Who Are You Writing For?

It’s a simple question: Are you writing for people or for search engines?

Writing for search engines is easy.  You take your knowledge about a topic and simply regurgitate it as text as quickly as possible while including those all important keywords.  If you are a bit lazier you might not even write original and just plain bad content, you’ll take an article already written on the issue and simply rewrite it, so that you trick search engines to think its unique content.  And if you are even lazier, you’ll just take that article, run it through a spinner, and repost it to save yourself valuable time.

The amazing thing is that you can get all of that poorly written, rewritten, or spun content to rank in the search engines.  You can get a handful to thousands or visitors a day (depending on which keywords you targeted and competition) to be directed to your site through search engines.  The fatal flaw with this system is that the end users you care about coming to your website are visitors and not search engines.

After those visitors read a few sentences of your content, they are going to be driven right back to the search engine results page away from your website.  Sure you might hook a few straggling visitors that don’t realize your content is crap, but the majority of these visitors will never return to your website again, and they most definitely will not convert to a conversion.

I guess you could harass your visitors with CPM and popup ads, but really the amount of money you’d make from that is insignificant to what you could generate if you wrote for people to begin with.  Plus in due time, Google is going to realize that you content is not worthy of visitors;  as search engines refine their algorithms, they are going to be able to identify useless content that currently ranks by examining everything from the actual text on page to how many users instantly return back to the serps.

Anyone can write for search engines, but writing for people is an art.  If you are writing for visitors, then you will recognize the challenges presented.  To create quality content you need to

  • provide value
  • give detailed examples
  • say something new
  • engage readers
  • offer something unique

It is by no means easy to do this, and you still need to link, comment, and network to get your content recognized by others.  Writing for people takes talent, but by doing so you’ll see positive results.

Imagine yourself as a searcher looking for information about cutting the fat off of your web portfolio.  The author need to engage you as a reader which can be done using humor, posing a question, or even taking an unusual stance on an issue.  After this author has your interest, they need to inform you with details and examples about how to go about cleaning out the trash in your portfolio.  If the content fails to be different and say anything new, then you might turn elsewhere or just never be directed there in the first place.

If you provide knowledgeable and useful content for your readers, your chances of a conversion are greatly improved.  A conversion could be anything from getting first time visitors to return back to your website to having a user purchase a product you posted a review on.  The conversion is a multiphase process.  It starts off with getting visitors to a landing page and ends with your final goal, such as a sale or return visitor.  If you are writing for the search engines, then visitors are never going to make it past the first step.  The better content that you produce and push on user, the further you increase your chances of a conversion.

So take a look at the content you’ve been producing or have had produced for your sites.  What are visitors reactions to this content?  Are the majority of them bouncing away?  Maybe that’s not a bad thing.  If visitors are exiting your site after one page view, it could mean you addressed the question they wanted answered.  It could also mean that your product landing page needs work, thus they didn’t proceed further down the path that leads to a sale.  Look at visitor behavior, but look deeper than the basics – get into the mindset of your visitors and see your website as searchers do.  If you do that, then you’ll have an understanding of whether your site is satisfying the needs of your users, but more importantly you can see where change needs to be implemented, so that ultimately your websites serve people and not search engines.

~ by admin on March 15, 2010.

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