Content SEO: Writing for People First, Google Second

Over head view of a Macbook, notepad, and coffee all sitting on a desktop.
Amanda Meadows June 20, 2019

Content SEO: Writing for People First, Google Second

When you think about SEO (search engine optimization), how much do you think about your digital content? What role do your blog posts, website content, and social media posts have in building your content SEO?


Strong content is a key component of any good SEO strategy. You might have a beautiful, updated website. But if your content isn’t optimized with the user in mind, your website could be buried in the SERPs (search engine results pages).


So here are 3 principles to keep in mind as you create new content and update old content.


Relevance

What are you going to write about?


More importantly, why are you even writing at all?


Before you get started, you need to determine the reason you are writing and evaluate its relevance to your audience.


A key element of knowing what to write and making your content both relevant and accessible to the search engines is keyword research.


When your audience is searching for the product or service you provide, what are the terms or phrases they type into the search bar? What are the questions they are asking? Keyword research can help you determine not only what to write about but also what specific words to use.


As we’ve mentioned before, Google’s first priority is the consumer. So when someone searches a keyword or keyphrase, Google wants to serve that person the most relevant and reliable information. When you write content that is based on what customers are searching for, your content has a much higher chance of ranking high on the SERPs.


To learn more about keyword research, check out these articles on Copyblogger.


Readability

Are you using a lot of impressive language? Jargon? Business-speak?


Complicated, jargon-heavy writing just sounds pretentious and annoying, not helpful. And that kind of writing is often confusing, too. Annoying or confusing your readers is the last thing you want to do. Instead of trying to sound impressive, make your content simple and clear.


Good SEO practices are based on the user’s experience. By creating easy-to-read content, you’ll help your reader stay on the page longer instead of closing it in frustration and confusion. They’re also more likely to click through to other pages on your site if they find your information to be helpful and clear. All of this is key to SEO hygiene.


So how do you make sure your writing is clear?


One of my favorite online tools for evaluating my writing is the Hemingway App. Paste your text into the text space, and Hemingway will color code words or sentences that you might need to revise. It will also test your readability score and give you a word count.


See more tips from Yoast SEO about writing readable blog posts.


Quality

Yoast SEO states that it practices “holistic SEO”–focusing on making the best website they can. The content, user experience, and aesthetics should work together to create a valuable website for your audience.


At one point, you could fill your web content with keywords so that Google would be more likely to find your page. You didn’t have to worry about the quality of the writing. You just had to stuff those keywords in somehow.


But today, keyword stuffing is sure to make your readers roll their eyes and move on to a website that serves their needs better.


Google and other search engines are getting smarter every day. They can detect when you’re simply stuffing keywords into your pages rather than using keywords to write relevant, useful content.


Focus on writing quality content that is relevant and readable. No keyword stuffing required.


PS–And don’t even think about “hiding” keywords into your website’s design by making the text the same color as the background. The SEO fairies know how to read the colors you use on your site and will deduct points for bad text/background contrast.


Practice, practice, practice…

To be honest, writing isn’t easy. But the more you do it, the more natural it will feel. You’ll become a better writer, and maybe it will become one of your favorite parts of your job!


Still not sure you want to take on your blog writing or social media posting? At Red Razor Marketing, we can help lighten your workload by taking care of your content projects. Talk to us today about how we can help! Call us at 864-882-1382.