Online visibility, marketing and searchability are currently big trends for businesses. If you don’t have the whole gamut of social media and internet presences, it seems you are doomed to fail.
One important key to success is SEO (search engine optimisation) – to be found. If you just use the right key words in the right places, if you use lists and bullet points and findable images, if your titles promise 10 Ways to Change Your Life and 13 Things You Didn’t Know About Belly Fat, surely then the world will see your greatness, and fame and wealth will unavoidably follow.
Well, please excuse me while I get off the bus… Here are the reasons why I won’t buy a ticket for the SEO bandwagon.
1. It’s not about the money
Although I do advertise my meagre offering of books and paintings and even skills on my web site, that is not what it’s about. Yes, I would love to make a living from my arts, but that is not the driver. Money takes the back seat here. And sometimes not even that. Sometimes money just has to be satisfied with hanging onto the rear fender and promise not to get in the way of creativity.
2. Mistrust of “the done thing”
Nothing pushes my resistance buttons as fast as people’s follow-my-leader instincts. Maybe it’s an irrational fear of burst bubbles, maybe I’m just a stupid outsider who doesn’t know the ways of the world. Be that as it may, I’ll be one of the last ones to be lured onto the sheep truck – it might just be making its way to an abattoir.
3. Art shouldn’t be artificial
Art, like most things in life, can indeed benefit from limits and boundaries. Many forms of discipline – writing a sonnet or rhymed couplet, keeping to a specified word count, practising scales, learning to draw realistically – are beneficial to an artist’s skill. You can break the rules so much better once you have mastered them. But some things go beyond the limits of endurance. Prescriptions of what key words should be used where and how many times sound like programming to me. If you want a program, use a computer, not a writer.
4. This is not a text book or encyclopaedia
If I were writing a science text book, I wouldn’t object to sticking to titles and chapter headings that meant exactly what they said. Obviously “Electromagnetism” would be more appropriate than “Sparkling Attraction”. If, on the other hand, I am writing a creative blog that wanders through life like a cloud watcher high on rose perfume, I do not want to be stuck in practical words and phrases. That would be missing out on the fun of word play and puns. Note to self: Look what wonderful possibilities lie behind scientific titles such as The Nature of Light…
5. Visibility lies in the eye of the beholder
Some things are meant to be found only by those who put a bit of effort into the search. Because magic lies along the way, not only at the destination. If you don’t believe this, read Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist.