There are two compelling reasons to write for people and not for search bots or web crawlers. The first has always been true. The second comes from our own success as SEOs and web marketers.
If you don’t write for people you won’t reach people. Then it doesn’t matter what your ranking is, you won’t be selling anything.
Google has started penalizing (harder) for over-optimization.
The thinking is circular: You write for the search engines because that is how people find you; but if you don’t write for the people, they won’t look for you.
There is something to realize about Google and its counterparts across the web: they’re nothing but tools. Their ubiquity across social and cultural barriers can’t be questioned. But, for all that, they’re still just tools. So, instead of catering to the tools, we should be putting out persuasive, informative, well-written content that solves people’s problems.
Make It Usable First
With content, technological optimization is not the place to start. That content is for someone to read, watch, and interact with. People should get a jolt in the pleasure centers of their brains from your content.
Beginning your content with technological optimization is like picking out your recording equipment before you’ve even written a song.
Must be valuable to people.
Should not be full of jargon.
Cannot be all about you.
Sharpen Your Message
To stand out, your message must be honed to its essence and effectively presented in diverse ways. Everyone learns differently so you need to cater to different learning styles. Communicate in text, yes, but balance it with video, images, and graphics. Supplement it with audio. Provide your distinct view in ways that will reach every interested person in a range of palatable format.
Perform a Quality Check
You test your product before shipping it, presumably. You should be testing your content before you put it out there on the internet.
Experience your sites as a user would.
Test links, forms, and navigation.
Look for consistency of style.
A quality user experience is what drives sharing, ranking, and traffic.