How to Write Content for People while Optimizing for Google
Here is how to write content for people and optimize it for google and other search engines. The skill that is called SEO Copywriting.
Content marketing is all the rage now.
If you’ve ever taken a peek into any e-commerce marketing sites, you’ve probably read the word “content” so often it’s lost all its sense to you. But behind all the ballyhoo, there’s a real kernel of wisdom about the world we live in today. Let’s face it, marketing has changed, all of a sudden, and forever. Gone are the days of billboards, radio ads and non-targeted direct mail. This is a whole different ball game.
GOOGLE’S ALGORITHM IS CONSTANTLY CHANGING.
ARE YOUR SEO COPYWRITING SKILLS KEEPING UP WITH THE TIMES?
Maybe the most profound change in the world of marketing is that modern copy looks to please two different mistresses: potential customers and search engines. The old-fashioned rules about how to grab the attention of potential customers and deliver a clear, interesting message remain as important as ever. But search engines are an entirely different matter. When a search engine looks into a text, it’s not because of its human message; instead, their interest lies in keywords, hyperlinks, and other arcane items. They’re fickle and temperamental often lashing out at whoever tries too hard to attract their attention.
The science of understanding what tickles search engines like Google, Bing or Yahoo (but, let’s get real here, mostly Google) is called SEO. It’s not an exact science, as the algorithms behind search engines remain a secret, and finding out how they work is a matter of trial and error. But it’s maybe the one most important aspect of modern marketing. After all, most customers end up finding of companies after doing some googling. How are you going to find these customers if you’re lying at the bottom of Google’s search results page?
SEO gurus try to solve this problem by creating an impressive framework based on a lot of flimsy guesswork. The best SEO experts go through great pains to dig out the proper keywords for your business, getting links placed in high-quality sites, and promoting the right kind of social media content. Often, their work gives great results. But sometimes, even the best SEO expert fails to budge your site an inch from its place in PageRank.
Why is this? They forget the cardinal rule of copywriting, one that is disappearing slowly from the world of modern copywriting:
Write for humans, not for robots.
That’s it; that’s the secret. If customers care about your content, Google will eventually catch up to the fact. Search engine algorithms are now more sophisticated than ever. They are trying to catch the human interest of a piece, and, more often than not, they get their job done. If your content is valuable and your message clear, your keywords will be there even if you didn’t know what a keyword is. If your copy is top-notch, other websites will share it even if you don’t hunt for link-building opportunities.
However, while SEO is can be drudgery, copywriting can be an art. If you don’t have an expert team and want to write your own copy, you should educate yourself. The Internet will make it easy. Sites like Copyblogger offer free lessons. Look at examples of copying yourself, and try to think about what works and what doesn’t. Think about what a person would think, not a search engine.
That said, even though the excellent content is the heart of all search engine optimization, there are a few guidelines you must follow to make it easy for Google to find you and fish you out of the bottom of its result page. In this respect, maybe the greatest SEO mistakes companies make is not being consistent.
Remember, Google is a Machine, not Human.
That means is not nearly as smart as humans. That’s why it needs some help to recognize you and your company as an entity. The name of your company must be exactly the same all around the Net. Did you undergo any major rebranding lately? Make sure you change the information all across the web. If you have, for example, a LinkedIn profile, make sure it has the exact same contact info (NAP) as your company site. That way, your popularity in LinkedIn will also affect the overall ranking of your company.
Another important tip to keep in mind is that Google loves itself.
Make sure you have a Google+ profile and a Google My Business account. Make sure your name is in as many places as possible, and make sure your brand comes across as strongly as possible everywhere you are.
But, all that said, remember: content reigns supreme. Write widely, and write well. Your readers will appreciate it, and Google too.