Write for people, not search engines

When you create a piece of content, you naturally want it to be seen by as many people as possible. But how exactly can you make sure your work reaches the widest audience? Simple - write for people, not search engines.

This may sound like the most obvious piece of advice in the world, but you’d be surprised at how many people refuse to follow it.

It can be all too easy to get side-tracked trying to create the perfect “SEO content” - trying to tick certain boxes you think search engines require in order to have your content rank. However, rather than boosting your website to the top of Google’s results pages, this can actually have the opposite effect.

Ask yourself, what’s the point?

Before you make a start on creating a new piece of content, ask yourself, what’s the point? Rather than signal the start of an existential crisis, the point of this question is to ensure each piece of content you produce serves a clear purpose.

Will you be answering a common question your audience are asking, offering unique insight on a major event or key trend relevant to them? Will they find it useful and interesting?

Remember, you should be creating content that your audience wants to see, not what you want them to see.

Don’t be afraid to show some personality

If you want readers to truly engage with your content, show some personality. Too many brands are worried about saying the wrong thing that all of their content ends up sounding dull and lifeless – and nobody remembers dull content.

This is your chance to show potential customers what makes your company unique. If everyone is writing about the same topic, your personality is what can make you stand out from the crowd.

Change the way you think about keywords

Finally, and I can’t stress this enough, stop worrying about how many times you can fit a certain keyword into a piece of content. There is no magic number, regardless of what certain people may tell you.

There’s no denying the fact that it’s important to use relevant keywords in your copy, but they should be used naturally. Use synonyms or related words to avoid re-using the same keyword over and over – this can make your content more relevant and useful without stuffing the copy with the same keyword.

Sure, Google may be indexing your content, but it is people that are reading it. Nobody is going to read a badly written article that’s stuffed with keywords, let alone share it or link to it. As soon as you switch your focus to writing useful, engaging, informative content, instead of just trying to please Google, your quality will start to increase. This, in turn, will help improve your rankings, as quality is one of the main factors Google takes into account when ranking content.