people, not the search engines. But make sure you get your On-page SEO set up first.


Martin Malden

What do you think?

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • marvin May 1, 2010 @ 6:28

    I’m still digging into this SEO thing. I hope I could learn as much as I need. Thanks for the informations you are giving.
    .-= marvin’s last blog post: Reflection on Isaiah 40:30-31 =-.

    • Martin May 2, 2010 @ 9:47

      You’re welcome, Marvin!

      In case it’s of any help, there’s an entire category devoted to SEO on this site: find it here.



      • marvin May 6, 2010 @ 3:47

        Thanks Martin,

        I’ll be reading on that.
        .-= marvin’s last blog post: Reflection on Isaiah 40:30-31 =-.

  • Change Jun 22, 2010 @ 2:48

    Seo is a very important aspect of any business that has a website online. Several people have started up business selling SEO services to small local businesses.

  • Fragments of a Broken Mind Jan 23, 2011 @ 8:41

    Thank you very much for the breakdown! I’m thinking of hiring an SEO guy, but I want to know a bit about it first so I dont get ripped off. This definitely helped!

    • Martin Jan 23, 2011 @ 17:27

      Glad it was helpful!