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Why an Article's SEO Is Not Paramount

Photo by Myriam Jessier on Unsplash

No, I do not know much about search engine optimization, but I do know a little about using the art of writing to reach people. Words matter, but they don't matter for the reasons Google says they matter. How many people read them doesn't matter. How relevant they are to someone's search doesn't matter. Whether a word is trending doesn't matter. How much money words can make you does not matter.

What matters is providing the words an individual soul needs in the moment he reads them. In order to accomplish that the writer must write from his soul, and SEO has no way of measuring that phenomenon.

Today's marketing landscape is chock full of chaff. There is a desperate need for written content that stands out and bucks the trend of writing for bucks.

The problem is that the virtuous life is not trending. At my previous job, my marketing manager taught me to use provocative words in a positive way, and to make sure you touch upon the ethos, pathos, and logos (or the values, the heart, and the reasons) of and for your company, because these are the touchpoints that are going to connect most deeply with the reader. The problem is, you won't find these touchpoints highlighted in any SEO algorithm, because a computer program can't tell you how to connect with human beings. Recognizing what makes human intelligence distinct from algorithms and AI is important because for a writer, because needs to acknowledge that he is writing to a human being if he wants the reader to acknowledge that he would be responding to a human being, if he chooses to respond.

I am passionate about written content because it is the best way to personally reach out to an audience. It is the only artform that is designed to make a one-on-one connection. Music is generally designed for concerts; visual art is usually designed for public spaces, performing arts are usually designed for the stage. But the writer is writing to the individual reader and that's it. Even a speech writer writes to the speaker, and even then the speaker must make the written speech his own or else his audience will know he didn't write it---because he didn't personalize it.

The writer either makes a personal connection with the reader or he loses him. This is the direction we ought to be going in because the internet has become an ocean when it comes to content, but a desert when it comes to good content that personally connects with individual consumers.

Literature sets us apart from the animals. Yet, we writers have been given little choice but to use our skills as a means to an end. Capitalism has made blogs nothing more than another marketing tool.

There's an old expression: The internet can give you a million answers, but a librarian can give you the right one. The same can be said about writers. In a world of automated marketing, the writer's advantage is the fact that we are not bots. We can offer a layer of genuine creativity to content.

If we focus too much on SEO we will learn all the internet has to teach, and lose sight of what matters in the process: the ethos, pathos, and logos of what we are doing. We will lose our humanity. Stand out from the fray. Be a writer. We need more creative ideas and solutions.


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