Boop beep bop bop boop beep. If you have no idea what that’s supposed to mean, that’s good! It means you’re not actually a robot and I apologize if you didn’t enjoy being spoken to like one.

No, I haven’t gone off my rocker. I will however, ask you one question: How many of you have read something online that made absolutely no sense because it was either saturated with key words and self-promotional talk, or just a blurb of writing for the sake of writing?

In today’s world, marketers and advertisers alike are all guilty of creating content designed for search engine algorithms to boost website rankings. But recent shifts in the way SEO works force brands to care a little more about what’s on the other side of the computer screen: you.

As John Miller recently stated, creating shareable content is where it’s at. So how exactly do we go about doing that? Should you just throw something together, sprinkle on some fairy dust, say a quick prayer and hope for the best?

If that’s your style, then sure, knock yourself out. But the best mantra to think of when embarking on a new content strategy or executing a tactic is this: Create content for humans.

Not a robot. Not your dog. Not aliens on Mars. Think people. Think of what your mom likes to read or what your brother’s interests are. Think about how you talk to your friends about what you did during the day, or that horrible March Madness Gonzaga upset (still bitter about that one over here). Whether discussing common interests or something you’re personally passionate about, the listener is there for one of two reasons: either he likes the topic of conversation, or he likes you and wants to hear everything you have to say.

If you’ve ever read a comic by the witty illustrator, The Oatmeal, you’ve probably come across a boring topic that peaked your interest simply because the story was told well, and most likely, was also funny. When honoring the under-appreciated engineer/physicist, Nikola Tesla, Oatmeal highlighted his key life achievements in an exciting, interesting, and funny manner. In doing so, he took something that was appealing to a select few, and made it comprehensible to the masses.

Granted, not all of us are up to par in the Photoshop arena as The Oatmeal and we rely on borrowed images to accompany our text. Yet you can still follow some golden rules for creating content with people like yourself in mind, while also keeping your SEO plan intact.

  • Research keywords related to your industry so you can create content you know people are interested in.
  • Make sure all of your content is streamlined on the same domain name or subdomain.
  • Don’t just write fluff- people can tell when you truly don’t care about something and will see right through empty words. Be passionate about what you’re writing, and let it show. If you have a strong opinion about something relevant to your brand, then share it.
  • Keep your content consistent with your brand and industry. If your company creates and sells cardboard cutouts of celebrities, distributing content on global warming wouldn’t exactly make sense.
  • Be interesting and throw in some humor if appropriate. Remember, people like to be entertained.

Content isn’t an SEO or advertising dumping ground. You can’t think that you’re selling to mindless robots who will believe every sales pitch you throw at them. You have to open your eyes with the mindset that you’re building relationships with other humans, like yourself.