When you are writing web content, which camp do you fall into?
- Those who write for readers?
- Those who write for Googlebot?
Most small business owners I speak with fall into the first camp. They write what they know without thinking too much about Googlebot.
You know what, that’s great!
If you are writing for the web, whether its webpages, articles or blog posts – I don’t want to beat the “write for readers” out of you. Writing in your own voice creates a connection. Without thinking, you’ll use words and phrases that just fit together and give deeper meaning to the topic.
The thing is, GoogleBot isn’t human. It doesn’t understand the nuances of language – although it is getting more advanced these days.
SEO copywriters, people who write web content for a living, know that GoogleBot needs triggers and focus points to know what a webpage, article or blog post is actually about.
Many SEO copywriters can often fall firmly into camp two – writing web content exclusively for GoogleBot. That leaves their writing flat and sometimes so hard to read, real people simply don’t bother. We’ve all seen examples of keyword stuffed web copy and I have ranted more than once about it too!
Writing web content is a balancing act.
You are writing for two masters
- Your readers
Your readers are always the priority.
GoogleBot isn’t going to pick up the phone and book an appointment. It won’t pop into your shop and it certainly doesn’t have a wallet. GoogleBot won’t share your content or recommend you to its friends.
I can see SEO copywriters sobbing into their keyboard or yelling, “You’re wrong!” at the screen. Sorry guys, GoogleBot is firmly at number two!
That’s not to say you should ignore GoogleBot. You do need to be found online and your web copy can help with that. It’s known as on-page optimisation, which also includes keywords and phrases used behind the scenes of the page you actually see and read online.
Tips for writing web content
Each page, blog post or article should have one main focus keyword. Write your article/post then edit to include your focus keyword or phrase where it feels right and reads naturally.
When you write about something you know, you will use language associated with the topic without thinking too deeply about it. Writing your first draft naturally, without counting keywords or phrases helps to stop your content feeling flat and makes it more reader friendly.
GoogleBot takes into account the related words and phrases you use too. A tip if you are writing about a topic you are not completely familiar with is make a list of related words and phrases to include in your copy.
Include your focus keyword/phrase
- in the title
- in the page/post URL
- naturally throughout the article – at least once close to the beginning, preferably the first sentence or in the first paragraph.
Don’t force it and don’t go crazy with it. There is no optimum number of times to include a word or phrase. Read what you have written, if it sounds stilted you’ve gone too far!
Other indicators to let GoogleBot know what you are writing about are:
- using the keyword as the image alt text
- using the keyword in bold or italics
- using the keyword in your headings and sub-headings (h1, h2, h3 etc.)
Writing web content needn’t be so technical. In my next post, I’ll share some tools that make remembering these guidelines much easier.
Out of interest, when you are publishing content on the Internet, who is your master?
Balancing act image Copyright (c) 123RF Stock PhotosWriting Web Content Tips – Who Is Your Master Online? by Jan Kearney