Who Are You Writing For?

book sitting on a person's lap

A big component of SEO is having the right words on the page. Specifically, if you want to rank for a keyword then you need to have content on your site that relates to that keyword. This is a no-brainer for anyone with basic knowledge of SEO, but there is a much deeper concept that needs to be explored in order to clear up any misconceptions people may have about why their content isn’t ranking well.

Lose the Litmus Test

When creating content for a website, a common mistake people make is thinking they have to write articles that pass some sort of litmus test with Google. They think that they need to write an article that crosses all the t’s and dots all the i’s such as having the right keywords on the page, having the right amount of links on the page, having the right metadata implemented, etc.

While these aren’t things you should avoid thinking about entirely when creating content, there’s just one vital piece of the pie you’ve forgotten about during the creation process: the person reading your content! Google, like any company, wants their platform to best assist the people who use it, so it’s safe to assume that they would only want content ranked well that answers its user’s inquiries. A well-written, informative piece of content has a much better chance of doing this than a thin, keyword-stuffed piece of…*ahem*.

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Let’s be honest, it’s very obvious when you come across content that has only been written for the search engines. It tends to be thin, unhelpful, and crammed together with lots of keywords making it hardly readable. If you came across a page like that, you would likely leave and look for something more useful, right? Google wouldn’t want pages like these to receive a lot of traffic from their site if users aren’t finding it helpful. They want their own users to think of Google as being the best tool to use when searching for things.

Rather than focusing so much on trying to fit a lot of keywords into your content, try to write your content in a way that would be both engaging and helpful to the reader. As you write, you’ll end up naturally using keywords that are related to the content’s topic. You can, of course, go back and tweak some of the wording if you want to add in a keyword here or there, but always be sure that it sounds naturally placed within the content. As Google shifts its focus more toward topicality and LSI keywords, it may not even be necessary to try and fit certain words into the content over time if you want it to rank well.

Always Write With the User in Mind

When creating content for your website, a good motto to live by is, “always write with the user in mind.” The best course of action when creating content is to create something that solves a user’s problem, provides them with invaluable information, or both! The content should be written in an easy-to-read format, have good grammar, and exude the kind of quality anyone would be proud to share.

If you insist on wanting some kind of litmus test to determine if your content is following SEO best practices or not, then use the following question: “What sort of content would I want to read?” Thin, keyword-stuffed content or high-quality, helpful content? I think the answer is obvious.

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