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Don’t let creativity get in the way of good content

Author's avatar By James Story 23 Aug, 2018
Essential Essential topic

Chart of the Day: Almost half of content writers struggle to balance creativity with technical skill

47% of content writers say their biggest challenge is finding the balance between creativity and search optimization in their content.

That’s the heart of this blog post, so that’s what it leads with – pulled straight from the pages of SEMrush and Content Marketing Institute’s research into the keys to content success, released in April.

Content creation challenges

Content creation, from the writer’s point of view, is a constant struggle expounding the virtues of a product (its durability, value for money, luxury materials etc.), mimicking how people naturally speak, and what Google wants to see.

Have you ever seen a movie and thought ‘that’s nice, by why is it called (blank)?’* That’s how Google looks at your content. Google doesn’t care about flowery introductions or that wonderful character-building moment you want to share with the world. It wants to provide searchers with the information they need. When your creativity gets in the way, the point of your content becomes clouded, readers are less likely to read it, and Google moves you down its rankings.

Before you get writing, put time into the second-highest issue from SEMrush’s research: understanding your target audience and its problems. Think about how your product caters to the issues your target audience need solving. Write in the same manner as the other publications you audience enjoy reading.

The more time you spend researching, the better content you can create. That doesn’t just apply to your customers – you also need to know what keywords you are optimizing for. You want to find phrases that have respectable search volume but also will help steer your content.

When conducting keyword research, look out for indicators of reader intent. Below is a variety of search terms that are around the same topic, but have different reader intent behind them:

  • Greater understanding – Why should I save money?
  • Practical instruction – How to save money at home
  • Usable resources – Budget planning template
  • Knowledge testing – Money saving quiz
  • Bite-sized content – Fast money saving tips

By understanding the difference between why people search what they do, you can decide on your keywords and the content creation process can begin.

Keywords -> Format -> Title -> Content

This means your core keywords will still be fresh in your mind when you come to creating your content, meaning you’re less likely to go on long-winded tangents that turn away customers.

*My most frequent substitutions for this sentence are A Clockwork Orange, Reservoir Dogs, and Brazil

Author's avatar

By James Story

James Story has worked in the world of digital marketing since 2014 as a content and online PR executive. Specialising in content creation, he has been part of award-nominated projects and instrumental in the creation of content hubs. With a passion for the written word and an eye for detail, he is currently the Senior Content Manager for Lead Tech, a financial lead generation company providing high-quality leads for financial advisers and financial advice firms. You can connect with James on LinkedIn

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