Online Content: SEO vs Humans

Robot that looks like a human
Robot that looks like a human

In our rush to create content designed specifically to improve SEO ranking, many writers seem to have forgotten who they’re actually writing for.

Yes, we live in a digital world. Yes, keyword research is important. Yes, you need to tailor digital copy for SEO. However, the end reader is a human, not an algorithm.

In the so-called attention economy, attention-spans are short and time pressures are real. The chances of an actual person reading your 3,000 word blog post to the end are slim no matter how well it ranks on Google. And if your content is not being read, how much value is it providing for the user? As writers in the world of online marketing, we need to find the balance between content suitable for AI and humans.

I am by no means saying that copy should not support the sales cycle. But if we are designing content to simply increase traffic instead of provide real value to consumers, it’s not necessarily helping to build the brand. Perhaps we need to rethink priorities?

Too many companies seem to be focused on writing for an algorithm. While perhaps counter-intuitive in terms of SEO, concise content that a reader can easily read, digest and understand is more relevant than ever.

I’d love to hear the thoughts of other copywriters, online marketers and web developers on this topic. Let me know in the comments below.

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