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Creating Content for Humans – Not Just Search Robots

Creating Content for Humans – Not Just Search Robots

Creating Content for Humans – Not Robots

It’s so tempting to get caught up in all of the keyword data available for Search Engine Optimization and build the perfect piece of content for the search engines to digest. Weather it’s a blog post or a core page of content on your site, focusing on keywords and optimization is only half the battle.

Hummingbird & RankBrain

During the past few years there have been 2 main algorithm updates from Google that drives the need to consider how you are writing your content. First, Hummingbird, which was an update that Google made helping them understand full phrases, not just a keyword. This was a preamble to us being able to use voice search and ask questions of Google.   Semantics is important to the Hummingbird update – how you search and the related terms to your topic are closely analyzed.  The second update, RankBrain, was Google’s answer to being able to identify new keywords and search queries that have never been searched before and bring up relevant results.   The big deal with RankBrain is associative keywords. For instance, if you want to target Vancouver Real Estate as a keyword to rank for, RankBrain would probably associate Vancouver Homes, and Vancouver House as associated semantic keywords. And if your content doesn’t use these variation keywords, you’re going to have a harder time ranking in Google.

Focus on Quality of Keywords, not Quantity of Searches

Often looking at a keyword search volume report it’s easy to say, this keyword gets 10x more searches than the other one – so we should target it! But that may drive a lot of traffic, but that’s about it – no leads, no sales, no value.   Transactional keywords are generally the best place to start off in your SEO strategy – they tend to be a little further down the funnel for a decision-making process and they should line up nicely with the features, pricing, etc of your product or service.

Get Specific With Your Content Focus

Did you know that about 60% of search queries in Google have at least 4 words being used? That’s a lot! Thant means people are comfortable searching for very specific things and your content needs to address those very specific things.  Google’s autocomplete function, Related Searches, and People Also Asked results are a great clue into the longer tail search terms that people are using.

Ok, that’s a lot of data to cull through, where do I start with content creation?

Your email box is likely filled with questions from potential customers, clients or employees about different things that your business sells and services they perform. Let’s start there – if someone is asking a question in email, they have likely performed a Google search on that topic.  Do you ever go back and look at customer reviews and take note of the great things that people say about you? Most reviews are hosted on a 3rd party site, let’s bring that content on your own site so that you can get credit for it and potentially rank well in Google for those topics.  Product reviews from customers can easily be integrated into a product listing page.

First decide on your topics, then write content that is valuable to your customers.

Scott Fish

Scott Fish is the CMO at Off Road, responsible for the business development team and managing the marketing delivery and client management team. During the past two decades, he has worked with growing companies around the world in evolving industries such as tourism, franchises, hotels, sports associations and cultural organizations. Scott is a founding board member of SEMpdx, the largest regionally focused digital marketing organization in the US. He creates strategies to drive more business and connect better with their customers.