What do Saint Nicholas and SEO text have in common? Neither of them exist! So why do so many (adult) people stubbornly cling to these myths?

Don’t get us wrong: of course there is such thing as text that is optimised for search engine findability. But let’s put an end to the myth of ‘SEO text’ right here and now. A so-called ‘SEO text’ needs to be well-written and easily readable while meeting the information needs of its readers. So, how is that any different from any other well-written text? Why do we need to put a new label on it? Instead of talking about ‘SEO text’, aren’t we really just talking about ‘text’? Good text?

Cheap and cheerful

At Contentoo, we are often asked whether our freelancers can also produce SEO text. When people talk about SEO text, they’re usually thinking of low-priced content in which a certain keyword reappears multiple times. And the main priority is keeping the price low. In practice, ‘SEO text’ has become a kind of code word for ridiculously low-priced content. There’s a common misconception that online text doesn’t need to be well-written, as long as the SEO term is repeated often enough.

Keyword density

It’s easy to see why these misconceptions are so widespread. Just ten or fifteen years ago, SEO text was still a real thing. At that time, all you had to do to get to the top of a Google search was keep your ‘keyword density’ high. Say, for example, you wanted to rank high on the search team ‘electric shaver’. All you had to do was make sure those terms appeared very frequently on your site. Whether the text made any sense or not didn’t really matter.

Remember your target group

Times have changed. And that’s actually a good thing. Finally, Google has started to focus more than ever on the quality of texts. And things will become even more quality-focused with the roll-out of their latest update, known as Bert. The algorithm used to power Google searches is now much pickier about the quality of a text than it was even just a few years ago. Google says that it ‘wants SEOs to focus on creating content that is fundamentally great, unique, useful, and compelling’. The search engine now prioritises web pages that answer questions people are typing into the search bar. So, scoring high on so-called ‘informational keywords’ means providing better answers to questions than your competitors do.

Forget search engines

Google now wants for you to completely satisfy your target groups with high-quality content. That means content which answers their questions, meets their needs for information and entertains them. Content that’s so good that people actually take the time to read and look at it. Or, to use Google’s own words: ‘Users enjoy content that is well-written and easy to follow. Optimise content for your users, not search engines.’