Reader Friendly Content Grows Buyer Trust and Improves Google Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Each of this week’s articles support that theme differently. These experts’ insights show how reader friendly content builds trust and enhances SEO:
- Writing naturally benefits the reader and sends a positive signal to Google (versus forcing keywords into our copy).
- Gaining a buyer’s trust begins with trusting our instincts. Being ourselves is attainable and healthy. “Being remarkable” can be misleading because it’s a relative standard.
- Earning trust in a machine learning age (aka Google’s RankBrain) will continuously redefine what’s “reader friendly content.” Artificial intelligence search applications will line up content marketing and SEO even more closely with personal branding and thought leadership authority.
Trustworthiness and its link to helpfulness is a major signal in Google’s secret sauce.
How the company chooses to measure trust in its search algorithm continues evolving. We better pay close attention because Google wields the monopolistic power to either reward or punish our content.
That’s why I think WHAT we write and HOW we write is a vital SEO tactic. Here’s my take on why reader friendly content is great SEO now (and in the future).
1. Reader Friendly Content Equals A Great Reader Experience
Write Naturally. How we write is a key point Lindsay makes throughout her killer blog SEO article. Selection and placement of our focus keywords is an important SEO best practice.
But, don’t obsess over it. Absorb her wisdom from these direct quotes:
“Instead, you should use keywords in your content in a way that doesn’t feel unnatural or forced.”
“Mention your keyword at a normal cadence throughout the body of your post and in the headers. That means including your keywords in your copy, but only in a natural, reader-friendly way. Don’t go overboard at the risk of being penalized for keyword stuffing. Before you start writing a new blog post, you’ll probably think about how to incorporate your keywords into your post. That’s a smart idea, but it shouldn’t be your only focus, nor even your primary focus.“
Note: I added the formatting in Lindsay’s quotes for emphasis.
Give The Reader A Great Experience. It matters. A blog post overstuffed with focus keywords will be awkward and unhelpful. Plus, Google hates it too.
Act Naturally. In first time meetings and real-life conversation, it’s important to be ourselves. The same rule applies in our writing when a fellow human arrives at our online doorstep. If we write the way we talk, a searcher / a buyer is more likely to trust us (and our content).
And, if our content helps the reader grow her/his business, that also benefits our reputation and our search rankings.
2. You Have To Write To Earn Trust
That Article’s Title Had Me At “Stop Overthinking.” I’m the King Of Overthinking. Ask my sister. She’s the only one who reads my posts anyway. Forgive me how parts of this section are “me-centered.”
Here are Sujan’s article pearls I’m going to practice so “I get out of my own way.” It’s time to purge these behaviors.
Comparing Myself To My Marketing Heroes Is Counterproductive. It’s important how the marketing and writing brilliance of Seth Godin, Mitch Joel, David Meerman Scott, and Ann Handley inspire me. But, constantly questioning “why can’t I write like that” and longing for their stratospheric audiences is unhealthy.
Success is relative.
Striving For Perfection Is Self-Defeating. The inner voice constantly whispering my content must be “remarkable,” “epic,” AND “viral” is a sucker bet to nowhere. Unrealistic standards prevent the best work inside us from coming out.
If our content helps one person make a better decision, THAT IS GOOD ENOUGH.
Sabotaging My Instincts (Or Not Trusting Them) Helps No One. I love how Sujan’s quotes link up HOW we write with WHAT the buyer / reader seeks: A Reason To Trust Us.
That brings me to my final point. Something I can tell you that most customers, in all industries, do love. They love brands they can trust, that have a personality, and with which they can have a relationship. That’s why young, innovative companies are flourishing.
That’s because people don’t want to deal with faceless corporations anymore. They want to deal with real people they can relate to.
That’s the key lesson here. Stop stressing about creating that ideal piece of content and just be yourself. Write what your instincts tell you to write and what’s in your heart, not what the C-suite thinks fits your “brand image” and objectives or what’s “trending.”
Note: I added the formatting in Sujan’s quotes for emphasis.
Do not allow the demons running wild in our heads to derail our content creativity and production.
Create. Write. Publish. Earn (Trust). It’s simple. Don’t make it more complex.
3. Machines (aka RankBrain) Are Defining What’s Trustworthy and Reader Friendly
I read a lot about machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI). These phenomenon carry huge societal, political, and economic implications.
Machine Learning and AI Will Impact Content Marketing and SEO. Eric’s comprehensive piece details the history of machine learning. Skip ahead to these sections for the content marketing and SEO applications:
- How Does RankBrain Apply Machine Learning?
- What Will Google Machine Learning Algorithms Look For?
- Where Is Google With Machine Learning Today?
- How Should We Prepare for Machine Learning in Search?
These Quotes Speak Volumes About How Machine Learning, Content Marketing, SEO, Personal Branding, and Thought Leadership Tie Together. They refute everything the cynics say about blogging is dead, writing is dead, and SEO is dead. Eric Enge’s insights re-frame the value of self-publishing, guest blogging, and link building as it relates to personal branding and thought leadership.
It’s not going to be the death of SEO (as we know it) – The fundamentals of both on-page SEO and such things as content quality and the earning of good, relevant links, will remain important well into the machine learning age.
Focus on content quality – As the algorithms get more intelligent they will get better at sniffing out lazy or inadequate content.
Work on your authority – Do everything you can to become established as a leading expert or trusted resource in your space.
Create content with recognizable experts – Leverage what Mark Traphagen calls “the power of the personal for brands.” People trust real people before they trust an impersonal logo. Use the power of association: when people see content from your brand created by experts they recognize and respect, that reputation becomes associated with your brand.
Note: I added the formatting in Eric’s quotes for emphasis.
RankBrain Is Google’s Machine Learning For Search. Google introduced RankBrain into its core search algorithm two years ago. This project represents Google’s big bet in language analysis. The company assembled a gigantic team of PhD-level linguists (code named Pygmalion) to figure out human language.
What The Hell Does This Have To Do With Reader Friendly Content? Pygmalion Project Linguists use “big data” to quantify what’s “quality content” for Google’s search algorithm. The data they feed and program into RankBrain will define what is “reader friendly.”
Machine learning algorithms will demand not only that our content hits their quality standards but also measurable authority metrics highlighted in Eric Enge’s article. That reinforces from a writing, content marketing, and SEO self-development standpoint to:
- Stay on top of leading trends in our profession through self-study.
- Link out to high reputation sites supporting our point of view.
- Build genuine relationships with leaders in our field to earn guest blogging opportunities on their sites.
Please let me know if you agree or disagree with my thoughts in the comments. I would love to hear from you. I’m here to read, listen, and learn from YOUR PERSPECTIVE. Comments are open. So let’er rip!
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