Every day we as humans are consuming more and more digital content. Whether you are watching YouTube on your smartphones or catching up on the latest stories on news websites, we are spending a lot of our time reading, watching, or listening to content. The internet offers more content than one person could ever consume in their lifetime, therefore it is critical that your content is made to a high standard and is targeted if you want to stand out and be noticed.
However, you must also take into consideration that humans are not the only ones you need to bear in mind when creating content. Search engines use clever machines and robots to crawl the internet for content, which is then indexed and ranked according to how well they meet the search engines’ content criteria. A successful content strategy will make sure content caters to both humans and machines.
This blog post will discuss how to write effectively for both target audiences. It will consider the importance of content marketing in your overall digital marketing strategy and how you can create quality content to engage your target audience and raise brand awareness.
A Fresh Challenge
In the past, whether you’re writing a blog for your business, copy for your adverts or a best-selling novel, you could be sure of one fact; that you’re writing content for a human. With this foundation, for hundreds of years, writers have crafted beautiful sentences, paragraphs, and stories designed to appeal to things we all have in common, the things that make us human.
But now, in this digitised, post-paper, search engine optimised world, the rules have changed. With content writers facing an all-new challenge: writing content that captivates not only humans but also machines.
Web Crawlers and the Algorithm
I’m referring of course to the all-powerful Google algorithm, and its army of web crawlers that trawl, traverse and map the web, feeding the algorithm with the data it needs to decide how well your site ranks in the search engine results, affecting how many customers find your site instead of your competitors.
The exact method that Google’s algorithm uses to determine where your website stands in the rankings is a closely guarded secret. However, there are still plenty of things you can do when writing your content to pander to this algorithm. But what are they?
Google has improved and adapted their algorithm to the point where it is now so advanced that some of the techniques for writing good content for humans now applies to it too!
It may sound obvious but for starters, you’ll want to make sure your punctuation, spelling, and grammar are perfect. The easier and more straightforward your content is, the better. This obviously makes life easier for your human audience but equally importantly, through using tools such as the Flesch Reading Score, Google’s algorithm can also tell how difficult content is to read and can penalise you and your ranking if your content is too difficult to get through.
As a rule of thumb, if your content is straightforward enough that a 12-year-old could read it, then you’re on the right track to doing well in Google’s algorithm. But if you’re content is so complicated, you’d literally need a degree to get through it, you might want to think about streamlining and simplifying it!
As you probably know, Google uses keywords to understand what your content is, and then uses that to match your content to the people that are searching for it. You might think then, that by making sure your content is stuffed to the brim with words related to your website, your site ranking would inevitably go up? But unfortunately for you, you’d have to get up much earlier than that to fool Google’s algorithm, which can detect when keywords occur too much, and can even penalise you for it, taking you further down the rankings.
The best way to achieve results then is to simply write normally, mentioning keywords when appropriate, and try to write in as natural a style as you can, although this of course depends a great deal on what sort of human audience you want to target!
Latent Semantic Indexing
Now we’re getting to the complicated stuff, but don’t worry, Latent Semantic Indexing or LSI is actually much simpler than it sounds. It’s basically a complicated formula that Google uses to understand how keywords, which may have multiple meanings, relate to their wider context. It’ll make more sense with an example.
If you search for the word ‘crane’ how does Google know if you’re searching for the equipment that lifts heavy objects, or the feathered animal? But if you were to type in ‘crane operator’ or ‘crane bird’ then google would know to direct you to two completely different places.
So, you can see how you need to give Google’s Algorithm context for its keywords, so it can better understand what it is you are offering and what people searching for your site might be searching for.
It’s important to remember that Google’s objective as a search engine is to provide the right answers to people’s queries, and by including LSI keywords in your content, you are actually helping it. And in return, it’s helping you by ensuring the right audience finds their way to your site. Be kind to the algorithm, and the algorithm will be kind to you!
The challenge of writing for two audiences, one human, the other mathematical, can really not be understated. Whilst this blog post highlights a few tips to keep in mind, it’s also important to remember that content writing is difficult at the best of times. The whole process from creating a novel idea or concept, to fleshing it out on paper, and then finally publishing it can be fraught with difficulty.
It’s also a skill, something that you can develop and hone over time as you and your business grow. But if, as your business grows, you find yourself with less and less time to dedicate to writing, you can always hire a content marketing agency to create content for you. Marketing agencies that offer content marketing services will be able to develop an effective content strategy for your business that includes quality content for social media, blog posts, and landing pages, all of which are optimised to ensure good visibility on search engines.
Content Marketing Services
At Azzurro-Blu good content writing is one of our highest priorities, as we understand that good content marketing is a fundamental cornerstone of any digital marketing and SEO strategy, make sure you get the same level of care with your content writing. If you would like to learn more about our content marketing services then get in touch at 01224 600005. Alternatively, you can send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.