SEO is not dead…but you might have to re-think your content if ranking was your main goal while writing!
One of the biggest challenges that us, copywriters, face is writing content that is optimised for Google, but is yet still appealing to humans. While we want to write content that people enjoy reading, we also do not want our pieces to go to waste when it comes to helping the company, we are writing for to rank, potentially, in the first page of Google when your audience is searching for that topic.
Now, I am not telling you to ditch the keyword research that your SEO guy has worked so hard on and just write with no intention. Unless you are writing a column for your own blog, with no specific sales-oriented goal in mind, that will not help you out either. Keyword research is an essential part to your content and Google will base its ranking on how well your content piece fits the criteria of those keywords.
However, over the last couple of years, Google’s algorithm has become more sophisticated than that. In simple terms, Google can scan your content to see whether you are just simply writing to rank, or writing with a purpose in mind, i.e., trying to answer some of the public’s most sought-after questions regarding your area of expertise.
If you are too worried about keyword density and the length of your content, then you are writing for Google, and chances are, Google will spot that, and your content piece will do more harm than good.
Focus on Questions not Words
Keyword stuffing is long gone but so is keyword density. While getting the keyword in your content is important, it is more about answering questions around that keyword. Rather than focusing on mentioning that keyword ‘X’ number of times in your content piece, focus on the different questions that your audience might ask around that keyword, and answer them through your writing. This will hopefully result in a win-win situation: your content ranking well on Google, while also answering your audience’s questions and bettering the company’s conversion rate.
Go Above and Beyond their Questions
Another tip is to change your focus to figure out WHY your audience might be searching for that question rather than pre-occupying yourself with WHAT they are searching for. How can you best help them with your search? Can you answer questions that they have not even thought about yet? Going above and beyond their questions will give your audience added value and that, my friends, is key! Don’t simply look at one keyword that relates to one topic but also structure your content around closely related topics so that you can answer more and more questions that the user might have. This content will have more potential to be shared organically while also increasing organic traffic and getting more leads.
Take on a New Approach
Your content should be user-friendly. Although we, as content creators, hold the written word close to our hearts, we also need to keep in mind that our audience’s attention span is not that great (and it is not getting any better, unfortunately)!
Wherever possible, it is vital that your content adds value to what the audience is searching for but, it is also important, to keep your audience engaged. You will not manage to gain their attention if your article highly resembles all the other articles in their top searches. A quick tip is to make the article your own while always keeping it comprehensive and original. Add in your two cents on the subject matter or something that the audience can relate to, to successfully grasp their attention and finish reading the piece you worked so hard on.
This last point is also key to increasing your ranking on Google. Dwell time, the amount of time that a Google searcher spends on a page from the search results before returning back to the SERPs is a ranking signal for Google. In simple terms, the more time people spend on your page, reading your content, the more relevant it will be considered by Google.
Educate, Educate, Educate
The thing about questions? They are yearning to be answered. The main aim of your content piece should be – Education first, Selling second. Give your audience new information and they are bound to come back for more. It is your responsibility as a content creator to, not only answer their questions but answer them in an informative manner that your audience does not need to look anywhere else for more juice.
Share your content
You have written your blog post and published it on your website. Now what? Do not sleep on your content! In order for content to get kickstarted from an SEO standpoint, it has to be read. You are greatly limiting your chances in readership if you simply publish your content and do not take the time to share it with the correct audiences.
By sharing your content, you are increasing the chances of your piece being read and shared more. Google has to have an initial set of signals about how much people spend on the page, to get an idea of what is the quality of the content.
Moral of the story? Do not try to please the masses, including Google. If you are getting too preoccupied with all the keywords that you need to insert into your content piece, simplify them by turning them into questions. Base your articles on those questions and the keywords will flow in naturally.
Remember, if you are creating content just for the sake of it, you are probably not giving any added value to your users, resulting in a waste of your time writing the piece, and a waste of the readers’ time in attempting to read your content. In turn, your site’s bounce rate will increase while also the possibility of creating new leads going down the drain.