Content Marketing is all about your audience.
But it's also all about the search engines.
We need people to read, watch and listen to our content, but how can they find it, if Google isn't ranking it? But even if it ranks, it has to be quality content that they're going to actually want to read.
So - what do we do, as content creators?
Obey SEO rules, or write for our audience, and hope the engines rank us?
With so many questions and options, it's often hard to make the right decision. So, here's more information about Copywriting SEO.
SEO requirements or your audience - it's today's "chicken and the egg" debate for the digital age.
With SEO being the buzz word on every business' agenda, have we all become too focused on what Google wants, rather than our reader?
Do we care more about how many times we mention a particular keyword, as opposed to the experience we offer our prospects?
I honestly think we are beginning to get to that point and quickly forgetting the number one rule: it's all about engaging your audience!
I'm not going to deny SEO's importance - especially with SEO Copywriting, as organic traffic is absolutely critical for your website and business, which means you need to make your content compliant for Google.
But, when we forgo the reader to do this, then there is a bit of problem.
Now, Google obviously claims that all of their SEO requirements ARE focused on the benefit of the reader, which is true for most things (like penalising annoying pop ups, restricting poor websites, boosting in-depth content, and so on), however that's not always the case (even though that sounds extremely counter-productive).
Take, for example, that Google has been proven recently to be favouring 2,000+ word blogs, even when your reader only skims 500 words (if that).
Who reads 2,000 words anymore? Most of your readers are long gone by then.
So, whose side do you choose?
Writing for Search Engines: ticking the SEO checklist
SEO copywriting, or Search Engine Optimisation copywriting basically means creating written content in a certain way to appease search engine criteria, in order to rank well in their results when the audience is looking for it.
That makes sense.
This includes, for example, inserting specific keywords in places like titles and sub-titles, as well as using targeted phrases and words with a frequency, density and overall intent, all with the intention of satisfying a particular search engine algorithm.
Again, this all makes sense.
Search Engines use those elements (and hundreds more) to serve up relevant content to the user- it's good customer service after all.
The saying "you can hide a dead body on page 2 of Google results as no one ever looks there" holds so true in this case. People of today are time poor and bombarded, so we all demand relevant and highly tailored search results each time we type something into that search bar.
Hence why we, as copywriters and businesses, aim to create relevant content that will bring our customers to us via Google, Yahoo and Bing, etc.
Again, it all makes perfect sense.
But then who are we creating this content for in the beginning? Or actual audience, or the spiders that crawl our website to find it?
Our Customers Matter The Most
Write for the benefit of your audience first.
When it comes to content, what’s actually most important is what value our readers get out of it, as well as how they feel and if they take action - more than anything else.
In other words, it's all well and good to tick all of the SEO boxes so that people can simply find you when searching online, however it shouldn't come at the expense of their experience.
Don't you hate when the top-ranked search for your question is a horribly written article or blog post? It's very disappointing.
Our customers' reactions to our content determine the success or failure of our Marketing efforts.
It's best if people love what they read, first and foremost, and then spread the word about our business by sharing, commenting or mentioning it to others.
If you don't start with the intention of providing relevant information that brings them genuine value, then your brand's reputation is going to suffer. However, quality copywriting that is used to produce written content which offers information and entertainment will connect with people and raise brand awareness.
I'm not the only one to think this way
Content marketing gurus, Neil Patel and Eric Siu said recently on one of their Marketing School podcasts that SEO practises are forever changing, and it's impossible to always keep up.
So, the best way they recommend ensuring your content is always successful is by putting your customer's benefit first. The SEO will fall into place after this.
It's been the most successful method for them over the years, and I would have to agree.
Coincidentally, this will usually boost your rankings in search engines anyway
You see- when customers rate you on Facebook, Google and other feedback websites like True Local, this impacts how high your website shows up when relevant keywords are searched (through the use of Back Links).
So providing good customer service through audience-centric content and mechanisms which encourage good testimonials are great ways to help your digital exposure anyway.
However, the difference is, you started with the person first.
Don't put the cart before the horse: it's about your people first, and the good ranking will follow. It's always about engaging your audience, and then letting success flow from there.
Online is similar to offline in this regard: word of mouth is incredibly powerful.
Basically, search engines like Google already incorporate user feedback into their algorithms so that when people link, share and tag your content, the algorithm favours this over anything else.
What does that mean?!
Ok, so the gist of my argument is:
You'll do better overall as a business by providing people with the valuable information and answers they're looking for, than you ever will spending time building in layers of streamlined code, or naming all of your picture files strategically (two highly publicised SEO techniques).
That's not to say that SEO is irrelevant! Not at all.
What I'm trying to say is that, when you're using copywriting to produce Marketing content - the intention is to primarily focus on your customer's experience with your brand first.
SEO comes second.
Strong and Engaging Content is Crucial
This is why I created The Copywriting Blog!
To help people find me by serving them interesting material!
Great copywriting leads to great SEO if it gets you positive links and feedback from others, which then turns into conversions.
Since blog posts are a way that customers seek answers, and blogs rely on high quality copywriting, there's a method to my madness!
Don't Worship The Search Engines (worship your customers first!)
Obviously, you can never completely ignore things like keywords in your writing.
Nor should you. SEO is still important!
But the point is to ensure that keywords and hyperlinks are there for the benefit of your customer first, and not for Google first. Don't let the tail wag the dog!
For example, take the title of this blog: "Copywriting: SEO or Your Reader" - it has the right keywords that the SEO Experts would be happy with, but still (and more importantly) helps the reader by allowing them to easily determine what the article is about and if it is relevant for them, all in the space of a few seconds.
It's the best of both worlds, but I didn't start with SEO in mind.
Hence why, on my website (www.melottimedia.com.au), I have a FAQ page that has all of the common copywriting and marketing questions my potential clients will find interesting.
I put it there so they have a library of easy-to-search content always waiting for them, right at their fingertips. Sure, it receives great SEO ranking - but it started with the intention of providing quality content from my audience first.
Copywriting SEO - So, the winner is?
If you have to choose between the reader and SEO, always go for the human factor first and foremost.
Search engine algorithms update and change every few months, but our human nature remains the same.
It's our customers we need to make happy, not Google! Let Google, Yahoo, Bing and the rest of them follow us.
What are your thoughts?
How Can Melotti Media Copywriting Help You?
To engage your customer and achieve ongoing business success today, you need quality copywriting and consistent content. However, we understand that this is easier said than done.
You’re time poor and spread thin, and writing isn’t your expertise. So, focus on what really matters, while we take care of all of your copywriting and content marketing needs!
For more information or to speak to a quality copywriter to get the results your business deserves, contact me now at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I can sharpen your words to achieve your goals, today!
Melotti Media Copywriting and Marketing Solutions
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DISCLAIMER: This blog expresses the opinion of Christopher Melotti (Melotti Media) and should be taken as general information only. No responsibility is taken for your actions in response to any content in this blog. See the website's Terms and Conditions for more information.