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Marta Peral Ribeiro

Marta Peral Ribeiro
– Consultora de Comunicação –

It is through an SEO strategy that a brand can, without paid advertising, position itself in the online universe. The problem is that, in the unbridled struggle to meet the requirements of Google’s algorithms, it often ends up giving primacy to what the machine says, losing the human factor. How can brands create content really for people?

Marta Peral Ribeiro

Marta Peral Ribeiro
– Consultora de Comunicação –

It is through an SEO strategy that a brand can, without paid advertising, position itself in the online universe. The problem is that, in the unbridled struggle to meet the requirements of Google’s algorithms, it often ends up giving primacy to what the machine says, losing the human factor. How can brands create content really for people?

What is SEO?

SEO, an acronym for search engine optimization, is a well-known element in the world of digital marketing. In short, it is a set of techniques for optimizing a website or text to ensure that it appears in the first results presented by Google without paid advertising

In practice it is related to the structure and presentation of the content: whether the website is easy to navigate, whether the content is divided into headings and subheadings, whether keywords and descriptions are used, whether there are images that favor reading, whether these images also contain keywords, whether they integrate other links, among other aspects.

SEO today

However, with the changes in consumer behavior in recent years, particularly at the digital level, the most discerning brands have begun to recognize the need to optimize the user experience as a whole, which necessarily requires an adaptation at the SEO level. 

There is now an even greater concern for bringing the brand closer to the consumer, involving him and repaying his trust. And that means capturing their needs (and not just search intentions) to optimize products and services as well

Therefore, following an SEO recipe is not enough. It is essential to create content so relevant that it helps the target audience recognize the value of the brand itself, beyond the information it produces. Through this relationship, there is an exchange in which both benefit: the consumer because he finds what he needs, and the brand that through interaction can understand how to improve its product.

However, the focus of SEO is not always on people, due to factors such as:

The Algorithm

Google’s algorithm is constantly changing. We refer specifically to Google because, according to Statista data, it is the search engine of choice worldwide, with an overwhelming margin over the others. Given its unpredictability, it is indeed difficult to keep up with its pace and rules.

Black hat SEO: when SEO loses its transparency

When SEO techniques are distorted, to make a website or content appear relevant to search engines even though it is not, this is called black hat SEO

But this is not a good practice. Not only will the visitor abandon the site once they realize it doesn’t match their search intent, but the algorithms will eventually detect these bad SEO practices and penalize the site.

The Essentials of People-Oriented SEO

It is legitimate for brands to rely on the fundamentals of SEO, and it is indeed pertinent to keep an eye on the algorithm. As long as they keep their focus on what matters most: people. 

I would say that it is precisely the combination of the two sides, people and machines, that can create an effective SEO strategy. 

To ensure this, teamwork is crucial, because it involves elements of technology, user experience (UX), and of course, communication and marketing.

Here are the top 10 aspects to consider in this strategy:

Mobile, mobile 

Having a properly optimized mobile version of your brand page, or even your App is of paramount importance. Because more and more of us are searching from mobile devices, and we expect an experience as intuitive as the Web. The algorithm gives precedence to websites that optimize their mobile version, indexing and ranking them in the SERPs:

Indexing: Google gives priority to mobile devices

A well-performing page

How long can you wait for a site to present information to you? Possibly only a few seconds. And that’s the case for most people. It is hard to tolerate pages that have errors or other technological constraints that make the experience time-consuming. 

Also, Googlebot evaluates a page by its loading speed. Using the PageSpeed Insights tool you can analyze the speed of your website.

Digital Accessibility

Many users have difficulty navigating the internet due to physical or motor limitations. When a brand’s digital experience is inclusive, more people will be able to find it and value it, which will generate more traffic to the site and, consequently, a better ranking on Google.

Long-tail keywords

It is reported that 91.8% of search terms are long-tail keywords, which means that the user’s search intent is concrete. 

Through long-tail keywords, the probability that the user will quickly find the answer to his question/search on a single website or article is very high. 

Although the search volume is not as high, there is less competition, and this promotes brand authority. 

Engagement

An empathic perspective allows us to develop useful content for the audience because it will meet their expectations and that is an excellent way to capture their attention. 

Through the interaction that the brand creates with its audience (known as “engagement”), the relationship is consolidated, because both parties recognize the importance of each other. This is how a loyal audience is won over.

Mastery of the subject

Understanding the industry as a whole, as well as your persona and the very subject you want to address, are elements that contribute immensely to the enrichment of the content you will deliver to your audience. 

The authority that the brand creates around a certain subject transmits the necessary trust to the user, which, again, turns it into loyalty. 

Reflection and registration

In the same way that a product should be created to fulfill a customer’s need, SEO also serves to answer users’ questions. Analyzing them, what are their common points? What do they value? What do they comment on? What doubts do they share? 

It is useful to make a comprehensive record of these topics, to identify opportunities (including products or services), and to know what content to deliver. 

A unique perspective

Following on from the previous point, through your analysis, you will need to research the subject to respond. 

In this process, you will likely come up with a different perspective, and that is when you can create unique content for your target audience. 

Video and live content are still great ways to deliver content, so make sure they contain proper descriptions (alt-text). Good practices are presented in this article.

Internal and external backlinks

Having context-related backlinks gives consistency to articles and pages. After all, a user who wants to go deeper into a topic will appreciate more information about it, facilitated through links on the website itself or an external one. And these backlinks are also accounted for by Googlebot, which indexes them.

Information and inspiration

As with everything in life, the experience of others can be an asset to ourselves and what we do. 

You may have already created a list of reference brands and websites, which already have more knowledge and authority on certain subjects. It is useful to scan them first, to analyze how they approach the information you need to develop, to analyze the sources they use, or the type of images they select.

 

The growing importance of user experience, accompanied by the evolution of technology and constantly changing algorithmic rules, has meant that SEO has also improved. 

In recent years, the spectrum has gone beyond the content and configuration of a website, extending to the positioning of the brand as a whole and the way the user relates to it. To achieve this, cohesion between content, technology, and media is essential for content to reach the podium of Google’s results, but above all to touch the audience. 

All in all, we conclude: that the audience is precisely the one who sets the rules in marketing. After all, who will follow your brand and eventually become your customer is not Google, but real people.