Should you write SEO Content for the search engine or your audience?

SEO, SEO for Beginners, SEO Keywords


As a business owner, one of the biggest challenges is creating content that will rank well in search engines and be helpful, engaging, and interesting for your ideal customer. Have you ever found yourself wondering which is more important – writing for your customer or the search engine to get the best results? If so, you’re not alone. I get this question from followers and prospective students all the time. It’s a great question, so let’s dive in. Who are you writing for when you're creating SEO content? 


Keep reading, or watch the video podcast episode here - 


Always write for your Ideal Customer, not the Search Engine

Your content should be designed to help your ideal customer. It needs to provide value and insights and help them. Content should build your like and trust factors with your audience. It should help nurture your prospective customers and help them ultimately move from visitor to buyer.


For many content creators, SEO and working with the search engine to increase traffic to their content are missing pieces. This leads people to wonder if they’re supposed to create content for the search engine first and their ideal customer second. That’s a big no.


I want you to focus on creating content for your audience first and optimizing it for search engines rather than creating content for search engines. SEO is the connection point between the content you're creating and your audience. When you add SEO to your content, you help people find it easier via search engines like Google, Pinterest, podcast apps, and others. 


How do you do this and get the best results?

Listen to the podcast episode here. 


Focus on your audience's needs and interests when creating content

When creating SEO content, it's important to consider your target audience. What questions are they asking? What challenges are they facing? What topics are they interested in? By focusing on these needs and interests, you can create engaging and relevant content for your audience.


If you always start with your customer's needs and create content that helps them, you’ll be on the right track.

Don't simply create content because you want to rank for a keyword. Create valuable content that can help your ideal customer in their journey. 


Choose the right SEO keywords for your content

 It’s important that you choose a keyword with the following criteria in mind:


1.     Can your website rank for this keyword?

2.     Does your ideal customer use this keyword?

3.     Is this keyword closely related to the content piece you want to create?


If you’re not sure how to choose the right keyword, request a copy of the Beginner's SEO Guide right now and sign up for my free SEO class so you can learn more. When you’re ready, join me in SimpleSEO Content, and I’ll teach you how to do this and more.


free SEO class


Use SEO keywords to help you find content ideas

Rather than starting with the content idea generation and immediately starting to write, I want you to do keyword research to identify a keyword you want to use for your content piece before you start writing.


Following this process allows you to ensure the content topic you write about has an audience looking for information. Then, doing your keyword research ahead of time helps you refine your title and make adjustments you might need to find the perfect combination of a keyword your audience is interested in and how you can rank so you know there’s traffic out there for your content piece.

You don't want to spend time creating content that no one is interested in reading. If you're going to take the time to create great content, be sure there's an audience for it so you get results. 


Write high-quality content that's helpful for your reader

Google wants to provide the best possible content to its searchers. When you spend time creating high-quality, helpful content, you’re helping Google feel more comfortable sending their customers to your website or blog. Provide value, anticipate your ideal customer's questions, and answer them completely. You can’t simply copy/paste content from an AI tool or use a content company that provides cookie-cutter content to everyone in your industry because you won’t get results with either of those options.

You need to provide new information, a different perspective, additional insights, or information that readers can't find somewhere else to truly stand out today. There's so much content being produced, and Google wants to be sure what it's showing to searchers is the best option available. 

 free SEO Class

Optimize your content for SEO so it gets found on Google

Follow Google’s SEO best practices, optimize the content you create for your ideal customer, and make it easier for Google to understand your content.


Choose one keyword that your website can rank at the top of Google for and use that keyword in the places where Google will look for information on what your page is about.


You need to use your SEO keyword in the following places:

  1. The page or blog post title
  2. URL
  3. Header Tags (H1-H3)
  4. Copy
  5. Image File Name
  6. Title Tag
  7. Meta Description


Always write for your ideal customer, focus on them, and provide value first and foremost. Optimize your content for the search engines second, and you’ll have the best results. 

Your website or blog content can help you get found on Google and grow your business with organic traffic if you take the time to create great content that's helpful for your ideal customer and optimized for Google. Take the time to do it the right way if you want to see results. 

Podcast Episode Transcript 

Welcome back to the Simple SEO Content Podcast. I am your host, Rachel Lindteigen. Thank you for joining me today. This is an incredibly important episode and discussion. I often get this question from prospective students and people new to search engine optimization and content marketing. Should you write for your audience or for Google if you want to get results from SEO?

Let's start quickly. I want you to always, always, always write for your ideal customer. Write for your audience. Think about your ideal customer. Who are they? What questions do they have? What motivates them? Why are they looking for a solution to their issues or problems? Why are they looking for something on Google?

Don't ever write for the search engine. When we write for the search engine, we end up with awkward, stilted, uncomfortable copy that doesn’t connect. At the heart of everything we do as small business owners and entrepreneurs, we want to connect with our audience, provide value, and be helpful. Google goes as far as to say that you should be helpful. They even named their latest content algorithm update the Helpful Content Algorithm, which came out in the fall of 2022. Google wants you to focus on providing value for the reader, going in-depth, anticipating their questions, and providing value. They don’t want fluff optimized just to rank.

Your ideal customer is not your customer yet when searching on Google; they are Google’s customer. They are coming to Google, looking for an answer or a solution. Google is showing them potential options, hopefully including your website. But until they click and enter your world, they are Google’s customer. So, you must provide great value to get them to your website and help them.

Don't write for the search engine. What do I mean by that? Don’t just try to use your keyword as many times as possible. Here’s one of my favorite examples. It’s from an actual client, a major regional sporting goods retailer. They had product descriptions created by an offshore service. The descriptions were so bad that, as their SEO content strategist, I told them not to use them. I said they were poor quality content that Google wouldn’t reward and wouldn’t help their ideal customers.

The example was for a red hoodie, probably Adidas or Nike. The copy said, "This red hoodie is the perfect red hoodie for when you wake up and think, gosh, I just really want to wear a red hoodie today." Nobody talks like that. It’s awkward and unnatural. That type of content written just for the search engine doesn’t work. It didn’t work back in 2014, and it doesn’t work today. Write for your ideal customer. Don’t worry about how many times you use your keyword. Your piece is already about your keyword because you should have done research ahead of time.

If you're writing content the way I teach, you're doing research ahead of time. You’re finding a keyword with the perfect mix of search volume, meaning your customer is using it and interested in it, and a competitiveness level that your website can rank for. The keyword that’s right for you may be different from the keyword that’s right for someone else due to the authority of your website. I teach you all about this in Simple SEO Content. If you’re ready to learn exactly how this process works, join me there. You’ll choose the keyword your website can rank for and use it naturally because that’s what you’re writing about.

Write content for your ideal customer and then use your Beginner's SEO Guide and SEO Checklist to optimize that content as best you can. If you don’t yet have a copy of the Quick Start Guide, you can get it from my website, Request that, and then register for the free class to learn more about SEO and content marketing and start using it to grow your business.

free SEO class

So, to recap, who do we write for? We write for our customers. We optimize for Google by choosing a keyword we can rank for, writing great content our customers will love, and then optimizing it so that Google understands it better.

Thank you so much for being here with me today. If you have questions about how we do this, DM me on Instagram. If you’re not following me already, do us both a favor and follow me. It’s @etchedmarketingacademy across all social platforms: Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. DM me your questions, and let me know your biggest takeaway from today’s episode. I’ll talk to you soon and see you right back here next week.