Why You Should Write Content For Users First, And Google Second

writing content for users

We are a strong believer that content is key for SEO; we have seen first-hand the positive impact on rankings and user experience quality content can have. The thing is, webmasters seem to be ignoring the user experience and quality content part of content creation.

‘Make pages primarily for users, not for search engines’ – Google Webmaster Guidelines

One of the strongest search ranking signals is user experience and how actual humans interact with your webpages; if your pages are of low value then they serve no value and may actually hinder your performance in the search rankings rather than help.

As more small to medium businesses than ever are investing in SEO, it’s no surprise everyone is running around like headless chickens rushing to make their websites perfect for SEO. Be cautious of everything you read online as techniques that worked 5 years ago may not work as effectively now, or they may actually be damaging to your SEO.

Why You Should Write Content For Users, Not Search Engines

Remember that everything on your website should be there for a potential customer, so it should be useful and provide the user with the answer to their question. If a user can easily identify that your page is visually appealing as well as providing them with all the information they are looking for, your webpages serve a purpose rather than writing a vague text heavy page that will ‘please’ Google.

10 years ago it was a two-step process to gain more traffic

  1. Rank well
  2. Gain more traffic

This is no longer the case. The process is much more user focused:

  1. Write pages that are valuable for users
  2. Increased rankings
  3. Improve your pages for users Google have sent
  4. Further increased rankings
  5. More traffic
  6. And so on…

website visitors

If your website is ranking well but the users that come through Google to your site are leaving disappointed, Google will deem your pages poor quality and in turn show your site less and less, resulting in less traffic.

Despite algorithmic changes having become increasingly less frequent over the years; webmasters are still fixated on the process that Google uses to define rankings and website quality. Google make changes behind the scenes all the time – the way they rank websites today is different than how they did 5 years ago and how they will next year. Your optimisation should not be dependent on one method people think Google use; the entire purpose of the search results is for Google to show the user the most valuable quality content for their search query.

Look at the websites that rank above you and ask yourself these questions:

  • Is their content better than mine?
    • If yes:
      • Why?
      • How can I change my content to compete?
    • If no:
      • What does their page have (other than content) that mine doesn’t?
      • Is their website design more user friendly than mine?

content checklist

There are many elements you can change in a few hours than will make the world of a difference to how users and search engines see your website, including:

  1. Amend your existing content to be more concise
  2. Update your blog with timely and evergreen content
  3. Restructure your page (this doesn’t necessarily have to be a web development task, adding headings and imagery to make the page more appealing can make a big difference)
  4. Increase your page speed – users won’t wait longer than 3 seconds, make sure your website loads a lot faster than this to prevent losing potential customers

SEO gets a bad reputation because people work against Google’s webmaster guidelines instead of with them. Get in touch with the In Front Digital team now to discuss how we can work with you to improve your website for users and search engines. We work to Google’s best practices and will provide you with a 100% transparent SEO strategy for ongoing or one off projects, prices starting at £300 per month.

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