Users vs. Bots – writing for different audiences
Good content should be a balance between something written just for users and something written purely for the benefit of search bots. Writing the content for a website is just as important as designing the site. Great content will complement the design work to create something that both users and bots find useful. Many people choose to write the content for their website themselves but, because it is so important, its worth considering the expertise a professional can provide.
It’s important to ask yourself how you want your business to be perceived by your target audience and what tone they would respond best to. Use your sitemap to when deciding what the function and purpose of each page is, for example, is it to provide information or sell products/services. Different ways of writing are suited to different purposes.
Websites are not only visited by human users, search engine crawlers also visit websites to collect data. They then store this data in the search engines database so that when someone performs a search, the data from your website is considered in the algorithm that provides search results. Appearing high on search engine results pages (SERPs) is a powerful marketing tool so you should write your website in a way the bots can understand.
Writing for Users
When writing for users you need to bear in mind that it’s not like writing an e-mail to a friend or colleague, your writing needs to concise, clear and easy to read. People tend to skim read web pages, and if they aren’t engaged within the first few seconds, they will leave. There are some basic tips to follow when it comes to writing web content; use subheadings, use clear languages or bullet points, put the conclusion first – helps to capture people’s imagination and make sure your content is interesting.
Writing for Bots
Writing for bots is completely different, you should try and include any key word or phrase your target audience may search for – make sure that you don’t just keyword dump or stuff your content with the phrase needlessly as this will ensure bots see your page as spam. Which will not help your SEO. Use meta-tags to help bots categorise your content, you can add phrases to the page title, description, images and you can use keyword meta-tags. The last thing to think about when writing for bots is to use both internal and external links, these will help to build trust.
To get the most out of your website you need to ensure your content is written both for search bots and users, writing for only one or the other will alienate the audience you haven’t written for and both could be considered equally important in order for your website to be as effective as you need.
If you have any questions about writing for your audience or would like to discuss a project please get in touch.