Making Your Site More Friendly For your Readers and the Google-God

“Focus on the User”- Adam Smith, Xobni

Making your site more friendly for readers and Google is a really important part of gaining rankings, increasing traffic, and engagement with your site. Usability keeps users onsite and makes them interact more with whatever they read.

Reader Focused

Your site should be focused around the reader. If it’s not, what are you doing it for? Serp manipulation?

Unfortunately pure SERP manipulation while ignoring your reader’s doesn’t work,  and in the long-term, could get your site punished (especially if it’s at the cost of your users). A natural site that works for your users is also one of the best ways to optimize for the Google Gods.

blog-writing

Blog Writing And What to Change

Be cool, be natural. Natural content is one of the best ways to optimize your site, keywords, and keep people onsite. A page with your keyword listed 50 times won’t have the same impact as a page where that keyword is put in naturally and in a variety of forms.

That post isn’t just about car, it’s about cars, automobiles, automobile, vehicle, vehicles, and transportation.

It’s really easy to say stay natural, but hard in practice. If your focus is on how your audience is going to interact with this piece of content, it’ll come a lot more natural. Optimizing with links, suggested posts, and tags is way more practical than putting out a post that isn’t natural or made for the reader.

Address Your Audience

Talk to the people reading your blog. Whether you’re reaching out to female entrepreneurs or people who want to buy a wetsuit, relevance keeps people reading. And that’s a big for your rankings. If people think your article is the most helpful thing on the subject, share it, follow through onto other articles, then you’ve got a winning traffic flow (and that spells big wins for your rankings). There are a few ways to address your audience:

  • You can write for them
  • You can directly call them out in the title. Ex: Reasons Boss Ladies Should Join X Network
  • Use designs and colors that match the mood of the article, your brand, and what the audience should take from it.
  • Create a funnel for the reader of that article by directing ‘suggested posts’ and links to other relevant pages for that specific audience.

Make Yourself Useful

Make yourself the most useful that you can. People like to read things that will help them and improve their life.

Sometimes that things that will make people happier, more excited about their day, but a lot of times, it’s writing actionable tips. Things that can actually help someone make their life better, greener, easier, or more productive. Ask yourself. Will this article be useful for some reading it, will it benefit them to read it? Or am I wasting my time and theirs? Make your posts informational.

Google God Focused

Are people reading your blog and they love it, but it’s not helping your rankings? It’s probably because of larger technical issues. Things like poorly optimized tags, a bounce bot, or hidden features are all reasons you could be losing out.

google-seo

Poorly Optimized Tags

This is one of the biggest reasons your content could not be performing. Distinctive title tags, H1 and H2 tags, and some meta descriptions should be in play on all your posts. It’s the summary that is read by Google, so using them right is a wonderful way to get ahead.

Title tags are there to title the page, they should be 50-60 characters and different from your other tags. This is one of the most important tags. You can see if your site has it across the board by using the free version of Screaming Frog, or you can pull it up on the individual page by searching for it in the elements. It’ll look something like this:

title-tag

We get a pretty clear idea what will be on this page by the title. Cat pictures that are pure hilarious gold. If you dig deeper, your pages should also definitely have an H1 tag. Exactly one of those, that is very different from title tag. While 27 cat pictures doesn’t have an H1, a good one for that article, would be Funny Feline Pictures. It expands one the initial point with slightly different phrasing. You can also use this as a time to point to your branding, like BobsBlog Funny Feline Pictures.

H2s are great, but can be abused and overused. They are great to use as  ‘chapter titles’ for different subheadings on the page. So some potential H2 tags could be: tiny kitten stuck in box, flour-covered cat who is clearly a demon, or reasons to get a goofy cat from the shelter.

Be careful not to use too many H2s. These are labels and too many can give each one less value. Plus can take a bite out of your crawl budget.

Hidden Features

Are parts of your site hidden from Google?

Probably. And that means either Google isn’t looking at them or they aren’t getting crawled right. Images, short content, and content hidden by scrolling features can affect your rankings.

For example, infographics are wonderful for the user, but without interactive content that reads as content, Google will have trouble reading what’s on that infographic full of awesome information. It could read it, but that will spend some of your crawl budget, and it’s unlikely that it will. It’s the same thing for text hidden by sliding features or content hidden beneath a log-in.

Short content isn’t as big of a deal as it once was, but if it’s less than 500 words, you should probably reconsider the purpose of the page. If you don’t have at least 500 words of things to say on the subject of that page, consider combining it with another subject or just removing it.

Bounce Bot?

Your pages have amazing content that’s exactly what your audience wants, labelled with all the tags, hidden content made visible as much as possible, and no SEO issues (duplications or a screwy robots.txt). You might have a bad bot messing with your site. There are a few ways to find out if you have bad bots or if you have traffic that is not yours messing with your site.

You can look at your server logs, high crawl times that are consistent and not Google could be a bad bot, you could also look at the audience portion of your analytics and see how much C-speaking traffic you are getting.

There’s a ton of ways someone could be bringing you down, this article explains it all in a ton more detail than I could here.

Whether you’re creating content for your blog, or trying to find someway to make your site rank a little better, creating user friendly content that Google can read too is the way to go. Be natural, be cool, and create for the people who are using your site.

After all, your audience will be the most productive on your site?

Jenni R

I'm a Chief Branding Officer of IntenseBlog Website, a knowledge-hub to help you build a profitable blog. For the last 3 years I have dedicated myself to blogging and online marketing solutions. Connect with me on: Google+, Facebook and Twitter.

10 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. Reply

    Great article. Loved the point about heading tags. That’s the most common issue new blogger’s face and find it hard to rank on Google.

    Keep sharing :)

  2. Reply

    The user interface of blog plays an important role for the better user engagement. Thank you Mary for describing other points too.

  3. Reply

    Hi Mary,
    Thanks for a great article, you are absolutely right on all counts, given that the great Google algorithm now has over 200 points of reference when making the calculation its no wonder we are all scrambling to try and make sense of it all.

    I personally think if you follow the old school rules of providing great, customer focused content which you then optimise you will not go wrong,

    Once again thanks for the article, it made for a thought provoking and interesting read.

  4. Reply

    nice..Unfortunately pure SERP manipulation while ignoring your reader’s doesn’t work, and in the long-term, could get your site punished (especially if it’s at the cost of your users

    1. Yeah! Totally agree. Pure SERP manipulation is terrible and looks super spammy. Thanks for agreeing with the article!!

  5. Reply

    I`m agree in all said in article, but not in keywords. Time ago, Google, don’t consider keywords keys, caused for the abuse of most of sites, that use indiscriminated. With thes last algorhitms as Pingouin tis techniques have been target of penalties. So, evidently Keywords are dead

    1. A specific keyword is dead. Totally agree, but a keyword cloud that guides your content is still super usable. For example, if you’re trying to go for the keyword “car”, the words cars, automobile, engine, etc. will be a part of your keyword cloud. It’s also a great way to narrow down header-tag specifications. If you are not sure how to find a cloud for your keyword, try Moz’s keyword tool. It’ll give you a great place to start.

  6. Reply

    I personally think if you follow the old school rules of providing great, customer focused content which you then optimise you will not go wrong,

  7. Reply

    Hi,
    This is nice post for making site friendly readers which may help to bring good customization in business and help to bring better idea.

    Regards
    Rama Krishna

  8. Reply

    A nice and educative post. I learnt great lessons from it as a newbie in blogging and of a truth, I am still having problem with poor optimization tags which i hope to overcome soon.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Send a Message