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Introduction to Keywords via Understanding Searcher Psychology

So far in this SEO for non-scumbags series (first post and index here), I’ve spent two posts making the case for SEO to a skeptical audience and laying some strategic groundwork.  Now it’s time to talk specifics and move to the more tactical.

In this post I’m going to cover what I consider the most crucial aspect of SEO, but one that people largely ignore in favor of stats about keywords.  I’m going to talk searcher psychology.  Specifically, I’ll talk through which keywords you’d want to tackle and why.

What is a Keyword?

First, though, some housekeeping.  The word “keyword” sees a lot of play in SEO circles, but what, exactly, do we mean by keyword?

That part is simple.  A keyword is the term that someone types into the search engine (or URL bar) when executing a search.

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Game Theory in SEO: Building A Ship of Strategy in a Sea of Tactics

Editorial Note: this post is part of my SEO for Non-Scumbags series, which I began here.

It might seem a bit aggressive or presumptuous to write off an entire discipline as tactical.  But, I guess, here we are.

I’ve spent the last 4 years absolutely immersed in the world of SEO, largely with one simple goal in mind.  I’ve wanted to make Hit Subscribe’s clients happy by bringing well qualified traffic to their websites.

My effort has done two things:

  1. Worked
  2. Exposed me to enough digital content about SEO that the electrons in it probably add up to a metric ton.

And during all of that time, I can’t recall ever seeing anything that actually rises to the level of strategy.  The entire SEO world just seems to be a person blundering into a tactic that works through trial and error, doubling (tripling, hundred-ing) down on it and taking advantage of a brief arbitrage before the entire rest of the field rotely copies the tactic.  Then, repeat.

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SEO for Non-Scumbags: How to Earn Site Visitors without Selling Your Soul

Editorial note: hi folks!  Thanks for your patience as I’ve been getting my life settled enough to start creating content again.  We’ve done some hiring for a few roles, backfilling me, so I’m actually seeing a light at the end of the tunnel for creating DaedTech content.

Today I’m going to start a blog post series that fits into the broader “business of freelancing” category.  But I’m going to give it a secondary tag, called “SEO for Non-Scumbags,” and spend some time in this post explaining why that title isn’t just me being flippant.

People have been asking me to talk more about marketing for freelancers.  And I’ve been demurring, saying that you need a niche before you can meaningfully market yourself.  But you don’t need a niche yet to learn about SEO and search traffic, so that you’re prepared to capitalize when you do identify your niche.

So let me teach you about that.  In this post, I’ll talk about the scumbag way and the non-scumbag way to do SEO, so that you understand there’s a way to do it benignly.  In the broader series, I’ll walk you through how to execute the non-scumbag playbook.

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