SEO content optimisation tools don’t entirely suck. They’re 100% useful and they can help you write content that ranks.  

But here’s the thing: SEO content tools are there to help you but it’s not there to do the job for you.

They don’t save you from writing bad content in the first place. The one who’s ultimately responsible for doing the job well is the person who’s doing it, not the tools being used. 

This blog post isn’t going to be about me throwing shade at SEO content tools. I’m mostly going to be talking about the problems with certain approaches I’ve seen people take when using these types of resources.

The SEO Content Optimisation Tools Themselves Aren’t the Problem

The tools themselves aren’t intrinsically bad because of their purpose or functionalities. A big part of why I’m saying they suck is because of how they’re being used. 

Allow me to explain. 

There are a few main reasons why SEO optimisation tools could end up being a hindrance to growing your business with quality content:

  • Focusing too much on keyword density
  • No consideration for search intent
  • Assuming guaranteed page 1 rankings

As Vishen Lakhiani, founder and CEO of Mindvalley says,

“It’s about using the right tools, with the right triggers, within a proper marketing framework”

Vishen Lakhiani

Notice how he said, “within a proper marketing framework”. This is usually what many marketers and business owners who aren’t as experienced in creating SEO content lack.

1. Focusing Too Much on Keyword Density

The score of content optimisation tools isn’t a clear indicator of quality content. 

Even if a blog post doesn’t reach the green light of whatever SEO optimisation tool you’re using, it doesn’t mean it’s a low-quality piece of content. It’s wrong to look at the feedback in a way that rigidly defines your writing as good or bad. 

Although they give you a list of keyword suggestions, it doesn’t pinpoint the best way for delivering them to meet the search intent. This is what matters the most when it comes to achieving rankings.

If you’re using the primary keyword over and over in hopes of ranking higher, then you’re doing it wrong.

John Mueller, the Senior Webmaster Trends Analyst of Google even replied to a question on Reddit stating that keyword density is not a ranking factor.

2. No Consideration for Search Intent

While SEO tools can tell you what keywords people are entering, it doesn’t have the ability to analyse the search intent on a human level for you.

Yes you’ll have a bunch of keywords listed. However, they don’t define the user intent or underlying pain point of the given keywords.

Using the data provided on a basic level won’t make you stand out. It just leads to plain content because you’re still following the same approach as everyone else. 

3. Assuming Guaranteed Page 1 Rankings

It doesn’t matter if you’ve included all the keyword suggestions from whatever optimisation tool you’re using. Even if you do, it won’t guarantee page 1 rankings. 

Imagine how easy that would be.

If it were that simple and the reason you weren’t achieving page 1 rankings was because of a few words you were missing, there probably wouldn’t even be a need for the different SEO job positions that exist today.

Or Google wouldn’t have as many searchers as it does today. If all it took to rank content were the volume of keywords, most content out there would probably be shit.

And ironically, there is a lot of shit content out there.

The last time you searched for something on Google, how long did it take you to find an answer you were satisfied with? Chances are, you didn’t find it straight away so you check out content on communities like Reddit or use ChatGPT for a quick answer.

In that regard, SEO sucks for finding answers upfront. There’s too much fluff and not enough straightforward answers.

3 Ways to Improve Your Approach to Using SEO Tools

Okay. Enough about why I dislike SEO tools. Or at least, why I dislike the rigid approach of using them. 

Are we on the same page though? Is there anything you disagree with or a point you’d like to expand on? I’m really keen to hear your thoughts on this, so don’t forget to leave a comment at the end of this blog post to let me know. 

Now, let’s go through how we can refine the basic approach to not only write content that ranks. But to write content that ranks and generates leads.

1. Use Keywords Naturally

See the list of keywords shown on whatever SEO tool you’re using as suggestions. It’s there to help ensure your content is relevant to the topic you’re writing about. 

Let’s say for example you were targeting the keywords “content marketing”. 

A few keyword suggestions for this could include things like:

  • Blog
  • Channels
  • Leads
  • Strategies
  • Segmentation

Including these keywords is a ranking signal because you’re helping the algorithm understand what you’re talking about.  So if they can be included, good. If they can’t be included, then think about how you could include them.

But there’s a right and wrong way of doing this.

When you can’t fit in certain keywords naturally, either leave it or add a new section where you can mention it without the fluff. 

Don’t force the keywords, don’t spam it, and definitely don’t add information that doesn’t offer anything of value. This affects the user experience since it doesn’t do much to answer the searcher’s query or provide them with something useful.

2. Prioritize the Search Intent and User Experience

SEO tools don’t define or meet the search intent for you. Even if they did and everyone followed what the tools were telling them to do, things like creativity, empathy, and differentiation wouldn’t be rewarded. So that would’ve meant that most blog posts on the SERP would be generic as hell (ironic again since most content out there IS generic).

Do extensive research on the topic and searcher you’re trying to get in front of to create content that stands out. Here are a few tips for this: 

  • Check forums and product reviews
  • Have conversations/interviews with stakeholders
  • Chat with the sales and marketing departments to understand the specific audience

Be unique and think about meeting the search intent from another angle where you cover points that haven’t been covered enough. 

SEO tools won’t tell you how to do that. They give you the information that could be helpful but ultimately, it’s you who determines how well that information is used.

You’ll know your content is good when you’re seeing positive results on user behaviour metrics like:

  • Average time spent on page
  • Backlinks
  • Bounce rate
  • Dwell time
  • Exit rates

3. Focus on Promoting Your Content

As mentioned, following an SEO tool doesn’t guarantee results. 

You’re unlikely to achieve rankings anytime soon, especially if you’re a new website with minimal backlinks and domain authority. 

So instead, build an effective content promotion strategy. 

Don’t wait and purely rely on a long-term process like SEO for growth. A good content promotion and distribution strategy will get faster results. It’s almost like making your own guarantee for improving your online visibility since you’re making the effort to put yourself out there as opposed to solely waiting on an algorithm to push your rankings forward. 

Here are a few strategies you could start using today: 

  • Build an email list
  • Share your blog post on social media platforms
  • Mention your post in relevant communities
  • Comment something meaningful on other people’s posts and mention your piece of content 
  • Repurpose your content into another format, e.g. an infographic or video
  • Have a clear call to action for people to share their thoughts in the comments section

Final Thoughts

You can’t cheat your way out of an awful blog post by adding a few keywords. 

It’s not the tools themselves that I’m not a big fan of. It’s the bland approach to using them since it brings you to the pits of genericism.