Four States Small Business Blog

Business Website Essentials: Write Content to Satisfy User Intent

Posted by Brett James on October 3, 2023 at 7:00 AM
How to write to satisfy search intent
Last week, we started our series on business website essentials by discussing what to put 'above the fold' on your homepage. This week, we're continuing with a look into how to develop content for your website that will help your site become visible on search engines and serve your web visitors well. We can summarize how to meet both these objectives in a single sentence: Write content to satisfy user intent. But to better understand how to do that, let's get more specific.

How Does Google Score Web Content?

Google is by far the most used and most powerful search engine. So, to make your website as discoverable as possible, it's important to understand Google's priorities. Google maintains its status as the go-to search engine by consistently providing its users with a great experience. It does this by serving users content that almost telepathically matches their search intent. 

What does that mean for your website? Setting aside all the nerdy ins and outs of SEO and Google's constantly changing ways of determining the quality of your site's content, it means that if your site's content is accurate, helpful, and entertaining to web visitors, Google will be more likely to show it higher in the search results for relevant keywords. 

Writing Content To Satisfy Search Intent

Since writing quality content is the most important aspect of improving your website's visibility, you may be wondering how to ensure you're writing quality content. Although writing web copy includes a fair amount of trial and error, there are several things that you can do from the start to create good content.

1. Understand the Query

Before diving into writing, take a moment to understand the user's query. What are they really looking for? What is the underlying purpose behind their search? Avoid getting stuck on technical inaccuracies in the user's search term. After all, someone looking for answers isn't an expert on the topic. That's why they'll be coming to you for answers. So, get in the searcher's mindset and prepare to meet them where they are.

2. Create Relevant and Comprehensive Content

Once you grasp the user's intent, create content that directly addresses their needs. Be thorough and coverer all aspects of the topic. If a user searches for "how to start a vegetable garden," your content should provide a step-by-step guide, addressing common challenges and offering practical tips.

3. Use Natural Language

Search engines are increasingly adept at understanding natural language. Instead of awkwardly stuffing your content with keywords, incorporate them naturally into the content. Write for humans first; search engines will follow suit.

4. Answer Questions Directly

Many users formulate their queries in the form of questions. Identify these questions and answer them directly in your content. If someone is searching for "best budget smartphones," your content should present a clear list with concise explanations.

5. Optimize for Featured Snippets

Featured snippets, those bite-sized pieces of information that appear at the top of search results, are highly coveted. Structure your content in a way that lends itself to these snippets. Use headers, bullet points, and concise paragraphs to make it easy for search engines to extract information.

Things to Avoid When Writing Web Content

Now that we've discussed ways to craft quality content for your website that will perform well with search engines let's look at some things you should always avoid when writing web content.
  1. Keyword stuffing
  2. Long paragraphs
  3. Overly complex sentence structures
  4. Clickbait style language (never promise something you can't deliver)
  5. Repetitive content
If you avoid these common web writing pitfalls and focus on meeting the user's needs completely, you'll be well on your way to having a visible and high-traffic website!

Next Week...

Next week, we'll continue this series covering business website essentials by looking at powerful features that will help your website compete in the coming year!

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