“I want to be the first one”, “I want to be the first on the first page of google”, “What keyword density do you recommend for articles of 700 to 3000 words ?” Autant de phrases que j’ai déjà eu l’occasion d’entendre. So many sentences that I have already had opportunity to hear. You have not even started your blog and you really ask me in how long will your articles be referenced? All these sentences, these comments are certainly amusing, but point to a much bigger problem.

It shows that most people think more about Google than their actual target audience. Instead of being proactive and focusing on the needs of their audience, their business strategy is responsive and guided by what Google thinks.

If you do that, you are doomed to failure. If you are writing a useful article only for your own promotion, what will be the consumer’s interest in reading you and then joining your brand? Numerous studies such as those conducted by Sheth in 1991, Ricchins in 1997 or Hoolbrook in 1999 have shown that the consumer evaluates the product for its functional characteristics, but also the emotional and symbolic dimensions that can give him. This is also apparent from an IFOP study that brands that provide real utility to the user are the most popular.

Stop worrying (only) about Google!

I’m not saying that Google is irrelevant or that you should never think about it. It is one of the leading search engines, giving it an edge over all other free traffic sources in terms of volume and accuracy.

This is not a “bad guy”. He does not want to penalize you (unless you resort to questionable practices like black hat SEO). In fact, he does not even care about you. All that interests him is his user base. Have you ever taken the time to read Google’s philosophy? The user experience is at the top of the list!

It will not interfere with the search engine in the least if you post 100 00 words a day, get hundreds of referring links from serious and well-connected sites, if you put your keywords in bold or if you use H1 tags .

It’s not for you, it has never been for you. He just wants to see if you are creating value for his users. This value is to give users what they are looking for. As Gregory Pouy said it very well in his blog : “There has never been any question of harassing consumers, but of creating real and deep relationships, but also of creating products, services and content that are useful to them. In the same way, it is not a question either of launching products to revive the request and to give a reason to make the media, but to create the link ”. Brands must distinguish themselves by adopting a coherent discourse in line with the communication they generate in order to become a source of inspiration for consumers and show the value it can bring them.

It has been a long time since consumption is no longer reduced simply to the act of purchase. On the contrary, it is a set of interactions that refer to practices or exchanges of values ​​and meaning. Indeed, according to the sociologist Maurice Halbwachs: ”Consuming is not just spending if you acquire material goods, it’s good and take part in social life.

Want to be at the top of the search results? So, think of the users first! If you respond correctly to their need and their request, Google will send you traffic, because the situation is win for everyone.

If you create value and interesting content for your users, Google will send you all the traffic you need. That’s how successful businesses are built: putting the user first.

1. Think long term

I will not teach you anything, a legitimate blog with quality content that will be online for years, is better than a site that will live only a few months, and then will be penalized by Google. These do not work anymore. If you have lived in a closet during the last decade, you should know that sites using SEO techniques that do not comply with Google’s rules are quickly penalized. To put it simply: If you do not put your audience at the center of your content creation strategy, you will be penalized. Doubtful techniques will certainly require less effort, but your site will quickly be spotted and will be relegated to the last place. Making an effort on the editorial and quality of your content will require more effort, more time, but the strategy will pay off in the long run.

Before, the brand made a value proposition in the form of a vertical system with marks above and consumers below: “Here is the product, this is what he does more than the others, buy it” . The goal was to be present as much as possible, to place the name of the brand or products everywhere, all the time with a clubbing message. Now we are on horizontal media, so there is no hierarchy between the brand and the consumer. Nobody is above anyone. You have to be much more subtle in the value proposition. As you will have understood to maximize your value and go beyond the simple customer satisfaction, you must connect to the consumer by placing it at the center of all your strategy. You no longer have to be a simple product, your brand must become an active experience, a prism through which we look at the world and a participant in the familiar, societal and emotional environment of consumers.

In the end, would you like to start your business on rickety foundations or with reinforced concrete pillars? If you think of the first answer, I will give you free advice that will save you time and money: do not do business.

2.  Develop a content strategy around the issues your audience faces

Let’s be clear ! Google wants to provide accurate and qualitative search results for its users, you want to create content for your users. What’s better than using the questions they ask themselves, the problems they encounter as subject of blog posts?Identify your audience’s problems and offer them an answer using the right terms (terminology, keywords). And by correctly identifying your target’s needs, giving them what they want, you gain their trust, respect and loyalty.

Indeed, with the advent of the Internet social networks, consumers have risen to the pedestal of the “absolute mark”, they jostled it, forced to listen and meet the needs they express. During the first research about the consumer behavior realised by Bettman en 1979, was described as a process of gathering information in order to meet a need to be met by finding a response that would be best for him.

So forget about Google and try to understand your readers.

3. Forget the keywords, focus on your subject

“What should be the density of my keywords?”, “Should I put keywords in my content”,  “Is it ok to use my keyword in the H1 and H2?”, “Can I create a white square on my site and write in white all the keywords on which I want to appear? “Stooop! Stop everything! You ask the wrong questions. It’s over, we are no more in 2008 and stuffing your keyword content will not work ! Quite the opposite , it will penalize you more than anything else.

Search engines are now smarter and they no longer rely on the exact keywords to understand the subject of your content. Since 2013, the best search results do not even have the exact keyword in the title.

Stop worrying about keywords, think about your topic as a whole. Concentrate on writing a complete and quality content that naturally contains the keywords related to your field in order to be as authentic as possible. If you write an article in a completely artificial way for one and only promotional purpose by stuffing so many keywords that the article in question becomes unreadable and tasteless: better to erase everything.

4. Stop counting words

I know that the highest ranked content has about 2000 words. If the longer posts rank better than the others, is the number of words a determining factor for the position in the ranking?

No Madam ! No Sir ! 

They rank because they have detailed, comprehensive and well-researched content. This is the determining factor: the usefulness of the content.

You can not write deep, well-researched content in just 300 words, use as many words as you need to cover your subject and get your message across. In short, write normally.

5. Diversify your traffic sources 

“Don’t put all your eggs in one basket”. This adage has its place here. Go beyond Google’s proposal, diversify your sources of traffic. Even the giant of Silicon Valley tells you to do it, the algorithm sees favorably the diversity of the traffic. It is necessary a good mix between direct research, referents and traffic coming from social networks.

For diversity, the recipe is the same: focus on the needs of your audience. When your audience trusts you and finds your site useful, they remember you, visit your blog regularly, share your content on the networks, and sometimes subscribe to your newsletter.

Always think about your audience first !

Being obsessed with SEO is not a problem … You just have to be in the right direction. SEO is the satisfaction of your audience first because that’s what Google wants too. Never forget your users, they must be at the center of all your strategies.

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