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Write for People, Not Search Engines

Many know that writing for search engines would attract more visitors, but it does not necessarily improve user experience – especially if a site is stuffed with keywords that don’t make sense to users and can even harm your site’s search rankings.

While it is important to optimize websites for search engines, people would leave a website as soon as they find out that content doesn’t benefit them and move on to other sites with better content. For these reasons, there’s a saying that content is the king. It needs to be written for people first to give a great value to your readers and make them come back to your website regularly and share your messages through social media.

Another frustration of users is coming across pages with long texts. Many people don’t read on web – they scan. Writing for web is not same as for print. For these reasons, it’s recommended to write text in a way that is easy to scan – including informative headings, long texts divided into short paragraphs, bulleted lists, etc.

Also, make sure that links are descriptive and do not use “click here” in links. It would improve both only user experience and search engine rankings. People using screen readers would navigate sites better if they don’t figure out which “click here” link goes to which page.

Last, but not least, it’s important to keep in mind that search engines are blind and deaf and cannot see images or hear audio. Neither do users with disabilities. Which means that all images need to have proper ALT descriptions and all aural information (audio and video) needs to be captioned and transcribed.

Since search engines are not as smart as humans and cannot speak for users (by sharing interesting content through social media, for example), it is important to do user experience design and create good quality content before optimizing it for SEO.

Published in User Experience

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