Everybody has been preaching it all along, long before Google caused a furor with its Panda and Penguin updates-Write awesome content. Unfortunately, even the most ardent of quality-content preachers never practiced what they preached, making them one of the numerous websites that were badly hit when the giant Panda came lumbering along.
A lot of Internet marketers say it was bound to happen. Google was going to find more ways to make their search engine become more useful and valuable for the millions of people around the world to use it. While others say the updates came too soon and slapped the rankings off a lot of websites with watery-thin keyword soups for content, it's actually about time.
More than ever, webmasters are realizing that content is and always will be king, no matter what algorithm updates Google will put into place. It's a major plus for users, but has dumped a lot of work on those who want to stay on top of the search pages. It's not an easy job that can be accelerated or automated, but it reaps more rewards than any article-spinner or rewriting software out there.
Writing for people being a largely human activity, there are no hard and fast rules or a step-by-step manual you can follow. The only important thing to always keep in mind is to write for people, not for the search engines. Always write with your readers in mind and think about what good they can get out of reading your article. That said, there are a few helpful hints also worth noting.
Know why you're writing.
The reason for your writing a particular article should be anything but to improve your rankings. The harder you try to write for SEO, the farther success veers away from you. For once, stop thinking about optimizing your website altogether and think about what you really want to say. Do you want to convince your readers that taking a certain course of action is the best thing to do? Do you want to present new ways of solving a problem? Do you want to argue an unpopular cause? Do you want to update them with the latest news? Or do you simply want to entertain them? Ask yourself: why do I want to do this? Think hard about the answer because if the only thing that comes up is for SEO purposes, you might want to rethink it again.
Do your research.
The best content writers do their research, even if they are already very knowledgeable in the areas they write about. Knowing a lot about your industry doesn't mean you know everything about it. Everything changes and there are always updates that you never really knew about until you researched them and that can be used for your article. You don't have to go back to school to stay on top of things. Your competitor's website, for example, is already a great way to start. If your competitor offers great content, chances are you'll find a few interesting articles and could use them for inspiration. Blogs in your niche are also a rich source of ideas. Remember, you're only looking for ideas, not for content that you can rehash and pass off as your own original idea. Google places little value in websites with content that does not offer anything new.
Be useful, relevant and interesting.
This is the crux of it all. Anything that you put up on your website from now on should make your readers think reading your content is worth their time. How many times in the past have you searched for something in Google only to come up with five-page affiliate websites that say the same thing in all their pages? To be fair, there are affiliate websites that provide more value than their lower-end counterparts. The point is you also use the Internet for your personal means. You know how extremely annoying it is to click on websites that don't really offer anything at all. Before you begin writing your articles, put yourself in the shoes of a reader and ask yourself if you will be getting anything worthwhile out of this article. If the answer is yes, proceed. You may write about time-sensitive news updates or evergreen content that people will be coming back to five years from now. It doesn't matter as long as your readers get something of value. It also goes without saying that the more value you provide, whether in the form of information or entertainment, the better. Otherwise, you have to go back to square one and rethink your goals again.
Do not over-optimize.
All right, to be fair, you still have to use keywords in your content. How else will Google know what your website is all about if you don't use them? The problems arise when you focus way too much on optimizing your content that you forget to write good content. What does over-optimizing look like? It is when you incorporate too many keywords in your article that reading it makes it sound awkward. It is when your target keywords make up 100% of all your anchor texts. Stop thinking of keywords for a while and just let the writing flow. If you're writing content that is truly relevant to your website, you will always find a way to insert at least a couple of keywords into the flow. However, there are times when you just have to manually work in a few keywords yourself. To do this, go over your article and look at points you can revise to make the insertion of a keyword sound more natural.