I don’t know about you, but just thinking about Search Engine Optimization makes me dizzy. Occasionally, nauseous.

I have admittedly done a lousy job promoting this blog with SEO (or anything else!) primarily because I’m the only cowboy on this round-up and whatever time I have to spend on blogging is devoted to content and lovin’ on my community. There is no time for keyword sleuthing, begging for back links, or investigating indexes.

But I realize I need to strike at least SOME balance and asked my brilliant friend Eric Pratum (<= follow!) to set out a few basic tactics.  Here are a few of Eric’s suggestions based on industry best practices:

1) Using the Google Keyword Tool, analyze your post for relevant keywords.

When I used this method on a recent post, one of the top three keywords was “radio advertising.”

And at this point we’re all saying, “Huh?  Radio advertising?”  Me?  So how much am I supposed to trust these applications?  What if I spend my precious time plugging keywords that ultimately have no return for the business?

2) Using your new-found keywords, drive search to your site by aiming for a keyword density in your posts of about 7%.

Based on the average length of a sentence, this would mean you would have to use approximately one keyword per sentence.  Are there people out there really writing this way? How many times can you use “radio advertising” in a sentence and still get people to read your blog post?

3) Get relevant websites to link to your pages using the keywords as the anchor text.

To me, this seems like an impossible and depressing task.  OK, so I call up my favorite blogger Jay Baer and beg him to link to my blog. And oh yeah, Jay, could you somehow position your post around me and my expertise in “radio advertising?” And how many times am I supposed to do that?  With what measurable result?

I get a lot of “organic” links because people are kind enough to blog about my blog. But the idea of trying to negotiate with another blogger or website to link to me using my precise keywords (radio advertising!) seems like a huge waste of time.  I just don’t see myself doing this. I frequently receive emails requesting link trades and it all seems a bit illicit and creepy.

And just when I think I am starting to figure this out, some experts think SEO is ineffective for individual bloggers anyway and that we should rely almost entirely on social media to build traffic. What’s a time-starved blogging boy to do?

To make the heresy complete, I’m not even sure I WANT to “build traffic.”  Have you looked at the stats for visitors who come to your site from Google? How much time do they spend on your site?  Usually “0 seconds.” How often do they return?  “0 times.”

Now I realize I have opened myself up for a shellacking because I’ve taken an overly-simple view of SEO, primarily because I am an overly-simple person.  I am convinced that SEO is a powerhouse strategy for many products and companies.  But if you are an entrepreneur or small business blogger and can’t afford to have an SEO team backing you up, what is a reasonable, time-effective, measurable approach that will result in new blog residents, not tourists?

Here’s the good news — Eric is thinking about this and working on a guest post to help us all cut through the clutter. But in the mean time, I think I will just focus on interesting content and count on y’all to spread the word. It has worked so far.

How are you dealing with SEO for your blog?   Are you are as frustrated by time-consuming SEO alchemy as I am or have you cracked the code?

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