When it comes to content writing, there are two distinct approaches to take. One – write for search engine bots, filling your content with keywords. Two – write for your readers, offering them value, while making your content click-worthy and share-worthy.
Both these strategies have a common goal – to boost the visibility of the content and to pull in more traffic. But, which of these two approaches work? Find out here.
The End of the Black and White Hat Techniques
For years, SEO specialists and digital marketers have been trying to win the attention and favor of search engines by employing various techniques commonly known as white hat and black hat strategies.
Simply put, black hat was for those who aimed for quick results, by using not-so-scrupulous techniques like hidden texts, keyword stuffing, content spamming, link farming and so on. On the other hand, white hat played by the rules of search engines, meaning results took longer to materialize. Effective keyword usage, internal linking, generating relevant backlinks were some of the popular white hat strategies.
While white hat strategies are more ethical, the point here is that search engines have come a long way and have seen significant evolutions. The complicated Google algorithms of today penalize both black hat and white hat strategies. That is because Google doesn’t want to be manipulated anymore. When you employ these strategies, you are likely to get your site to lose its ranking or even de-indexed.
Focus on Your Audience
Content marketing today is all about the end readers. As a content writer, you need to ensure that you are providing your audience with value, giving them what they are looking for. You need to ensure that your audience connects with your content. It’s no longer, just about satisfying search engine bots to boost your rankings.
It’s all about high-quality, well-written relevant content that appeals to the end reader.
What about Search Bots?
Search engines today have highly-sophisticated algorithms that use advanced technologies like machine learning, AI and more. This means Google and all other search engines can easily identify well-written high-quality content that provides users with the relevant information, from content that was written to trick search bots.
It’s no longer about keyword stuffing to pull in the attention of search bots. It’s all about high-quality content that offers value to readers, thereby winning the attention of search bots and ranking higher. To put it in a nutshell, if you write good content that satisfies your target audience, Google will reward you. The reverse (content written for search bots) isn’t true.
What Qualifies as Good Content for Google?
Check out Search Quality Evaluate Guidelines published by Google to find out what qualifies as good content, from Google’s point of view. This document is the Bible for content writers. It gives you a clear idea of how Google’s bots evaluate and rank different contents. It doesn’t just point out what is good content but also explains why content is considered bad.
Here are some pointers that help you create Good High-Quality Content:
- Start by defining the purpose of your content. Identify the focus topic, your target audience and the intent (what you wish to achieve).
- Do your research. Before, you start writing spend time analyzing the topic, understand what is it about and then give your opinions/views on it.
- Edit and use correct grammar. Use the right punctuations, grammar and try to keep the content to the topic.
- Make it informational, educational and relevant. You need to ensure that your content satisfies the purpose. Does it provide readers with the relevant info? Does it answer their questions?
- Always cite sources. Remember that statistics are just a string of numbers if you don’t have the relevant sources to support it. Make sure to cite the sources.
As you can see, you can easily satisfy both your readers and search engine bots with high-quality, relevant, and engaging content. This is certainly the approach to take for content writing in 2019.