Who Are You Creating Content For - Algorithms or Humans
There are two opposite approaches when creating content online to grow your business.
One is mainly technical — and it’s based on finding the best techniques and hacks to get to the first page in Google, getting paid clicks for lower prices, and generating more leads through better landing page optimization.
The other is humanistic as it puts the benefits of consumers above all. You can do it by creating better content that connects with the consumer through authentic communication and delivering on the initial promise.
In this post, we explain why writing for algorithms or humans separately can fail you — and how you can make use of both simultaneously.
Creating Content for Algorithms Only
One of the biggest reasons Google search algorithms are updated hundreds of times each year is because digital marketers are greedy. Once they figure out how something works, they go all in on it until it no longer does.
For example — when a in the new Google update is launched, online marketers and SEO specialists try to reverse engineer the process to improve their rankings without actually improving the quality of their content. That often results in low-quality content that lacks empathy and value to the readers.
This may work for a few months because it takes some time for Google robots to understand what’s happening, and this is why we have seen 9 major updates in the past two years only.
In the end, those trying to outsmart Google often end up penalized — which is obviously not the best thing for your business.
Creating Content for Humans Only
Many gurus in different industries like to believe that success in any marketplace is merely a result of the making of a good product. They say that all you have to do to thrive is to be different and truthful about what you deliver.
They often make a really good point, but they miss on another important aspect of business which is content distribution. Even if you know things that your potential customers could benefit from, unless you knock on their doors, it will never reach them. Although it’s true that people trust humans and prefer to deal with them in comparison to robots, it is not always helpful to only take that route.
For anyone to benefit from your content, they first have to stumble upon it. Therefore, if you can’t get what you create in front of people, nobody is going to hear about it or use it.
You’d end up with a content that’s either dead or doesn’t exist.
How to balance between the two?
The reason chatbots didn’t turn out to be as powerful as they initially were thought to be is that they lack a human touch.
But you know what also would probably fail? A human-like chatbot that’s not well marketed.
A new update could put an end to your business if you only rely on reverse engineering and understanding how algorithms work. And there is nothing more common than great products that never saw the light or valuable articles buried inside billions of search results and social media posts.
The solution is simple — deliver exactly what your customers are looking for. What I mean by that is that you tweak and optimize your content until it’s enough for your target audience to lay eyes on it — while also making it so good that the consumer would be happy to share and discuss it with others.
Simply put, you should write for both.
1- Learn how to appeal to algorithms:
Do your homework on SEO basics, keyword research, link building, etc.
Link Building through guest blogging, influencer marketing, and social media (like Pinterest).
Important: don’t overdo this, or else you’ll be punished by search engines and social media platforms.
2- Remember to be human
The main goal behind creating content should be to provide a value of some sort to your audience. If you truthfully put the interest of the reader as the main goal behind what you create, there will be victory on both ends.
One way you can do this is by communicating in a friendly and conversational tone that engages your audience and potential customers.
Improve your design and website layout to make your content easily consumable and user-friendly.
Example: It’s okay to use unpopular terms or keywords instead of popular ones if it’s necessary.
Recap & Conclusion:
There you go! Once you’ve understood the downsides of leaning too much towards one extreme, you should no longer be unaware of making this mistake. Most successful businesses use the two together in variant proportions depending on the industry and the mentality of their customers. And their results are amazing.
These two approaches often work together, and they create a snowball effect that will get your growth on an upward spiral. The more you can reach new online users, the easier it is for you to convert them into customers. And the more they like your content, the more algorithms will prefer your content and put it out for others to see it.
Do you know of any practices businesses can use the two approaches? Tell us more in the comments — we’d love to learn from you.
Houssam Bouchakour is an expert B2B freelance writer. He helps companies and digital marketing agencies connect with their audiences online through better content. He focuses — when crafting his content — on providing value and keeping an entertaining that makes people take action.