Humans vs. Machines in the SEO Game: How and Where to Place Your Chips
Did Google bouncers kick you out again from the SERP club? To win the SEO Game, both the bio and the BIOS must be secured. Let’s take a dive into the deep waters of content creativity and optimization.
No, this is not another piece about how robots will steal our jobs and rule the future. It’s also not about the tricks and treats of machine learning – that topic was funnily covered here. This one is about the humongous amount of quality content going around the web without getting the attention it deserves, and what to do about it.
Acknowledging the key to success in the digital world lies in the quality of our content is a bit like acknowledging the rain is wet. But let’s face it: if content quality is a must, it is only as much as having someone to appreciate it. What’s the use of creating fantastic content if there’s no one to read it? Complicated? It doesn’t have to be. This is how it works.
Search Engines crawl the internet looking for pages that most likely have what the users are looking for. If you have a page dedicated to casino games, then you’re likely to be considered for display in casino-related searches in your region and language. Well, the thing is, you’ll never walk alone is a chant that applies to both Liverpool players and your search results – just in opposite directions. Like you, there are plenty of other pages with that same purpose and probably with all technical SEO features in place, and maybe they’re being referred to by other pages, increasing their chances of search engines like Google to identify them as relevant. Moz did a fantastic beginners guide to SEO to help you understand this better.
So, how do you make the cut? From Phil Ivey’s natural game-reading intelligence and statistical expertise to Roger Federer’s razor-sharp volleying and “out of nowhere” passing shots, true masters are equally skilled at one side of the game and at its very opposite. Meet the two sides of your online content game.
The Humans side of the game: Content Creativity
Content is king. Is this a cliché? Yes, it is. Is it the truth? Yes, it is. Now that we’ve gone past that, let’s write creative AND meaningful content.
There’s no point on going all ninja mode in maximizing every single technical SEO detail, using a bunch of optimized keywords, semantics, and playing by the book if, in the end, no one is remotely interested in what you’re writing. Trust me, you’ll get scarily high bounce rates – that nasty key performance indicator showing visitors that left the page without any interaction with it. You must think of the number of people adding content to the web every single day, hour, minute…second! Your target audience has a plethora of relevant options, so if you don’t capture their attention and retain them, they’ll simply brisk away from your website.
By doing this, you’re on the very right path. No matter if you’re doing casino reviews or if you’re trying to become the next slots guru. Making your content relevant is key for your success, don’t try to impose something, instead, give it a context, tell a story, make it relatable. Write engaging content and do it well.
There, the magic formula, the ‘Open Sesame’ that unlocks the web traffic gates holds in three words: audience, audience, audience. Okay, it’s actually one word, but this should stress enough how important that word is. Without knowing your audience, you can’t realistically expect your content to be found and shared widely. On the contrary, it would most likely end up like the butterstick. Nice idea, but no one gives a rat’s backside about it! As shown by Demand Metric, 82% of customers feel more positive about a company after reading custom content.
So, whether you want your content to inform, educate or entertain, take the time to define your audience:
● Who’s your audience?
● What does your audience need?
● What do they value?
● What is essential to them?
● What are they least likely to care about?
Equally important is to ask yourself how you’d like to be perceived by your intended audience, what message(s) you’d like to convey, and how all this pushes forward your long-term goals. This will give in no time all the angles and edges needed to write that 5.00ct diamond, engaging content that offers real value and meaning to your readership.
Yet, being a hotshot on the Human side gives you only half the crown.
The Machines side of the game: Content Optimization
So, what’s the point of optimizing your content? Well, 93% of all online experiences begin with a search engine, according to Search Engine Journal. You might be the new Shakespeare in the making, but I’m pretty sure that if no one reads what you do, you won’t get yourself into the history books.
Again, search engines have plenty to choose from, and they do so by analyzing the relevance of the pages they find. See a good example below by FeedBACK Casino, positioning themselves as a relevant online casino comparator.
No one can tell you 100% how Google Algorithm works, but we can be pretty sure that metrics like domain authority, page authority, backlinks, referring domains, keywords density, and organic traffic are right there on the top to help you get better results. This is why Content Intelligence is paramount for your success. You need to play your cards right, make sure you:
By doing this, you’ll be exponentially increasing your probabilities of being seen as a relevant page, one that performs well and that will be ranking better in SERP (Search Engine Results Page).
On the optimization side, one difficulty lies in the increased number of ways to achieve this – more or less effective, more or less demanding. Should you spend lots of time researching keywords or sit with the dev team and review the website structure? Should you push your content on-page or via more crowded websites? This graph by MarketginCharts will make you more insightful and aware of the general preferences of the content and SEO community.
But then, truth be told, you’re on your own. Meaning it all comes down to your own (and your team’s) strengths, and your business’ goals. Is the tech team’s new addition nailing it on meta data and tags? Here’s the chance to fix your hreflang attributes during your website translation project. Did you just sign Rihanna on a world tour merchandising deal? Social media channels and sharing should to be your hottest SEO topic this year, don’t you think? So you’re not really ‘on your own’ there in the end. The key here is to understand your work environment and opportunities in order to get your content optimized in a powerful, yet economical way.
All things considered, should I be writing for people or for search engines?
Like everything in life, balance is the key. Always write compelling and top-quality content, do your research, analyze your findings and optimize it while keeping your target audience in focus. Understand their language, the way they behave online, what keywords and phrases they use and make sure they will find you. Creativity and optimization go hand in hand, so you should place your bet on both.
Discover our SEO services and get in touch with All-in Translations to get it right on content intelligence with creative and optimized content.