4 SEO Practices You Can Ignore
The task of search engine optimization (SEO) is a never-ending one. Search algorithms change, user preferences shift, and plug-ins become outdated. Nevertheless, you can find countless listicles of advice on the basics of SEO (don’t worry, we see the irony of this post). This might give you the impression that SEOs know what they’re doing, or at least have worked out the failsafe paths to success. Despite all the knowledge and experience out there, there seem to be at least a few areas where the common advice can be ignored.
1. H1s (And H2s and H3s)
Let me preface this by saying that headers are important. Don’t abandon your headers. What I will admit is that H1s aren’t as vital as some might want you to think. As long as your headers are sequential, it really doesn’t matter if they start with an H1 or an H3. What’s important is that your content is organized in a way that both search engines and users will understand, and not necessarily in that order.
2. Constant Content
We’ve talked about this quite a bit over the years, but it’s worth mentioning again: content for content’s sake isn’t as valuable as some SEOs might want it to be. This means that it’s better to produce a lower amount of content and focus on making it high quality rather than spewing out a fountain of low-quality content. No matter what anyone says, don’t invest time and effort in a blog that you don’t want.
3. Word Counts
SEO best practices say that the ideal length of a piece of content is somewhere between 800 and 1500 words. In reality, different websites have different needs. If you’re writing a comprehensive guide to all of the inconsistencies between state and federal criminal laws and how to handle a case that is impacted by those issues, you might need a bit more than 1500 words. If you’re adding case results, they probably don’t need as many as 800 words. Use your own best judgment when deciding how long a piece of content should be, but remember that fully fleshed out topics normally do better than brief summaries.
4. Writing for Keywords
Keywords are still a primary aspect of SEO, but you shouldn’t strain your writing to better fit a keyword. As AI becomes better equipped to understand users, the intent is becoming more important than keywords. As long as the topic of your content is clear and it answers a question in an authoritative way you shouldn’t try to fit in every synonym for your keyword.
The three pillars of good content are E-A-T: expertise, authority, and trustworthiness. This means that the focus of your content should be providing quality advice from a platform that makes users feel secure. Your audience should be your priority, not the search engine. If you are creating a product that your audience appreciates, the search engine will follow.