As a writer, you’re not writing for bots to scan, but you are writing for people to read your article. Fortunately, what bots are looking for is exactly what your readers are looking too.
Content that succeeds in search is relevant, unique, engaging, and responds to search users' questions. But search volume alone does not make it a good topic—ten million people might search "When did Overwatch Beta come out?" next week, but no one will find our article about it unless we add something unique and interesting to the discussion.
Once an article answers at least one question about the focus keyword, it should be edited for spelling, grammar, and reading ease.
What difference does it make?
I’m going to make an assumption here - you love writing and you want a lot of people to read your work. If this is you, then this is why SEO matters. Writing an article with a unique perspective that answers a question is how you give yourself the best chance at success. When your article starts to get a high ranking on Google, the number of people who see and read your work can skyrocket.
A real-life example
FANDOM Contributor Zuleika Boekhoudt ’s article The 15 Best Anime of 2016 is an excellent example of the success your article could find. In the first week after it was published, the article averaged less than 1,000 Pageviews per day. As the year neared its end and search interest in this topic grew, so did readers, and Pageviews leapt into the 10,000+ per day. When this equalized, the article started to rank on search engines, giving it a 40-50% boost every day. In the space of three months, the article boasted almost 220,000 Pageviews with close to 60% of that coming from search engines giving the article a high ranking.
Why did this happen?
SEO is not an exact science, so it’s difficult to pinpoint the precise reasons why this article became so successful. However, given what we know, the article had a lot going for it. From an SEO perspective, this article succeeded in:
- Timing - the article came out a little before the competition got their “best of 2016” pieces out, giving it a solid early standing
- Relevance - the article answers a question and is highly relevant for people searching for this topic
- Competition - well-written and comprehensive articles about anime have less coverage in English than in other languages, despite its growing popularity in English-speaking regions. This article filled a gap and is a good example of why researching your topic before writing it is so important
- Expertise - fans of anime will immediately recognize the content as coming from a place of expertise, but so do the search engine “bots”. The language and anime titles used in the article all indicate to the “bots” that this is an article coming from an expert’s perspective.
Many of these points may sound familiar. That’s because what readers want to read is also what works best for SEO. Relevant, unique, well-researched, and well-written articles have a much higher chance at success.