Content is the raw material of the internet. Everything you read online, from the description of products you may want to buy to the news articles you consume and the metadata that instructs search engines like Google, is content.
It’s quite well known that online content generally has two audiences, the human audience who will read and understand the material, and the robot audience that will analyze the keyword content and rank web pages accordingly.
Once upon a time, writing content for this robotic search engine audience was easy – appearing on the front page of Google for a certain keyword was as simple as repeating that keyword over and over again in your website copy. You may recall the days of ridiculously keyword loaded paragraphs that climbed to the top of Google but seemed like utter gobbledegook to the average reader. Fortunately for consumers like you and I, those days are over!
Just as you can easily detect a dull website that is written only for the search engine without consideration for the human reader, so now can the likes of Google and Bing. This is why with each new update to their algorithms – the sequence of instructions that allow the search engines to rank and categorize website content – actual usefulness and relevance takes on more and more importance.
This innovation may seem complex if you’re thinking about improving your website or your overall online presence, but it’s actually a step back towards simplicity: Write something good! Yes, there are best practices to follow when writing content that speaks to search engines, and these are important:
Content needs to be created strategically so that it magnetizes the right kind of users to your website or platform. If you are a plumber, a publican, or any kind of small business owner, you want to craft your online content so that it actually attracts people who are going to use your services, shop at your store, and pay for your wares. There is a science to this, but increasingly an artform as well.
Anchor links, keyword placement, content length and shareability are buzzwords that you may hear, and they still have their place. What matters most, however, is that you integrate all of these various techniques within an article, description, review or webpage that actually delivers value to the folks who read it.
Good writing is useful. Good writing is easy to understand. And good writing is relevant to the reader. These old-fashioned rules are back in-vogue in a big way. So if you’re looking for a content agency that will deliver the right kind of words for your business, don’t get dazzled by tricks or hacks. Focus on the fundamentals. Good content is useful content, and good content will ultimately prevail.