How to stop worrying about Google updates…
…and learn to love writing really great SEO copy!
Greetings & welcome back! In today’s SEO copywriting video how-to, Heather discusses a most timely topic since Matt Cutts’ recent, ominous-sounding pronouncement that the next Google Penguin update will be “jarring” to SEO’s and Webmasters – and that is, how to stop worrying about Google updates and start writing really great SEO copy!
Tune in and learn how to set yourself free…
Fear is counterproductive
The thing is, around all the Google updates and the stress that comes with them, that fear is really counterproductive.
- Get out of the learned helplessness trap!
- Google updates are not an excuse to stop writing content.
- Think of this as an OPPORTUNITY. Good content is still good for Google.
What this fear of Google updates does is get a lot of companies stuck in this learned helplessness trap: they don’t know what Google is going to do next and so they use that as an excuse to stop writing content. They completely freak out within the organization!
But instead of being all fearful about what Google is going to do next, think of what’s going on as an opportunity: Good content is still good for Google.
I know that it’s not sexy news, but there are a number of sites out there that never got penalized by either Panda or Penguin – they came through just fine! And that could be you.
The key is to focus on what your customers and readers are looking for, and stop focusing so much on what you think Google might want!
Focus on making your content better
So think of ways you can focus on making your content better, and this will help you ride through those algorithmic updates. Ask yourself these questions:
- What questions do our prospects/customers ask? Do we answer them on the site?
That’s a great way to be able to get folks to come to your site that might not know anything about you! You might also want to ask…
- Does our content really represent our company?
I’ve talked with a number of people who’ve said: “Yeah, we don’t really love the content that’s there – it doesn’t really sound likes us – but it’s what we have, so we’re stuck with it.”
No! You’re not stuck with it! If it doesn’t represent your company, then change it!
- How can we create quality content within our organization?
If you’re not satisfied that your website copy represents your company, you can change it either in-house, and write that quality content within your organization, or if you are maxed out internally and that’s not an option – then outsource it!
Find someone you can trust to work with: just last week, I talked about how to find a (Google-savvy) SEO copywriter.
- Do we have low quality content on the site that we need to fix?
You might also want to evaluate your site and see if you have low quality content that you need to fix.
On the lower left-hand side of the slide there is a link to an article written by Jill Whalen about other types of low quality content – those things you might want to evaluate on your own site to see if it’s something that you might want to tweak.
- You also want to look at your analytics!
- Think of ways to increase your conversion rates!
Wouldn’t it be better to focus on “how can we drive more sales?” and think of ways that you’re able to do so, rather than “Oh my goodness, what is Google going to do next?”
Because at the end of the day, Google does not pay your bills – your customers do.
So if you can figure out how your content can make your site more money, then that is a much better discussion to have than “Oh my goodness, what is the next update going to do to our site?”
Focus your content around your readers, and when the next update rolls around, then you are probably going to be much more relaxed about it, because you’re coming at it from a different angle – rather than trying to tweak your content to fit what you think Google wants today.
That said…if you have questions about what Google wants and are looking for a checklist for evaluating your content, simply sign up for my free weekly SEO Copywriting Buzz newsletter, and/or choose to receive daily blog post updates, and receive my free “How to write for Google” whitepaper!
Thanks so much for tuning into today’s SEO copywriting video how-to!
As always, if you have any questions at all, or if you are interested in the SEO Copywriting Certification training, please let me know – I’m happy to help! I can be reached via email@example.com, or via Twitter @heatherlloyd.
photo thanks to marklarson (Mark Larson)
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Great article and it highlights the most important thing for SEO copywriters – write for the customers, not Google. Good content will always be of value, so make sure the content serves a purpose and meets the needs of the target market. Get that right, and it shouldn’t matter what Google does next (emphasis on shouldn’t…you can never be 100% sure!).
I always write a piece for a reader first, then put the SEO content into it afterwards…has worked for me so far.
Thanks again for the valuable post. I agree with Craig. You’ve got to write for the reader or your target audience first and rest assured that 8 out of 10 times you will get it right from the search engine point of view as well. I am not talking about cent percent result here because SEO takes several other factors into consideration too. Tell me if what i am thinking is correct.
Good SEO copywriting has always been about writing for the reader first. It’s still important to run keyphrase research and know how to integrate keyphrases into copy. But the main focus should be “does this article flow and make sense” rather than “how many times can I shove this phrase into the content?” As I’ve always said, “The search engines don’t pay your bills – your customers do.” So, know the SEO copywriting “rules” – but focus the copy on what your reader wants to know/see.
Well asserted Heather!! I agree with you that the primary focus has to be on the reader or your prospects when you write content. Just get some basics right and if your reader likes it, the search engines will love it as well!
It sounds crazy, but if you want to perform well in Google going forward, forget about Google! OK, maybe not completely. But the Google updates have been reminders of what is actually important- your target audience members! Focus on them first instead of the search engine spiders.
Great article and I definitely agree. Far too many writers and SEO companies focus on giving Google what they want first and the copy unfortunately suffers as a result.
The best thing to do is focus on providing excellent content. Search engine algorithms (especially Google) change often, thwarting the efforts and time spent to please the SE spiders.
Excellent content is more prone to being shared, and word-of-mouth marketing is always the best. And that’s always Google proof!
Nice article, Laura. I agree that web copy should remain audience-focused. After all, ranking well is nothing without selling content.