Why You Should Focus On Content Before Optimization
For most online marketers, optimization considerations precede content. In this post we’ll look at why you should consider switching this.
A common misperception is that search engines rank your whole site. In fact they rank your pages individually, hence each page needs to be optimized for itself based on the keywords that are most appropriate for the info it features. Due to this, many businesses set about creating pages with a set of keywords in mind. While this strategy has merit, there are arguments for preparing content and then optimizing.
Writing around keywords just doesn’t sound right
Especially in light of the Google panda update, it’s important to ensure the focus of your copy is on pleasing the reader – not search engine crawlers. Obviously ranking is important so that your content gets seen, but what’s the point of attracting people to your site if your copy sounds like it was written by a robot which was programmed to insert “word x” every second sentence? Regardless of what you’re selling, you’re unlikely to sell much of it if your copy isn’t written to be appreciated by humans. To put it in real world terms, it’s like pouring all your money into an advertising campaign to draw people into your store, but spending no time at all on the aesthetics of your store. People might come there, but they’ll only be disappointed.
Limits creative flow
Building your content schedule around specific keywords can severely limit creative expansion of your copy, particularly if you’re using a blog to generate inbound leads. If you set out to create a page or post based on a certain set of keywords, you’ll often find yourself scratching for words which match those keywords, and it will shine through in the quality of your articles. If you spend much time reading other people’s posts online, you’d be aware that the most enjoyable to read are the ones that have clearly let their creativity flourish, rather than trying to force a few keywords in as often as possible.
Focusing on content will deliver better SEO
While you do need to include keywords to be found for them, Google and the other search engines are placing much more emphasis on quality over quantity. Logically, this is a trend that will become more prominent as search engine algorithms continue to evolve. Actions such as ‘likes’, +1’s, tweets, and inbound links from social networks as well as blogs will carry more and more weight. What’s the best way to garner these? Write high quality posts and articles which are relevant to the target audience, and they’ll reward you by sharing it with their networks.
What comes first for you, content or optimization?