In the world of reputation repair, engaging Google and the other search engines is crucial. Would you believe, though, that engaging the search engines is largely dependent on engaging readers? It’s true, and it’s exactly how Google likes it; with its recent Panda and Penguin updates, the search engine has sought to ensure that the content it rewards is content that will prove interesting, relevant, and above all engaging to readers.
What this means is that reputation repair pros need to write with human readers in mind, if they ultimately want to appeal to the search engine algorithms. This may seem non-intuitive, and it is, admittedly, a slight oversimplification. The bottom line, however, is that search engine success is unlikely to happen if readers aren’t engaged.
So the question is… how do you engage the readers of your content? Read on for a few reputation repair tips.
- One of the most crucial steps that any reputation repair professional can take is the establishment of an authorial voice. Your content, for a given campaign, needs to have some sort of a personality to it, whether it’s a tone of professionalism or something a touch more provocative. Think about the kind of tone that the client/topic ought convey, and work to write all of that client’s content with a unified authorial voice.
- Skip passive verbs in favor of action verbs. Of course, words like “be” and “have” might sometimes prove necessary, from a grammatical standpoint, but in general you’ll engage readers better if you use words that convey action.
- Make sure that your content does more than just read well. Make sure it skims and scans well, too. The simple reality of Internet-era attention spans is that not everyone is going to have the time or the interest to read every word you write. Reputation repair professionals will want to break up their content with numbered lists or bullet points, or even just sub-headings, to ensure that a hurried or on-the-go reader can locate pertinent information quickly.
- Make the content about the reader in some way—because really, that’s what people want to read about. Write content that focuses on the benefits offered by your client, not on the processes involved.
- Eliminate anything that smacks of spam. Here’s a good way to do that: Read all of your content aloud. See if it sounds natural and flows organically—or if it sounds like you tried to stuff in too many clunky keywords. Engaging text is text that sounds like it was written for human readers, not for a Google search bot.
Writing with human readers is an important part of the SEO and reputation repair process—because it is only through engaging readers that you can keep Google happy. These tips should offer some insight into how your content creation processes should work. Remember that Google is always seeking to weed out low-quality sites, but these techniques are more or less Google-proof, and sure to bring focus to your content efforts.