Should You Write Your Blog for the Benefit of Google or the People Reading It?
Business owners who are writing their own blogs for their websites, and who are not experts on search engine optimization (SEO), may be puzzled over exactly how to write their blogs.
The big question is should the blogs be written primarily for Google which is determining page rank, or should the blogs be written for the person reading them without caring about what Google thinks.
Writing for the reader and writing for Google are not mutually exclusive or disjoint sets, as we say in mathematics. These two different ways of writing should be considered as intersecting sets. You need write for both.
We’re going to explain how to do that.
Writing for the Reader
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Content Writing
Content writing for the reader means you need to have some valuable content. Your prose or text should be interesting, original, well-written, and error-free. You have to write in good English. You should sound upbeat.
The content should be intelligent, but don’t use overly long sentences or words that no one has ever heard. Organize the content so it makes sense as the reader goes through it. There should be a bit of an introduction, then the meat in the sandwich, then some kind of conclusion.
Break up the content into easily digestible pieces. Include some transition words that help the reader to move along through the content, words like, “and then” or “next, we…” or “the second thing we found”.
2. Include a photo.
Everyone likes looking at pictures. Add a photo or two. Never steal photos that you found through a Google search. Use original photos or stock photos. Make the photo file size smaller if needed.
Photos should be well under 1 MB. You want your photos to load fast on the page. If the files are too big, the photos will take too long to load, and your reader will go somewhere else.
3. Sound like an authority
You don’t want all your articles to sound like opinion pieces. This means that you should reference or quote others. Two or three high-quality links within the article to someone or a business that is highly respected on your topic is a good move. Don’t be afraid to include some links for further reading.
4. Be consistent
If your business is selling widgets, then write about all things related to widgets. Don’t wake up one morning and write about your mother-in-law visiting.
There are some exceptions to this rule, but it’s a good idea to have a good understanding of all the rules before you start breaking them. People will be coming to your website to learn about your widgets, and that’s what they expect to find.
If your website visitors arrive and find something totally different and unrelated then you risk losing them, and they will click away.
These days it’s very trendy to have a light grey font on a light background. That looks very sleek and snazzy, but those with vision difficulties can’t see the contrast of the type against the background. And those folks will click away faster than you can say “Jiminy Cricket.”
So, give some thought to not just the font, but the whole appearance of your website. You want your website and your blog to be a pleasant place to land. If it’s hard to read, or the font is too small, or there’s too much crap everywhere, especially if that crap is flashing or blinking, forget about it.
Make everything very easy and intuitive to navigate.
6. Ending blurb
If possible, at the end of your blog, include a short paragraph about the business in general and how to contact them. Someone may come to the end of your article and think that you’re exactly what they’re looking for, and the reader may want to contact you right now. So, make it easy for them. Include a phone number or email address.
Writing for Google
You may be surprised to note that everything I’ve listed above is also good for Google. Google wants you to have good, solid, original content, have it written in a digestible fashion, link to others for added credibility, and consistency in your posts.
And accessibility is a big deal, too. To Google. Not just to me. So, you see, you should start with these basic ideas, and then, you can do a few little things that are just for Google.
1. Meta Tags
Make sure you use Title Tags and Description Tags and you know how to do them correctly. We have a blog article about that (The Importance of Good Meta Tags on a Website), and here’s another one by Moz.
After the article is written, especially if you’re new to this, go back and format the article so there are lots of breaks, and lists where possible. These make the articles easier to read and easier for Google to understand. Use Heading tags in descending order.
Make your blog posts at least 250 words, but more is better. And more frequent posts are better than less frequent posts. When the blog is published, share the article across any and all of your social media accounts. Ask your friends to share it, too.
We talked about a handful of external links, but internal links are good, too. If you’ve written before in your blog about a related subject, include an internal link or two in your article. Those are good, too.
Google also likes photos. Google prefers original photos over stock photos, but do the best you can.
Now you can see that writing for readers and writing for Google are not that different. There are a few little things that Google needs for best results, but most of what you do for the benefit of the reader also benefits Google rankings. It’s easy enough to create a checklist for every blog you publish. A checklist for the reader, and a checklist for the search engines. If you do this every time you publish a blog article you will be far ahead of 90 percent of the people competing with you.
Cityline Websites, in business since 2002, not only builds websites and offers hosting and SEO services, but has a team of talented individuals who can work on your design and branding. Our motto is "We don't just build websites. We build businesses."
If you have any questions about this article, or need some help with your website strategy or SEO, give us a call at (604) 377-0110. We are based in Surrey, BC, Canada.