Prioritizing humans in your SEO strategy seems simple enough, considering everything in your business is wrapped around creating lasting connections with humans. But with SEO, it’s just as crucial to prioritize the relationship you’re starting with a machine or search engine.
Humanizing your SEO strategy means tailoring your content to appeal to your target audience and structuring it to make search engine platforms happy. How can you get your content to rank on search engines but still resonate with a human being?
Here are seven tips on how to write for search engines and humans as you develop your SEO strategy.
Seven Ways to Prioritize Humans in Your SEO Strategy
As people become more tech-savvy and sophisticated in their approach to using the internet, you must prioritize the human experience when solidifying your online presence. You’ll first want to ensure your choosing the right SEO strategy based on your business model.
For example, what it takes to launch, scale, and optimize a subscription commerce SEO strategy will be different from a financial analyst offering one service to his clients. SEO for both business types will require different keywords, content, user experience standards, and external link-building efforts.
Let’s explore how to prioritize writing for humans in your SEO strategy and seamlessly implement any necessary changes to your approach.
Understand Exactly what SEO is and how it Relates to Humans
To take full advantage of SEO’s power, you first need to understand precisely what it is and how leveraging the human experience in your content production can make it better.
According to Search Engine Land, “SEO is the process of improving your site to increase its visibility for relevant searches. The better visibility your pages have in search results, the more likely you are to garner attention and attract prospective and existing customers to your business.”
You’re ranked on search engines based on the quality of your site. The quality of your site is decided by the people who visit it. How often they come back, how much they engage, and what they do on your site all influence your SEO ranking. If you prioritize human behavior, you’re on track to creating an SEO-friendly site.
Thoroughly Research your Target Audience
With any SEO strategy, you need to know who you’re talking to to appeal to their emotions and invoke the desired response or decision; this involves humanizing analytics and data. Emotions influence what your customers buy, so it’s imperative to know your target audience’s ins and outs to ensure your speaking directly to their pain points and how you can solve them.
Thorough research on your target audience means figuring out how they conduct themselves online, their current needs, and what they value.
Prioritizing the human stories behind the customer data you collect ensures you’re keeping your audience as your number one priority. Exceed visitor expectations when it comes to your website’s design and what’s on it. Focus your content on your human audience. This will, in turn, get search engines to recognize your site quality and drive more traffic to it.
Create Authentic, Engaging Written Content
Ninety-four percent of B2B buyer journeys start with an online search. Whether customers are typing in your business name, social media handle, or just a general query related to your products or services, ensure any link of yours leads to authentic, engaging written content.
We’ll talk about complimenting your written content with quality visuals in the next section, but what you write needs to be genuine, reader-friendly, and actionable. The content also needs to be what your readers and visitors want. Don’t be afraid to conduct a poll or Q&A with your customers to find out exactly what they want to read and learn more about.
Besides sharing industry knowledge, trends, and information about your product/services, you should also create a story around your brand and consistently share it. Give your visitors multiple pieces of content to engage with. Different kinds of written content on various subjects also allow you to use your SEO strategy generously across your site.
Compliment your Written Content with Quality Images, Videos, Graphics, and Other Visuals
Once your written content is polished and ready for publication, you’ll want to enhance it with quality images, videos, graphics, visuals, and other media. Search engines crawl through everything on your site to give it an accurate ranking.
Use images from reputable sites and give them the appropriate credit. Linking to quality infographics, embedding high-ranking videos, and utilizing interactive graphics on your webpages are just a few ways to compliment your written content and, at the same time, humanize your SEO strategy.
Even podcasts are showing in Google search results as of August 2019. So, don’t be afraid to look beyond traditional media and include other visuals or audio that resonate with people and make search engines take a second look at your site in a good way.
Don’t Stuff your Content with Keywords
As tempting as it may be, do not stuff your content with keywords. There are way too many blog posts, articles, and web pages out there that make you cringe when you read them because they’re all keywords and no actual content. They are not written for the humans who are meant to be reading them.
Fortunately, Google and other search engines have picked up on people’s attempts to manufacture a high ranking through keyword stuffing. They’re penalizing any site that is flagged for this irresponsible use of keywords.
You should be doing keyword research to determine which keywords are best for your SEO goals. You’ll also want to make sure you’re using these keywords in the most beneficial places like the title, heading, subheadings, body, and conclusion. Wherever these keywords are inserted, ensure they don’t take away the natural flow of the post.
Link to Other Relevant Sites
A considerable part of your SEO strategy is linking to other relevant sites. You should be creating content other high-authority sites want to link to and linking to content on those same sites. Quality content should lead its readers to other pieces of quality content.
Linkable assets include infographics, original research, free tools, and downloadables.
To get the best result from link-building, look to establish a relationship with the site owner first. Interact with them on social media, sign up for their email list, and contact them via their preferred method to begin a business-related conversation.
Create a Solid User Experience on your Website
If a user can’t seamlessly navigate your site, search engines won’t be able to either. When sites structure their navigation in ways that are inaccessible to search engines, it hinders their ability to get listed in search results.
Ensure that your site offers a solid user experience. Every link should work, payment processes should be seamless, and any written content should be optimized for humans as well as search engines.
A solid user experience allows search engines to find high-priority web pages on your site and rank them accurately. It also makes sure the people visiting your site have a pleasurable, informative, positive experience with your brand.
Prioritizing humans in your SEO strategy starts with understanding SEO and its connection to the human experience. You’ll also want to ensure you know exactly who your target audience is before deploying any SEO strategy.
Create compelling content, complement that content with solid visuals, avoid keyword stuffing, embrace link-building, and craft a clean user experience, to be well on your way to a humanized SEO strategy.
The original version of this article was first published on V3Broadsuite.