We have seen it all from Google Panda to Google Penguin. Wave after wave of search engine algorithms and updates have laid waste to many websites. Many content-rich, highly useful, well-respected websites found themselves overnight in traffic basements. Thanks to periodic hiccups by Google. If that is not bad enough, there are some websites that never recover. This is the risk websites take when the vast majority of searches the world over are made through Google. The old saying is live by Google, die by Google.
This is particularly true for the latest Google update dubbed Google Penguin. Penguin just destroyed a lot of websites that use traditional linking methods. Sure, some of these websites got sloppy by being greedy with the anchor keywords. While it has not been revealed how Penguin works precisely, the conventional wisdom regarding this particular update is that it penalizes backlink footprints that are obviously search engine optimized. One dead giveaway is the vast majority of backlinks pointing to a particular website are the main keywords that website is optimized for.
There are many speculations regarding how Google uses Penguin to penalize “overly optimized” websites. The going conventional wisdom is that by keeping the “money” keywords or target keywords to bare minimum and increasing the volume of “natural anchor text,” many website search profiles would recover. It is still too early to tell whether this particular prescription is going to pan out, but that is the conventional wisdom among SEO circles.
Google Will Push You To Focus On Quality
Why are we focusing on this particular piece of search engine drama? The underlying subtext of the wave after wave of updates and the resulting traffic crashes that they caused is that the Internet as a whole has become overly dependent on one particular website to deliver traffic, namely Google. In fact, in some circles, it has been argued that the Internet would crash without Google. In essence, this implies that the Internet depends on Google. While on some levels this is true, the reality is that the Internet existed before Google and the Internet will continue to exist after Google. That is why it is important, despite all the low-traffic induced drama and hand wringing, to keep in mind that certain website-building ethics and certain content editorial policies will outlive Google and will continue to thrive.
What are these practices? It all boils down to taking care of your user. When somebody visits your website, they are looking for a particular piece of information or they are looking for a particular experience. Your job is to give them that information or that experience. It is as simple as that. Many web masters that are all caught up into the get-rich-quick mentality of Internet marketing, affiliate marketing and online income generation tend to put the user at the bottom of the totem pole. Just as it would be a bad idea to bite the hand that feeds you, it would also be a bad idea to treat your user as an afterthought.
Many websites, like it or not, are built with one key concern in mind – getting traffic. Content is viewed only as some sort of bait to draw traffic, but the primary objective of the website is to draw a lot of traffic and convert it into cash. Do you see what is wrong with this picture? Content is looked upon as the unwanted stepchild in this whole process. If you want your online business to not only survive Google’s periodic temper tantrums, you have to go back to the basics. It cannot get any more basic than quality website copywriting.
Quality Website Copywriting Defined
The core of quality copywriting is value to the user. This involves not only content that search engines would appreciate, meaning keyword coded content, but primarily content that flesh and blood human visitors would appreciate. This is no big mystery. When somebody goes to a website, they are looking for who, what, where, when, why and how. It is very basic but many web masters disregard it.
Quality website copywriting is first and foremost built on the foundation of solid research and solid target audience research. These two go hand in hand. If you focus solely on the content and forget about your user, your content is basically orphaned. It does not have a context. It does not have an audience it is speaking to. Audience research and targeting is a crucial piece of the website copywriting pie. It lets the user know that “yes, I get you, I understand your concerns, I understand what you are looking for and I care about you.” It does not have to say it explicitly, but the depth of the content, the way it is presented, the way it is formatted communicates in action more than just intention.
While the ongoing drama in SEO is the battle between over the definition of quality content, one thing is for sure. If more web masters took care of their readers and got into their minds and actually cared about their needs, then they do not have to fear Google as much as they do now.
More Articles About Content Copywriting and SEO
If this article has interested you, we suggest reading the following articles which discuss the relationship between good content copywriting and Search Engine Optimization
- 10 Guidelines For Writing Usable And SEO Friendly Content
- Know Your Readers & Write Usable Blog Posts For Them
- Content Density – Importance For Usability And SEO
- Will The Internet Make Grammar Obsolete?
Want to learn more?
If you’d like to become an expert in UX Design, Design Thinking, UI Design, or another related design topic, then consider to take an online UX course from the Interaction Design Foundation. For example, Design Thinking, Become a UX Designer from Scratch, Conducting Usability Testing or User Research – Methods and Best Practices. Good luck on your learning journey!
(Lead image: PhotoMIX-Company via Pixabay)