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Writing for Search vs. Writing for People: Are You Doing It Right?

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Everyone likes a quick answer, so here goes: If you’re prioritizing SEO over people, you’re doing it wrong.

We know that’s a bold statement, but it’s the truth (cross our hearts). And in today’s crazy world of marketing gobbledygook, it deserves to be said again.

If you’re prioritizing SEO over people, you’re doing it wrong. Click To Tweet

There’s no amount of keywords or fancy SEO tricks that can save copy that simply doesn’t connect and deliver value to your audience. You must write for your people first and optimize for search second.

Good Web Copy Solves a Problem for Your People

You don’t have to take our word for it. Google, leader in the search realm, understands the need for value-driven copy to satisfy the billions of search queries he receives every day. According to Google, “Algorithms analyze the content of webpages to assess whether the page contains information that might be relevant to what you are looking for.”

You see, good copy solves a problem for your people. For example, you may have clicked this blog post wondering if you’re balancing SEO and writing for your audience the right way. Our job is to ensure we deliver an answer. If we do, we’ll have a better chance of improving our rank in search simply because we delivered on our promise.

For example, you don’t search for, “how to get a clock out of a crocodile” wanting to read a web page covered in the keyword phrase, “how to get a clock out of a crocodile.” Instead, you want the content you find to tell you, step-by-step, how to actually get that clock out. (If you find out, we know someone who would definitely appreciate you sharing…)

Your audience wants the same from you.

Quality Makes All the Difference

Beyond relevance, search engines also look at the quality of the content you’re producing. Google says this,

Search algorithms also aim to prioritize the most reliable sources available. To do this, our systems are designed to identify signals that can help determine which pages demonstrate expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness on a given topic.

In short, share what you know and do so freely. Although you may feel as if you’re opening your entire chamber of secrets to the world, you’re not. Instead, you’re showing search and your audience that you’re dedicated to delivering quality content and that you know your stuff.

Plus, if people find value in your copy, they’re more likely to link to it in their own content. Google takes this as a sign of trust, which improves your rank. Quality and rank? That’s a win-win.

SEO Does Have an Important Place in Web Content Creation

…But it doesn’t stand alone. SEO works alongside your relevant, high-quality content to ensure your audience receives the best solution to their problem: you. As you write content for your website or blog, keep your audience top of mind.

For example, use what you know about your business to inspire your keyword research instead of the opposite. What problems can you solve that link back to your business? What burning questions can you answer? What’s your audience looking for?

Next, write naturally. Don’t worry about placing keywords in just yet. Simply write as if you were speaking to your audience in person. If your content is focused on the topic at hand, keywords will naturally appear.

Start Writing for People, Not Just for Search

Listen, we know it’s easy to fall into the SEO trap of producing content just to increase your rank. But, by doing right by your audience first and focusing on SEO second, rank will come.

Still have your doubts? Let’s talk through it. Send us a message.

Erin Larson