Keeping content natural

Engaging, fresh, regular and relevant. Familiar buzzwords to those who create content for the web. But how do you stand out from the crowd and how do you get the search engines to love your content?

Authors will write content to engage readers, impart useful knowledge, make someone laugh, perhaps even inspire. Sadly this has not always translated well to digital with content for the web often written with search engines foremost in mind, making it harder for us humans to digest. Filled with repeating keywords or the same information written five different ways, paragraphs are laboured and audiences lose focus and interest quickly.

Search engines, like humans, evolve. They are learning (more and more with the use of artificial intelligence), to spot content repetition, learning how language can be used to present that same information in a number of different ways. While it is true this is sometimes necessary, some concepts are difficult to understand and require more than one explanation, search engines are learning that distinction too.

Probably the most effective way to engage a reader is to be natural in language and structured in delivery. Think of the last good book you read, it keep you engaged because it was structured, it had a beginning a middle and an end, there were pauses and breaks at the right moments. Most importantly it had a strong storyline. The journey the author took you on was well conceived, the details well researched and well presented. You didn’t have to think about how you read the content, you focused on the unfolding storyline.

So what does that mean for those of us who create content for our own websites? The answer is to keep it natural. Focus on your audience, tell your story in a way humans will not only understand but appreciate and even enjoy. Try and make your concepts, your product information, your story, memorable. Present your content in a clear, structured way and the search engines will read it, digest it and index it. Long gone are the days of search engines coming along and reading a few small segments of code, they will read the entire site from top to bottom and increasingly they will understand it. There are many ever changing variables in an SEO strategy, but content is and will continue to be foremost among them.

Our job is to provide content presentation and structure that works beautifully for humans, but also in a way that search engines can easily digest, which is what we do in both design and in code. When writing content it is worth remembering that the ultimate audience is not a search engine, its a human.

If you’d like to discuss your next project, please get in touch.