As a digital marketer and a blogger, one of the most commonly asked questions that I come across is ‘How to write for Search Engines?’ or better still ‘How do I make sure I have added enough keywords to rank well on Google?’
My answer to those questions will always be the same: Write for humans and not for Search Engines!
Now I know that this might raise a lot of eyebrows, perhaps I have even committed the ultimate crime of insulting the SEO Gods, but all I ask of you is to hear me out.
If your end goal is to educate, sell or engage with people, then why would you compromise on the quality of your article?
Many of us bloggers today are so obsessed with keyword research and ranking that we lose sight of the real picture. That ultimately, the person we are targeting is a Human Being and not a machine.
Yes, I know search engine optimization is important but it should never ever be the sole purpose of writing content.
What Should You Really Focus On?
When I write an article, my main focus is always going to be YOU! Are you reading this now? Do you see how my style of writing is?
It speaks directly to you. Can you imagine me sitting right in front of you and waving my hands around and talking excitedly about this topic? I am sure you imagined it right now!
Well, that’s how you write for Humans. Now I don’t completely ignore SEO or keywords while writing an article but it will never be my priority.
When your focus is all about keywords and where I should use it in an article and how many times should I use it, there is a good chance you may end up getting something like this.
Why would you want to do this to your readers? Also, Google has gotten a lot smarter now.
Overuse of keywords in an article makes it look unnatural.
This is known as ‘Keyword Stuffing. Google will actually penalize you for using such Black Hat Techniques
Besides that, do you think your subscribers would ever come back to you if they read articles like that?
You need to engage, excite or take a person on a journey with your words, and that will never happen with an SEO First attitude.
I mentioned earlier that I don’t completely ignore SEO or keywords, however, the steps I use are so simple and basic that you might overlook their importance.
Simple SEO ‘Guidelines’ to Follow
So this is what I keep in mind when I write an article.
1.) Use your primary keywords in your Title and your post without losing focus on people. If you focus on the user first you won’t even have to make a conscious effort of adding keywords.
2.) Divide your post into header tags like H1, H2, H3 and put your relevant keywords into those headers. In fact, dividing your post into headers makes it easier for the reader to quickly scan through your article.
3.) Use ALT tags in your images.
4.) Download SEO plugins like Yoast SEO or All-in-One SEO Pack if you’re using WordPress.
5.) Link internally and externally to relevant articles.
These steps take barely 5 mins to incorporate and they are so simple that you might feel that something is missing, but trust me, this is all that I do. And it works!
Consistently writing articles and creating content is the most powerful technique to achieve your marketing goals.
If you regularly post quality content for your readers, you will automatically get followers, and once you get these followers, search engines will naturally rank you higher.
Consistency is the key to success. If you want to be good at something you have to practice every day. There is no secret. There is no hidden formula.
Nobody will be able to outrank you if you’re focused on what you want and practice every day to achieve it.
Always keep a People First attitude. Helping people and answering questions should be the primary objective when you’re writing articles.
Don’t get bogged down by keywords and SEO and all of that mumbo jumbo. Keep it simple, just keep creating content and learn from your mistakes. Practice, Practice, Practice!
Do you agree with me or do you think I am completely nuts? Do let me know in the comments below. Share your views, I would love to know more.
Odell Dias is the founder of RightlyDigital.com where Online Marketing concepts are made easy. He has over 6 years of experience in the Digital Marketing industry, helping brands and individuals alike to achieve their marketing goals. He is known as one of the best digital marketing freelancers for small-to-medium-sized businesses.
This Post Has 4 Comments
This is true to write for humans and not only for search engine but to some extent, it should be taken care off as well.
Yes to some extent you can’t completely ignore SERP, however, your main focus should always be people 🙂
This is definitely the best approach. Google is getting so sophisticated in its ability to judge the relevance and quality of a web page that it’s almost like a human in itself.
One of the big developments in recent years has been its focus on user behavior. If real people like your content and view it thoroughly then Google will pick that up and factor it into its results.
That’s why I think you should be mindful of SEO aspects like keyword selection when blogging, etc. But you shouldn’t get too obsessed with them as you say.
Absolutely right Matt. Infact it’s Google is becoming frightfully human like. If you watch the recent Google I/O keynote speech, the way Google Assistant was able to hold conversations with random people was absolutely amazing.