Frank McClung

Stop writing for robots—even smart ones

Your website content strategy should be firmly linked to your organizational goals and vision.

Seems obvious, right? Here’s where things get tricky.

Your marketing wants to increase prospective client leads coming from your website. That’s a reasonable goal, but the default place they want to go is to create content optimized for search engine algorithms.

This makes sense, right? If clients can’t find your service in a relevant search, they won’t contact you about that service. So you write your content around the services keywords your organization provides, search traffic volume and ranking increase, and you get more leads. Everyone wins…until you realize these are not the quality leads you were expecting. Why?

Structuring and optimizing website content around targeted keywords, topics, and questions prospective clients might search for bends your content tone, word choice, sentence structures, and overall focus toward search engines.

Though this content optimization strategy has been effective in the past for generating more website traffic through search, it typically leads to a decline in the quality and strategic value of your content and leads. As a result, Google’s search engine algorithm is happy with your content, but the prospects you really want to contact you are not.

Look, your audience is smart. They have an intuitive capability to discern content written for search engines versus content written for them.

If you want content optimized for search and to effectively communicate your organization’s services to qualified prospects, you’re going to have to work harder, hire a professional editor, and take significantly more time to get each content piece right.

I know most service-based organizations don’t have the time or energy to create highly effective search engine-people balanced content.

Here’s an easy way to solve this quandary—write for your prospective client first, and lightly optimize for search second. As you practice writing for people and messaging first and search optimization second, you’ll get faster and better at balancing the search engine-people dilemma.


Get the same insight sent to your inbox

Subscribe to my informative and sometimes enlightening newsletter: