Write compelling content for humans, and search engines will love you too

7 months ago

The real deal is that search engine algorithms are finely tuned to respond to the human element!

This may be difficult to focus on with the emergence of AI technologies such as Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE) and AI’s integration of Artificial Intelligence Optimization (AIO). Despite this, search engines will continue to reward content that can both foresee and answer questions posed by real people. So – write stuff that helps people out, and you’ll stay on track.

There are so many tools and automations available to marketers and writers that it’s critical to keep faith in your innate intuition and abilities to communicate on a personal level, even though you’re doing it virtually. Tools are helpful, but not a reason for you to throw in the towel on your spontaneity or originality.  

The desire to rank on the search engine results page (SERP) can lead to stilted content

With many overworked marketers relying on AI to create content, what will actually stand out are original thinkers – even if it’s through teaching AI their unique voice and mannerisms. In addition, SEO guidelines (and every other resource) change constantly, and marketers often feel pressure to follow them to the letter to achieve success. 

When crafting blogs and other long-form content, it’s easy to get caught up in keyword stuffing, industry jargon, AI output, and acronyms researched before forming a single original sentence. This is especially true if you are promoting software as a service (SaaS) or other complicated technologies. Your developers may understand industry terminology, but some of your prospects may lack knowledge of this back-end language.

The top of the SERP 

The best practice is to simply remember that when users are searching on Google or any other search engine, they’re just people looking for a succinct answer to a question. 

The SERP is a marketer’s Mount Everest. You can improve your chances of ranking by writing high-quality, organic content that helps users find what they want. Climbing to the top position or first page requires consideration of your buyers’ personas, motivations, challenges, and interests. This will also guide you in choosing the topics important to your target audience.

Featured snippets

Even better than showing up on the first page of the SERP is landing in the “0” position, above sponsored content. You have a stronger chance of earning a featured snippet by creating content with the following attributes in these formats:

    • Providing answers in the form of paragraphs – write copy that directly answers specific questions you have identified as important to your audience;
    • Scannable sections – include lists or tables that easily summarize your answers for “who, what, why, where, when, and how” queries; 
    • Organized headings and subheads – When writing for websites, use the H1 header to ask a question, and immediately answer it in the H2 subhead;
    • Visual aids – Use images or videos that illustrate your answer.

To tech or not to tech?

Some of us are more comfortable with technology than others. There are many choices of tools that help with analytics – measuring content engagement, how long people are spending on a page, whether or not they’re visiting multiple pages, and how far people are scrolling down your site.

There are also products designed for actually writing content, such as content writing SEO tools that help produce correct and concise content. In addition, the amount of content-generating AI tools is expanding by leaps and bounds.

Many marketers and writers still prefer a more traditional approach with less software assistance. Yet, free-flow writing can feel challenging when you are trying to keep all these variables in mind and stay current with developing technologies. 

Blending basics

I like starting with my own brain cells to write rough drafts – even before utilizing tools and research data. I can then see how close I came with my original content to the suggestions offered by tools – and whether they appeal to the human qualities of my particular audience. I can further this experiment by using my main thoughts as AI prompts.

This approach reflects a thoughtful integration of human creativity with the assistance provided by AI and other tools – allowing you to express your unique perspective, voice, and creativity. It’s a way to establish a foundation that is distinctly yours.

At the end of the day, it’s the human touch that will help you resonate with your people. Go forth and emote!