Who should you target, Search Engines or Readers?

When producing content for a website, writers are faced with a severe dilemma – should web copy be optimised for search engines at the expense of readability, or should it be written for the reader alone, even at the expense of search engine result placement? After all, if most people come into contact with your website for the first time from search results, should content not be created specifically to increase the likelihood of that happening?

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It is always important to remember that search engine optimisation is but one tool in the arsenal available to you. Nothing attracts business like a positive referral from an existing customer, and many of these are sent by email or general conversation. They never usually come through a search result.

Social media is also changing the direction and source of website referrals, with millions of links being shared everyday through Facebook and Twitter. The rise of the Google+ social network and its new ‘Authorship’ ranking tags is also set to skew search results forever; in future Google plans to generate search results using the author’s online reputation as a significant factor in its algorithm – the higher the reputation, the higher the search engine result placement for their content.

Ultimately the correct answer to the conundrum is to try and compromise between SEO and readability, using keywords throughout your text to ‘pique’ search engine interest, whilst maintaining a well written article or blog post for the reader. If push comes to shove however, we always suggest producing quality content over anything else – your reader is your customer after all, not Google or Bing.

If you would like assistance with producing quality content for your website or blog, please get in touch with Tech Write today.