Some SEO’s think they are doing Search engine optimization for their websites when in fact what they are doing is Search engine orientation. My interest in this issue began when one of my clients came to me asking for help. My client wanted to optimize his website, so he increased the number of published articles on his blog. He thought that by publishing more unique articles, he is doing a great job in SEO. The articles were related to his products, and were obtained from a writing service agency that promised him high quality content on his targeted keywords!
A high submission rate of unique content on a high authority domain site did increase the number of visitors who were sent by search engines. However, he found out later that the traffic he gained from search engines didn’t increase the conversion rate for his products. And here I gave him the simple answer that search engines will not buy your product/service.
This article will help you differentiate between writing for search engines and writing for potential or existing customers.
Diagnosis of the Problem
A careful reading of Google analytics revealed that the articles were written for Search engines and paid little attention to the targeted audiences. I noticed that there were peaks and a lot of bottoms in the Visits graph during the period in which he thought he was doing Search engine optimization for his website.
Organic Search Traffic (Aug 15 – Sep 15 )
The graph above shows the visits of organic search Traffic.
Before Aug 15: This period witnessed a high submission rate of articles, about 15 to 20 unique articles per day. Now because his domain has a high authority (that he gained over the years), Google, as appears in visits graph, granted the website the highest positions for the targeted keywords.
From Aug 15 to Aug 22: What impression do you think a high authority domain and daily unique content leave on search engines? Apparently Google believed that his authorized website delivered high quality content and that’s why Google sent more visitors to this unique content.
Unfortunately, in that same period, there was a very high bounce rate that reached almost 90%. That is, the visitors who were sent by search engines didn’t read these unique contents. In this period, the average time spent by visitors on the site was actually 30 Seconds.
After Aug 22 (Visits graph): Search engines recognized those articles as weak because they did not satisfy the visitors’ needs. In SEO terms, these articles were not great. It’s true that they attracted new visitors but they also caused a very high bounce rate. Visitors sent by search engines didn’t even read these articles. That’s why Google pushed the results down.
From Aug 22 to Sep 5: There’s another high rate of submission of articles about 20 per day. Apparently, as appears in the visits graph and after 5 Sep, Google gave this website another chance. However, the content failed and kept increasing the bounce rate instead. It actually reached 93%.
After Sep 10: Google recognized that these new articles were weak too, and pushed them down again.
The period before August showed that the two graphs of visits and bounce were basically the same, and there were peaks after the high rates of submission. After that, Google recognized the weak articles and pushed down the results. Worse still, during all this time, the costly unique articles didn’t even increase the conversion rate.
Are you trying to tell me that Google uses Google analytics for ranking?
Of course not; Matt Cutts says that they don’t, and they never do. In fact, Google has its own metrics that don’t depend on Google analytics. The bounce rate and the average time on a website are examples of those metrics.
How To Lose Authority
Publishing a lot of thin content on your website using low quality articles or low quality guest posting, will destroy your site and your authority.
Tips to avoid Search Engine Orientation
• Dealing with article writing agencies.
Don’t deal with article writing agencies that promise you unique content because you no longer need a unique content, you actually need a great one. Some agencies offer you an option of how many keywords they should repeat in your article. In fact, they know nothing about great content.
Instead, invest that money to hire specialized authors who have a clear perspective and expertise in the field of your industry. They may not be well known authors, and may not be SEO wise enough to write optimized great content, but they have something that is worth reading. Start to prepare for a world where the authors will determine your website ranking.
• Repeating yourself!
How do you know that your content is oriented towards search engines? Easy answer: when you repeat yourself.
If you repeat your ideas in different ways or under different titles without adding any value to your readers, then you are writing for search engines. Keep in mind that repeating one’s self can result in losing ranking. Every post in your blog should include at least one new piece of information or idea. If it is possible to update your old content, do not hesitate! Use (Fetch as Google) to cache your old pages if there is an important update.
• Conducting a Keyword Research
This does not mean that you should not know your keywords; you just have to be aware not to allow these keywords to limit your orientation towards visitors. Do not depend so much on Google Adwords keyword tool or other keywords tools especially in writing a title.
• Not Committing to your promises
Don’t promise what you don’t deliver in content. Focus on titles and descriptions because they are a promise for visitors of what they will find if they click on your results in search engines. Talk about something specific and don’t drift away from the main topic.
• If you still use Meta keyword
If you are still using Meta keyword, then you’re still oriented towards search engines. Instead of spending time phrasing Meta keywords, you can simply add a new related picture
• Weak content
If your way of writing is rigid and not attractive, then you are very oriented towards writing for search engines and not for audiences. Make sure to make the reader feel that you’re addressing him or her personally. That is, humanize your content by talking about your feelings or personal experiences that are related to your subject.
• Newspaper style
Don’t follow the Newspaper style of writing. Great content can also be a great video or a meaningful infographics. Web content is much more than abstracted texts tied together and formed in newspaper style. Enrich your content with multimedia, colors, videos…etc to make your content more attractive.
Delight Your Visitors
Promise less, deliver more!
You should promise less in your titles and descriptions. When visitors read your title and description in search engines, they will have expectations about your website delivery. If your website’s delivery exceeds their expectations, it will lead to increased:
• Social signals: Visitors would love to share your valuable content with their friends and networks if your content delighted them and exceeded their expectations.
• Conversion rate.