SEO Isn’t About Search Engines: It’s Actually About This

For decades, SEO has been all about the bots. Every waking hour spent trying to play to algorithm. Well those days are over.

SEO isn’t about search engines.

There, I said it.

“What? It’s literally in the name… Search Engine Optimization…”

True, but stay with me. It’s about SO MUCH MORE than search engines.

The Old Way 🚫

For as long as Google has existed, SEOs have been preaching about rules like…

  • Figure out your primary & secondary keywords
  • Use your main keyword 3 times in the intro, 2 times in your first section…
  • Always start with a “What is…” section
  • Include FAQs at the bottom no matter the topic
  • If your competitor adds a subsection to their page, so do you

…and I HATE it.

When you hear “SEO content’ and cringe, this is exactly what you’re thinking of ^^^

Just gross, written-for-robots, overly “SEO-optimized” content with zero consideration for the person who’s actually going to be reading the post.

If you’re writing about the best onboarding software, I have some news for you…

…you don’t need to start with “What is onboarding?” to rank in search.

The New Way ✅

It’s not about the search engine.

It’s about the SEARCHER.

What good is a click from search if that click bounces right back to Google when you try to force ugly content down their throats?

Whatever you press publish on—it needs to be genuinely helpful for the target visitor you’re creating it for.

And no, that’s not just because Google rolled out an update with the word “helpful” in it that you’re now trying to optimize for.

That content asset you published may be their first impression of your entire brand.

Bad first impression?

They’re not coming back.

Here’s how to get it right, without sacrificing the actual SEO elements that do help with discoverability:

1. Speed up time-to-value.

Give them something good right away, don’t make them scroll through a bunch of fluff you generated with ChatGPT to appease the robots. Don’t make them read a “What is onboarding?” section. Just get to the good part.

2. Format your content to be readable.

This isn’t school—you’re not writing term papers with walls of big, confusing words. It’s not a game of Scrabble where you get bonus points for knowing the dictionary. Write in simple terms with lots of line breaks and white space. If your content looks scary when the page loads, that searcher is bouncing right back to Google.

3. Cover everything you need to cover, but not more.

Contrary to the “SEO best practices” blog post you probably read, every blog post doesn’t need to be the most comprehensive piece of content published on your topic. Include answers to questions that are relevant for the visitor, but don’t go on tangents because you think you need to for SEO purposes. AKA you don’t need FAQs in every blog post.

There’s some nuance to it, of course, but nail these 3 things and you’re off to a GREAT start.

Think people-first, not robots.


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Josh Gallant

I help B2B SaaS companies grow with conversion-led SEO.

Big on building scalable systems & frameworks for growth. I write about how B2B SaaS companies can unlock better results from organic search. Follow me on LinkedIn for more.

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