I’ve seen this mistake quite often. People get so focused on SEO, ranking high on search engines or the amount of visitors they get regardless of who they are or what the bounce rate is going to be that they forget their purpose.
Write for your audience not for the search engines you’re ranking for
People tend to forget what the purpose of content is. You don’t write your content around the keywords you’re wanting to rank for. The second you let your keywords dictate what you’re writing is the second you stop writing for your audience and start writing for search engines. And from there on it’s just a matter of time before you’re going to lose that initial spark that brought you into writing and you’ll find creating content to be a tedious job that seems to never end. And from there on, as search technologies progress, and you’ll be still using those SEO techniques you’ve learned years back you’ll start noticing your viewers base declining, you’ll lose any bit of determination for writing and give up.
Why is that? It’s because the audience you were writing for was all coming from the search engine and it had a high bounce rate. It’s not that hard to rank high, to get to the top, to grab traffic. It’s hard to maintain that position and to make your audience come back. And you won’t succeed at that by writing gibberish with a few keywords in there so it looks good on Google. You do that by writing quality, original content that appeals to your visitor base.
The 2 edged sword
There are 2 ways of writing whilst having your audience in mind. There’s the easy way and the hard way. Easy being sensationalist empty content that screams ” Look at me! Look at me!” and hard being quality, engaging and compelling articles that make your audience crave for more. Life ain’t black and white and that applies to everything except the colors themselves. So you can mix up abit of sensationalistic content with abit of engaging content and get a pretty good article. Gizmodo to name one in the pool of hundreds is doing this for quite a long time and they’ve been having a steady growth over the years.
Keep to your principles
Remember what got you started, what was your initial spark that pushed you over the edge, falling with your fingers first on that keyboard filled with coffee stench from sitting too close to your cup of black magic each and every morning.
It’s never about the quantity. Don’t write 20 articles in one week just so there are 20 articles on your blog each week. If you’re that compelled into putting your thoughts on digital paper put half of them in a word document.
Wake up with new leads from the content you publish.
If you’re writing too much your audience will feel suffocated by the amount of content you’re posting, regardless of the quality of it. If you’re writing too little your audience will feel abandoned and uncared for. You need to find the right balance.
And if you still have the energy and need to write after you’ve reached your quota why not write a book? All great writers start small. Why not become famous?
How to keep being friends with Google
You’re asking yourself how your articles will get noticed by new visitors if you’re not ranking that high on search engines. Well it’s not as hard as you think. I didn’t say you should throw keywords out the window, burn your SEO books and fire your SEO assistant. There’s more than one way to use your knowledge and your tools to work for you. Take this very article you’re reading right now as an example. Is it optimized? What keyword am i ranking for? How am i tapping into the hundred of millions of people searching Google every day? Well I AM using Squirrly after all aren’t I? And you’re most likely also using Squirrly. And if you’re not we forgive you and very nicely direct you to our homepage where you can find everything you need to know about what Squirrly stands for.
To answer the questions above, “Yes, yes it is optimzied” and “no, it’s not Squirrly” (SEO 101: Never use the domain name as a keyword. Penguins don’t like it when you do that). It’s actually something less obvious. It is relevant to the discussion but it’s not getting in the way. And that’s how your articles should be( if they aren’t already) thought. Keywords should still be present but not in such a way that they pop out from the rest of the article. They should be going with the flow of the content and keep the audience immersed in your story.
So next time you write an article, think about who you’re writing for. What is the purpose of that article and who you want to attract with it. Google spiders or people like you and me?
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