Creating Content Optimized For Your Readers and Search Engines


Four Tips on Smarter Content Creating and Writing For Your Business

Five years ago creating search optimized content was all the rage—business owners tried to stuff every possible related keyword into their copy in the hope that Google’s robots would bless them with first page search results. Over the last couple of years, though, Google has become smarter and initiated a push towards content built for people, not search engines.

That doesn’t mean that search-optimized content is dead, however. You just have to be smart about how you create content that needs to ultimately do two things: sell your product and rank well in Google search results so that potential customers know you’re there.

Luckily, this is pretty easy to master. And to make it even easier, there are four tips that will make your content more reader- and search-friendly.

4. Do Your Research

No writing should start before some serious keyword research is performed. There are plenty of free tools that will allow you to figure out what people are searching for and to brainstorm content ideas. A perfect place to start is with Google’s free Keyword Tool, where you can throw in keyword topics to find out how many people are searching for them globally (or locally); how high or low the competition for those keywords is (i.e., will they be easy to rank highly for?); and other suggestions for similar and related keywords.

Once you find the ideal keyword or keyword phrase for your content to be built around, you can use a service like UberSuggest to generate topic ideas for blog posts, landing pages, etc.

3. Stop Focusing on Keyword Density

Nothing will ruin your writing faster than focusing on keyword density. More importantly, keyword density isn’t hugely important and focusing on that can actually work against you by making you stuff too many keywords into your content, which can signal spammy content to Google. Keywords should guide your writing, but they shouldn’t be the be-all end-all. Ultimately, you should be writing content for people, not algorithms.

2. Break Up Long Text

No one in the history of the Internet has ever enjoyed reading long blocks of text. Your content should be formatted into smaller chunks of text that are easy to digest. Two good methods are to use lists and bullet points to break larger text down into smaller bits.

Additionally, using sub-headings is important for both audience readability and search visibility, since sub-headings act as a signal to Google search crawlers and let Google know what your content is all about.

1. Have An Opinion and Be Interesting

This may seem like a really obvious tip, but the vast majority of businesses like to play it safe with their writing. That generally consists of creating content that supports other industry opinions and rehashing the same ideas over and over again.

Creating content that’s interesting and unique does a couple of things for your business: it builds your thought leadership; it drastically increases your ability to be seen by a greater audience through social sharing; and it improves your search visibility because having high traffic and inbound links to your content sends the message to Google that you’re a thought leader and people value your opinion on the industry topics that you write about.


Image: iStockphoto

About The Author

Lauren Fairbanks is the CEO of Stunt & Gimmick’s, a creative content marketing firm that ties beautiful prose together with hard data. She previously worked in publishing at AOL, and has been featured in Forbes, Business Insider, and Internet Retailer.