Quit Writing for Google

advice | copywriting
computer on table with notebook

SEO is important for driving traffic to your website, I get it. As a copywriter, I understand the importance of keywords. I understand creating content that Google will pick up on to get you onto that all-exclusive page one of the search engine. I GET IT. But I’m a writer too (copyWRITER – see?) and so I can’t help but feel a bit disillusioned when I read blog posts that clearly intend to be a ‘Hey Google, crawl this’ exercise. Here’s a bombshell for you… Google is not your client. So quit writing for Google, please. Start writing for your clients.

What do I actually mean by that though?

Whether you’re making your content search engine-worthy or not shouldn’t matter, should it? The more suitable for a search engine your post is, the more it will be seen and read by people anyway, right?

Well, yes, you know what? That is true. I won’t deny that. But, here’s the thing. Once people start accessing your post and, in turn, your website, they WILL start to read. And if your post is thick with keywords and search terms, it’s going to make for some pretty bored readers rather quickly.

People know when they’re being spoken at. They know when they’re being sold to. They know when you’re trying to get your blog post found by search engines for a particular set of search terms. They’re not stupid.

But people are actually interested and ready to learn. That’s why they went in search of that chosen topic in the first place!

computer on table with notebook

It is those people you need to keep in mind when you’re writing your posts. Forget about keywords. Forget about search terms. Forget about Google rankings and what page you’re going to appear on. Instead, try to remember the person behind the screen, reading your words in the hopes of learning something useful. Remember what it felt like when you were searching for similar information months or years before.

Because if you provide genuine, valuable content TO YOUR READERS, something marvellous will happen. Those readers will continue to come back to you, to your website and to your social media. They might follow you, sign up to your newsletter and they may even buy from you. Because they know you’re not just trying to hit them with keywords. You’re writing for them, not for Google. You’re showing your readers you value them. It builds up a level of trust.

I’m not saying you should do away with keywords entirely though!

Of course, using a few choice keywords and search terms RELEVANT to your post is always going to be beneficial when it comes to SEO. And, as a business owner, you should have those in the back of your mind each time you write a blog post.

But, that’s the crux of things – they don’t need to be at the forefront. You don’t need to be inserting them into every sentence, or even every other sentence of your blog post. In fact, aiming for 2-3 mentions for the entire blog post gives a much more natural feel. And packing your post with lots of great information keeps people on your page for longer. Also, be a useful source and refer your readers to other great posts and websites around the internet too (just make sure your links always open in a new tab!).

It’s actually stuff like this that Google also looks at. Did you know that?

notebook and pencil on busy table

They are interested, not only in the words you use to attract readers to your page but HOW LONG you keep them there, where they go to FROM your page and so on. It’s all part of the holistic approach to SEO that Google advocates.

Ultimately, Google wants to know that the content it is sharing on its search engines is useful, genuine content. Content that has been produced by human beings for fellow human beings, not mass-produced robotic content meant to achieve views and page hits.

So please, next time you write a blog post, remember this okay? Write for your reader, not for the algorithm. And quit writing for Google. It’s not much of a reader anyway!