Was it Blaise Pascal or Benjamin Franklin that said, “If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter?“
It may also have been Henry David Thoreau, Cicero, or Woodrow Wilson. The truth is that it doesn’t matter if it was one or all of them, they are words to write by.
Search engine optimization (SEO) and social media marketing efforts have produced a bumper crop of writers and there’s more content being generated and published than at any time in history. We read and hear a lot about writing quality content, but exactly what does that mean and whats the best way to write content that will attract readers and search engines.
The first point to consider is that if you are writing for the search engines first and the readers second, you’re missing the boat. Search engines display the content they’ve indexed readers consume the information and use it to make purchasing decisions. Search engines don’t make by things or sign contracts, they just serve information.
The key is to create content for your readers first and optimize what you write for the search engines second. If the reader isn’t engaged, it won’t matter if the search engine indexed it. Today relevancy to the reader means far more than having content that’s stuffed with keywords. Google measures and tracks how people engage with content and high bounce rates, little time spent on the page, and few referrals will send the signal loud and clear that the information wasn’t useful. In other words, in addition to all of the more technical aspects of search engine optimization, there also needs to be a focus on reader engagement.
Here are some basics to keep in mind when writing content for your website, blog, and even your offline content.
10 Tips for Writing People and SEO Friendly Content
- Focus the content on your potential buyers or existing customers
- Have a call to action
- Write easy- to-read-text
- Keep graphics to a minimum
- Use compelling words
- Avoid long paragraphs
- Use bullet points and numbered lists
- Stay on topic and relevant to your value proposition (if you don’t sell iPhones don’t write about them just because its interesting)
- Use every day language
- Think ‘how to’ not ‘why buy from me’
Once you’ve written an article that uses compelling words, addresses the readers question and is easy to read it’s time to circle back around and optimize it for the search engines. Insert keywords like “search engine optimization,” in a natural way.
This is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to search engine optimization. Learn more about the hands on SEO workshops, and the 6-step process proven to get results.
What are your favorite tips for writing good content?
How do you balance search engine optimization with the readers need?