Just like buying links and guest blogging, heavily over-optimised content is (thankfully) a thing of the past.
As Google gets cleverer (a little concerning from a company with access to militarised robots), writers need to get smarter; producing readable, user-friendly copy which adds value to its page, and which isn’t designed solely for SEO purposes.
There’s a difference between writing SEO-friendly content and SEO-heavy content, and at Creare we prefer to keep things friendly rather than heavy. Ahem… Over the past few months we’ve moved towards producing increasingly “natural” copy; content which readers engage with and which aids conversion. Word counts might have decreased, but we believe that the quality of the content we produce has only improved thanks to this switch to more natural text.
Whereas two years ago you’d have found at least 250 words of copy and keywords-aplenty on an optimised page, now you’ll find nothing that screams SEO. When I’m writing a page of content, I try to write as if the SEO is non-existent. Any copy that is added to a website should serve a purpose, and should enhance the user-experience that the site provides. By writing as though Google doesn’t matter, and creating content which humans want to read, we can help to ensure that our websites are never spammy, and always perform as well as they can.
After all, sitting pretty at the top of the SERPs only works if you’re getting a good return on investment from your online marketing campaign. Well-written, relevant content can help to keep bounce rates down by providing visitors with exactly what their search query was after. In turn, this will help with keeping users on site and encouraging them to convert – whether that’s with a click through to your contact form, or a completed checkout.
As a content writer who’s been working in SEO for a while now, I’ve experienced both sides of the content coin – heavy optimisation and barely-there-optimisation – and it’s much more fun to write the subtle stuff. Writing content is also much easier now we’re not so worried about keyword density and word counts, plus our design team are chuffed that their websites no longer have to stretch to hold more text than they can handle.
If you’re writing content for your website and you want it to add value to your online marketing campaign, remember to keep it simple, stupid.