At the beginning of my SEO journey, I didn’t care about people because all online suggestions were to satisfy search engines. This time is gone. Google changed the algorithms to learn users’ intent and UX.
Today, I tell my clients to forget about search engines while writing copy and only think about writing for a human being. Once the draft is ready, only then do you take the next step: optimizing for search engines without sacrificing UX. Simple.
Search Engines Serve Humans
I often hear the myth that Google does not rank the best content so they can sell paid ads at the top of the search results. Nonsense.
Check out the history when Yahoo and Altavista had more powerful positions than Google. Things changed when Google improved the quality of the top 10 results with their new algorithm, “Page rank.” Many other algorithms have appeared since then with the primary goal of ranking the best possible content. That’s why Google has over 91% of search engine market share!
Bing, Yahoo, Baidu, DuckDuckGo, and the rest all want to improve their position and gain popularity. So, the best method of overcoming Google is to improve the quality of the top 10 results or completely change the UX. That’s why Google does not consider earning more now if they lose future revenue.
Each Keyword Has User Intent
Before creating any content, consider user intent, which varies depending on the keywords. There are four types of user intent:
- Navigational – Users are looking for a specific website or location. By the way, this method is great for learning your competitors’ volume when creating content related to their brand names, e.g., “brand reviews,” “your brand vs. a competitor,” and “brands comparable.”
- Informational – Users are looking for information: how-to guides, tutorials, and reviews.
- Transactional – Users are ready to buy or take other actions.
Google does not rank irrelevant content to users’ intent except for broad queries when it is hard to discern the real meaning or when users are seeking different results.
Creating Much Better Content
The next step is to analyze existing results in the top 10 because many topics are overwhelmed with other high-quality content. For example, if you want to rank the keyword “weight loss,” you should understand that many pages with great content have high authority and trust. This does not mean you can’t overcome them, but it will be challenging.
It is much better to find topics with poor-quality content, outdated information, or content gaps related to trends and new issues. 15% of new keywords appear daily, and long-tail keywords are responsible for 80% of all sales.
I always ignore keywords if I cannot create much better content than what is already there because Google will not rank it, and users do not need yet another page of similar content.
Sharing Maximum Possible Value
People care about value because of our selfish nature. There’s nothing wrong with that. Whatever you create, you need to provide more value than your competition. Share customer reviews, ratings, high-quality photos, and other features customers want in transactional keywords. Write a step-by-step guide with fresh and actual insights on your blog posts. Value is your fuel.
Practice Still Makes Miracles
People are not born with talents. They start with passion and a desire to work harder than others to become the best. Great authors are not born to become great; they made their success by writing a thousand+ words a day. Great athletes train 2-3 times a day to become champions.
Your benchmark and circumstances do not matter. What truly matters is how you use your time and hobbies to develop and improve your content-creation skills. There are two common approaches to creating content:
Google only cares about quality, but quality is difficult to create without the experience and skills gained through creating quantity.
I prefer to make a lot of content for social media because most posts die very quickly. For example, you could write posts and comments daily on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, film short videos for TikTok, or draw pictures for Instagram and Pinterest. Do not worry about low engagement because your purpose is to improve the quality step-by-step, post by post.
If you create content for your website, spend more time researching, writing, editing, and crafting the best possible content. Seth Godin is one of the best modern marketers who writes on his blog daily, but his best content goes into his best-selling books.
Everyone loves stories. 75% of all our decisions are emotional, compared to 25% based on logic. Stories evoke emotions more than the numerous features that other products may have. For example, check out how Apple presents a new iPhone or Apple Watch. Tim Cook shares stories on how Apple gadgets help to simplify lives and solve our problems.
BMW uses another approach by showing happy people driving new cars to create a vision of how customers can share the same experience.
You can share your personal story or use other stories about how your products can improve quality of life and help others.
Optimize for Search Engines
After creating content for a human, remember to think about search engines that unite your content with the ranking keywords. The best way is to include keywords in meta tags (titles and descriptions) because users read them before opening content. If you have no keywords, users ignore your content, and Google does not rank it.
Also, adding keywords to the heading and subheadings is a good practice. Many users scan content after opening. If they don’t immediately see keywords, they might leave and never return. Think of keywords as being more for users than for Google.
Create content for a human first and only then optimize for search engines. It’s important to consider user intent and share the maximum possible value. Quantity also helps to improve the quality of your content.