Write Content for People First, Search Engines Second
Are you going through a dilemma whether to write content for humans or search engines first? Have you been thinking about ways to retain reader’s interest given their short attention span?
In the race to appear first on search results, you tend to inflate articles with keywords and use good anchor text from the SEO point of view. However, this dense keyword stuffing is a mechanical tinkering exercise to boost the search rankings and the content may not necessarily add value or be of interest to the readers. As a result, there’s a massive turn-off when visitors arrive on the site, and they choose to exit. These ‘black hat’ SEO driven blogs fail to retain readers’ attention and may do more harm than good in the long run.
Here are 5 points you should keep in mind to strike a balance between well-written content to engage readers that also ranks well in the search results.
Prioritize humans over search engines
Keep in mind your audience are not bots, search spiders or machines, and they in no way can become your loyal customers. You are producing content for the actual end-user ‘the consumer’ who need solutions and are in search for valuable information or updated news. Hence, your content should either provoke their underlying needs or invoke their interest.
Make sure when writing the content, you introduce the topic in an intriguing way and use a strong tone to trigger emotions in readers- When you connect with the audience on a ‘red hat’ level, you are likely to gain more likes, resulting in more engagements, social shares and ultimately conversions.
While writing for your readers, use an easy-to-understand language and exclude any complicated terms or industry jargons. Keep the flow conversational with some moments of humor or surprise to keep your audience intrigued. Overall keep the article concise and omit flowery words to fit into the shorter attention spans of the average reader.
Powerful keywords, URL and Meta-descriptions
It is important to research and implement a keyword strategy that matches with the intent of the searcher in order to appear top on the in the search results.
Use simple, readable URLs that focus on core searchable keywords separated by hyphens. Eliminate any extraneous words, numbers or characters.
Meta-descriptions pop-up as introductory lines on search engine results page and stimulate the curiosity of your readers to click and explore the full content. These short snippets of 160 characters must be written in a captivating way to catch the reader’s eyes and increase the click-through rates.
Unique images with key captions
Google dedicates an entire section for image search results. Users search with specific keywords when looking for a particular image and for this reason you should use appropriate keywords while captioning your images. Also, the more original and enchanting mages you place, the faster you get noticed and clicked.
The trick here is to create meaningful content to better relate to the end-users, while ensuring the SEO keywords are subtly placed to not dilute your reader’s interest. This technique will not just lead to higher rankings but also ensure higher engagement on your site.
Alvina Clara, Content Writer, emQube