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If you have a website, you understand the importance of SEO (Search Engine Optimization), but do you know about the People-First Content Approach? If not, this is the time to learn.
Google has recently rolled out a new update to their algorithm and websites without a people-first approach to their content will be negatively affected. In this article, I will cover what it means to produce people-first content and how to ensure your content not only meets the needs of the reader but is also optimized for searches like Google, Bing, and DuckDuckGo.
What Does People First Content Mean?
Simply put, people first content is created with the reader in mind first and SEO and sales last. The reader’s intent drives the information provided instead of simply going after easy-to-rank keywords. For example, you could write an article promising the reader information on how to pickle their own vegetables at home, but instead, your page is full of plugs for affiliate products and keywords with very little instruction on actually pickling the cucumbers from the garden.
How Do You Know If Your Website Has People-First Content?
Writing people first content comes naturally to most writers, but sometimes not for business owners. We can get so focused on SEO and sales when writing for our business that we forget who we are actually writing for. So, how do you fix this? Below are a few tips for writing people-first content that the new Google update should approve of.
Write for your ideal customer (aka target market)
This might sound obvious, but this is the best advice I can give you to write people-first content. When you set down to write an article or page content, first think about your target market. Here are a few questions to answer.
- What is the intent of the reader or why does the reader need this information?
- How does this content help my target market?
- How can I provide this information in a way my reader will understand and enjoy? (In other words, don’t use a bunch of technical jargon if your reader will need to Google it to find out what you’re saying.)
Demonstrate why your reader can trust you
Trust is earned and the best way to earn your reader’s trust is by showing them you know what you’re writing about. Demonstrate expertise in the area and you will have more credibility with the reader and Google.
How do you demonstrate expertise?
- Provide well-researched information that goes well beyond the surface.
- When possible, show how you have personally learned this information (i.e. how you tested a product for a review, how you studied a topic to teach on it, how you developed a process to provide it to customers, etc).
- Be authoritative, but without being too stuffy. Let’s be honest, most people want to read something entertaining, even when it is professional and educational.
- Always talk to your audience, not at them, and certainly not down to them. This can be tricky, but an easy way to check your writing is to ask yourself this simple question. Does this sound like I’m writing to a friend or co-worker, or does it sound like I’m writing to a child or subordinate? If it sounds like the latter, rewrite it.
Keep to your niche
This can seem tricky with some websites, like lifestyle blogs or online publications, but staying with your primary focus is very important for your reader and Google. If you help families book amazing vacations on a budget, don’t write an article about the top 50 most expensive places to visit. Being targeted in your content will not only be useful to your target market and will help your authority score with Google.
Write enough to teach, but not to bore
I always get annoyed when I Google something I want to learn about and the page I land on gives me the same information I already knew. However, almost as equally as annoying are the pages where what I want to know is buried deep in a long-winded graduate-level thesis and I get bored before I ever get to the information.
When writing your content, keep it in the sweet spot – usually between 1500 and 3000 words depending on what you’re writing about. Some topics are fine with a short 600-word article (like a sports news article for example) while some may require more than 3000 words (like a guide to developing your own WordPress template).
The important thing is to write in a way that educates your audience without making the fall asleep. If you do that, you should be fine.
How to Write People First Content (and Improve Your SEO)
Google will always adjust and tweak its algorithm, but if you write for your audience and focus on producing quality content, you can improve your SEO and keep your website ranking in Google regardless. Remember these tips for writing people-first content for your next blog post:
- Write with your ideal customer in mind.
- Keep an eye on user intent when writing content.
- Focus on helping your customer first, ranking in Google second.
- Build trust by demonstrating your authority, not just stating you have it.
- Keep in your niche by targeting your ideal client in every piece of content.
- Provide information in an enjoyable way (don’t bore your reader to sleep).