SEO Mini Tutorial For Writers - Part 2

Written By: Trina Moitra

This one took a longer time in coming than I had anticipated. But blame it on that dastardly hurricane which tore so callously through my home state right in the middle of the festive season. Also you can go right ahead and blame the dubious state of broadband connectivity of our country. Deplorable!
Well I see that a recap is most certainly in order. Last time we had discussed the importance of optimization in the scheme of things if you wish to get yourself and your brand identity ranked high enough in the search engine result’s page to claim some of the substantial traffic which goes the “online shopping” route.
But wait, the wrench in things is this…while we were apart, Google implemented to its full capacity the new search engine algorithm- Hummingbird! Apparently ruining cute black and white animals was not enough for Google. It now wants to go after the furry little critters and turn them into a nightmare as well. The good news though is this: Hummingbird is not a penalty based tweak like Penguin. Post Penguin many many brand owners were pushed so far down the rankings ladder that they lost up to about 60% of their traffic. Tough luck!
So I need to change my intended angle and approach this from a different perspective. The first important thing you need to know is this: THE GOOGLE SEARCH ENGINE IS TRYING TO ACQUIRE DISCERNING CAPABILITIES AND GAUGE HUMAN BEHAVIOR.
This is one fact that should govern each and every aspect of an optimization campaign from now on. Yes, you people are not business owners and I know you must be itching to get to the meaty part where I will talk about keywords and give you the magic incantation that will make you an optimizer of renown. But that is the dilemma. With Hummingbird flying around, using just keywords is passé.
There was once a dark and shameful time in the history of Google when it relied on something called Meta tags. If you right click on any empty part of a webpage (where there are no links) and then select View Page Source from the drop down menu, you can take a look at the coding of the site in question. It is likely you will see terms like Meta Description and Title. About two months ago, me and all other good little SEO’s spent time researching and finding the perfect keywords and pertinent sentences to populate these fields. But 7 years ago, my seniors would try their level best to come up with fodder for the Meta tags and today most websites don’t even acknowledge their existence. Why? Because part of the USP of Google is a better UX (user experience) and thus they keep on introducing changes in their algorithm in order to beat the competitors. That is indeed commendable but it makes life hard for search engine optimizers who must keep up with dozens of subtle alterations which keep getting implemented from time to time. Hummingbird is very elusive! Penguin did end up penalizing a lot of websites but at least it had a tangible code of conduct following which brands and websites could start seeing incremental positive change in their rankings.
With Hummingbird though one must understand the business one is promoting and also step into the shoes of the search engine in order to employ a correct method of optimization. The following are the rules which must be followed in general to give content a competitive edge. But like I always stress, with SEO the needs of the company are paramount. You must adapt with the expected goal of the website or the copy and then adjust your strategy accordingly.
  • Do some research into the websites of competitors, introspect and come up with pertinent, short and keyword rich titles and meta descriptions. These may have lost some of the allure but still are pretty important to SEO.
  • Select keyphrases which are two words long. For example go for black shoes instead of shoes or black penny loafer shoes. Why? Think about it and let me know in the comments section. The reason is fairly simple and if are going to be a competent SEO you must start thinking like one.
  • Now comes the magic juice: With Hummingbird value content is king! Google has decided that it will no longer pay very close attention to keywords and all the technical jargon. If your content is engaging and it can strike a chord with the readers, your site or blog will rise meteorically through the ranks of the search engine result’s page. So gird your loin and get to work. Research and an interesting narrative are your best friends from this moment on.
  • Just to pay lip service to the hallowed concept of keywords ensure that you have a target keyword or keyphrase density of 2%. So if your post is hundred inspired words long, you should have your keyword in there twice- once in the introduction and once in the conclusion. Obviously it also has to figure prominently in your blog post title or heading and your Meta description and page title. I know it sounds a tad bit confusing so follow the screenshots.

  • And last but not the least, ensure that your posts and content fall in one of three categories: educational, instructional and transactional. Include a blog section in the website you are writing copy for and ensure that it has posts with provocative question based titles like “Is the iphone 5 the best in its class?” People are bound to search with this exact search term and your content will hit the Bull’s eye. Also include a tutorials section and upload videos themed with the How-To like “How to format your Mac”. These will satisfy all the instructional queries people are likely to input into the search engine. And it goes without saying that you must have transactional pages with headings like “Buy the latest iphone online” because most search engine users do gravitate towards such search phrases when contemplating a buy.
As a SEO you must make your clients aware of these important differentiators and give an added fillip to their business.  Because your duty is no longer restricted to weaving keywords into content! It now extends beyond that to “content strategy” which will slowly become the dominant form of service SEOs will be expected to perform.
The opportunity to grow is here. If you can master this new Google trend, you can benefit from the chaos that is currently in the marketplace with a handful of people actually understanding the implication of this seismic shift that has been heralded by the innocuous Hummingbird. The time for holistic approach to content is here and it is here to stay.
I sincerely hope that this post has served to function as an introduction to the new optimization strategy for the future. If you have any queries feel free to write in to me at If you wish to put this new found knowledge to good use and earn your pen’s (or your keyboard’s) keep, hop on over to and register for a free account on Elance. The dollar is extremely generous at this point of time and you may as well grab a share of the money swirling around.

If you like this post let our inimitable moderator and mistress Shuchi know and I will feature one on what makes content engaging and “viral”! Till then, keep learning and keep earning.


  1. This is a very well written article on SEO writing. It’s been a great help to me, in fact this whole series has been.

  2. Hello dear Trina Moitra. Thank you in advance for sharing this article with us.I love SEO so I visit your blog regularly. Actually you write from your own experience that I think and that’s why i like your article always. Thank you for sharing about SEO Mini Tutorial.


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