By Christopher Acheson
When you research search engine optimisation (SEO), the term “people-first content” keeps coming up. Google’s guidelines explain that their algorithms favour content that is designed to provide helpful information that benefits others rather than “search engine-first content” which has no point beyond ranking highly on the algorithm. So, what can you do to ensure your content is people-first and therefore help your website’s visibility?
Sogi, our SEO copywriter, recently shared her top 5 tips for writing SEO content. In this blog, she shared insights on how to research and use keywords effectively, as well as formatting and using metadata to your benefit. Recently, I carried out a comparative study on the quality of human-written versus AI-generated content. While doing the research for this paper, I discovered three ways you can ensure that your content itself is as helpful and informative as possible for your readers:
- Giving a clear “so what?” to your readers
- Providing specific answers to their questions
- Offering an actionable solution to their problems.
Combined with a clear content strategy and understanding of your target reader, any high-quality content that covers these three points is guaranteed to be people-first.
Clarify your target reader and content plan
Particularly if you are writing a business or thought leadership blog, identifying your target reader is straightforward. They are going to be the same people who will want to work with you – with all the same interests and problems.
Your blog’s topic and keywords should be chosen and targeted to address the needs of your target readers and their search intent. For example, if your primary keyword is “best dictation software”, a reader is probably going to expect a review and round-up of several types of software intended to help them choose the one that meets their needs best. A surface-level analysis of what dictation software is won’t be helpful to them.
Remember, the more specific your content, the better! Content which is too general or vague is not helpful to your readers and will give them no reason to follow your content.
Tip 1: Give a clear “so what?”
Your readers value their time and attention. This makes the first paragraphs of a blog essential. If they can’t understand why your content is relevant to them from the very start, they don’t have a reason to engage with your content at all.
The way you do this is by providing your readers with a “so what?” from the start. This means that the reader gets the information they need to decide whether the blog is helpful within the first few seconds of reading.
For example, this blog makes it clear that this is for readers who want to learn how to increase the visibility of their website or content by making it more people-first. As a result, the reader knows what problem we are helping to solve (getting more visibility through SEO) and how (writing content which helps the reader).
Tip 2: Answer a reader’s questions
Why do you read blogs? Is it just to learn something new out of interest or is it to find an answer to a question? Most often, someone reading a blog is going to want an answer to a question. If you are able to give them a specific answer in a form that they can quickly apply and use, it makes the blog more helpful.
In practice, this is similar to the concept of providing the “so what?” in general. Rather than presenting facts, include an example or explanation of how the reader could apply the information.
There are two benefits to this. The first is that the reader gets the help they need quickly and painlessly. The second is that providing this answer establishes your credibility. This builds trust in your expertise and ability to help the reader with their problems. As a result, they might share your content with others (organically spreading your reach) and even become interested in becoming a client.
Tip 3: Offer a solution
In some cases, answering your reader’s questions might not be enough to solve their problems. In this case, what they will want is guidance that lets them solve their problems – or a way to get in touch with someone who can help them.
In his blog on Understanding Your Reader’s Awareness, Ivan, our Content Developer, explains that your reader has five levels of awareness when it comes to their buying habits. The fifth and highest level, which is the one you want to bring your prospective clients to, is being fully aware of who you are and how you can help them.
A fully aware reader understands who you are and what your brand is about. They also know what services and support you offer and how to contact you. There are many ways you can offer a solution in your content. Two simple methods are backlinking and a clear call to action (CTA).
Good internal linking is not only good for SEO – links help search engines to discover and index your website – but it also helps readers explore your website and other relevant content. As they do this, they learn more about who you are and what you offer. If the first piece of content does not completely answer their questions, the other linked pages might.
A clear call to action will be found at the end of each blog and achieves three things:
- It summarises what the reader has learnt or discovered.
- It reminds them of who you are and what you can do for them.
- It informs them of how they can contact you.
If the reader has found your content useful, a good CTA will tell them what their next steps should be. Whether it is contacting you directly for answers to more specific questions, following other content you have produced, or discovering whether you can solve a problem for them, an effective call to action means that your reader leaves with a plan and inspiration for what they will do next.
The key to people-first content is being specific about your audience and their needs. Understanding this allows you to tailor your content so it speaks directly to the reader. Achieving this not only improves your content’s SEO, which will raise your website’s ranking and online visibility, its value to your readers will also unlock other benefits.
Having useful people-first content on your website helps you to establish a brand as an expert in your niche. This helps you to build an audience and community of supporters around your content who will organically pass on and share your content themselves.
Are you producing people-first content? Are you aware of who your target audience is and the content they want to read? Adding these details into your content while also running your business can seem like a daunting task.
If you’d like some support with your content marketing, book a Clarity Call today to find out more about Write Business Results and how our team of experts can help.