Optimizing Your Content for Humans Part II

Last time we’ve discussed the importance of optimizing content for Humans, because even though some of the visitors you’ll get come from search engines, it’s Humans that you ultimately wish to engage with your content.

They are the ones who you want seeing you as an expert, buying products or services from you and so on.

That’s why I started showing you how to begin optimizing for Humans.

The mindset here is important because we’re no longer focusing on how to find data that’s helpful for search engine crawlers and we don’t want to make the content look good just for search engines.

We care about the Human readers that we eventually bring to the blog, through search engines.

Also, doing this optimizing for Humans thing right will help us get more social love (social signals) and links to our articles because people like to share the things that appeal to them.

So the whole point of optimizing your content for Humans is to make it as appealing as possible for Humans, by performing simple actions.

We started with: Researching Your Topic: Identifying your profitable topic. I showed you how to identify your profitable topic by using Squirrly’s Keyword Research and Analysis tool.

Today, I’ll show you how to find the best topics that you can target for Humans, by only manual means, no Squirrly at all. Also, there will be some actionable work files to help you along and manage all of this better.

What we’re looking for is:

1) Finding the topic, or to be more accurate: the name of the topic, in such way that Humans will easily identify with it and get the feeling that it’s what they were interested in all along.

2) Make sure they discuss your topic because that shows that it’s amazingly important to them.

3) Make sure that the topic is so great that Humans already search for articles regarding it. A lot.

Remember: keywords (or keyphrases for that matter) are topics. Think of them as topics and it will be much easier to make sense of all that follows.

1: Ensure you get the right name for your Topic

This is very important since you want your topic to be profitable.

You have to make sure that you write the more general topic you want to write about in such way that Humans will feel a connection to it. You don’t want to use some bizarre words that your audience just doesn’t use, or never thinks about.

The first thing I always suggest is to try and get a broad perspective into the possible ways in which you can approach the more general topic. Because of the way in which our brain works, we normally think of about 5 ideas, and we don’t go any further with thinking deeper.

Just think about this: the reason brainstorming works is the fact that when you brainstorm you don’t care if an idea is good or stupid, you just write it down and try to come up with as many variations as possible.

I’ve even heard that the guys from Upworthy.com have to write at least 25 headline ideas for every single article they plan to publish.

Doing such an exercise will help you think about your topic with an open mind and will get you closer to that winning, profitable topic.

I did promise you that I won’t use Squirrly to help solve any of the points from today’s lesson, but that doesn’t mean I won’t show you a cool tool (not made by any of us) that does what I’ve just described earlier for you.

It’s a speed hack for this part of the Lesson. Otherwise, it could take you a really long time to come up with about 40 ideas on how to approach your topic.

Go to Answer the Public

There, you will see that you can input some keywords, and Answer the Public (answerthepublic.com) will display you a list of content ideas.

Write all of them down in an excel sheet. See an example below:

www.squirrly.co/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/uber-topic-research.xlsx

In the first column, you’ll see an example that we did for: „cooking recipes.”

Mark with green the items that you think are going to win and which really sound like something you’d write about (and people would like to read).

Mark with yellow the ones that could be good (maybe also think of using them for other blog posts, later on).

Mark with black the ones that you’ll always ignore and never use, because they either seem like nonsense, or you just don’t want to cover.

Great!

Now you have a list of possible names for your topic, that humans relate to, search for and want to read more about.

Just as a side note: when you use the Keyword Research tool from Squirrly SEO, Squirrly does all this in the background, while you wait for the results.

We managed to optimize it so that it works really fast and saves you time.

2: Making sure that Humans discuss your topic.

How to see if the topic you plan to write about is discussed on Twitter

This is a bit of a tricky part because Twitter itself sometimes has problems loading all twitter search results in the Search tab you find on Twitter, so you can falsely believe that Humans don’t talk about your subject.

I suggest that you go ahead and install Tweetdeck (if you haven’t already done this). The Chrome app from Tweetdeck is really powerful and it will help you with your twitter marketing as well.

But here’s how to use Tweetdeck (btw, it’s part of Twitter now) in order to find out if people discuss about your topic:

  • click the search icon in the left menu

  • type in one of the topic ideas you marked with green in the previous step.

  • hit enter
  • click Add Column

Awesome. You now have the first column that you can monitor, in order to see if people actively discuss about your topic.

Repeat this process for all the other topic ideas that you had.

Now how do you manually analyze all of this?

1: First of all (not 100% recommended by me), you can scroll down in each column and see how many messages with your keyword there are. You will be able to figure out if one topic idea has more written messages about it than the other ones.  Of course, it’s not fully recommended, because the twitter search might have temporary issues, and it will not display all results for any given topic.


2: Second (this is a lot better and a lot more valuable): look how fast new tweets come into each column. The one with the biggest frequency of new incoming tweets is your winning topic idea because it shows how actively people are discussing about it. Since you’ll be witnessing this Live, it will give you a good idea of which topic would perform better and is more popular.


3: Third, see how many of the results have your keyword exactly like you thought of writing it. If people keep writing it differently in the feeds, maybe you should start referring to your topic as they do, because it means that that’s what your Human audience wants. And we do optimize content for humans in this lesson.


Good. Now you know that Humans who use twitter discuss about your topic, so it means that it’s important to them and that it will make sense for you to optimize for this topic.

But Twitter is not all of the internet, and it’s always good to see how people discuss your topic on forums as well.

Monitoring discussions related to your topic on forums

Go to Google. Type in one of your topic ideas.

For example: you could type in „cooking recipes for dinner,” because that’s what you’d want to write about.

The usual list of Google results appears. But now you have a menu with Videos, Images, News, Maps, etc.

Click: Settings Advanced Search 

In the field next to all these words, you should see your search term – in this case: „cooking recipes for dinner”.

What you need to do now is add the word forum in the box next to this exact word or phrase (as shown in the image below). Then look for a button that reads Advanced Search (at the bottom of the page). Click on it.

This tells Google that it should ONLY show you results that contain the word Forum.

 

Since the vast majority of forums out there contain the word forum, this tactic will help you discover just how much the topic you want to write about is being discussed across forums.

As you can see below, there are about 11.500.000 results for the search query “cooking recipes for dinner.” It’s definitely a popular topic.

Look at how many results there are for the topic you’re considering writing about.

If you look at the results, you will see that they are indeed related to your topic, and also discussed on many forums and blogs, which is just what you wanted.

Another great idea is to also use the Last Update section in Settings/Advanced Search, and switch from „Any Time” to „past month”, or „past year”, something like that, to make sure it’s still something that Humans talk about these days, not just like in 2006 or last year.

Time for the big ’ol Facebook to help us in our quest

As usual, this is just an example, but I’d like to follow in the line of „cooking recipes”.

Thanks to the Open Graph it’s really cool to see which people like which topics. Of course, this is definitely not the absolute popularity of a certain topic, but it may help you along with what you’ve learned from Twitter and Google Discussions.

You can see the number of likes for each topic, and therefore, how popular a certain topic is.

Also, if you know that your Facebook audience is targeted and you want to feed them new cool topics, to bring in more popularity and moola moola, you can search for „friends who like cooking recipes”, or something like that. This will help you figure out which of the topics you thought about are of real interest to your audience.

Whew… We finally managed to see what topics are most discussed by Humans.

Very important, if you want your articles to matter to people. If you’re writing about a topic that no one talks about, it’ll most probably end up boring and obscure, no matter how SEO you made your SEO content.

Most certainly, this was a lot more work than just looking at the topic name results from Squirrly’s Keyword Research Tool and getting the social intelligence from it saying: “yes, this topic is popular”, “no, people don’t really talk about this”.

3: Find that one topic name that is so great Humans already search for articles regarding it. Like, a lot.

Google doesn’t have their Keyword Research Tool anymore, so we’re going to use their Keyword Planner tool for this one.

– Go to Google Keyword Planner Tool
– Click „Search for keyword and ad group ideas”
– Input your keywords (topic ideas, the ones you marked green) into the first box.
– Click „Get Ideas”
– Go to the Keyword Ideas tab, not the Ad group ideas.

There’s one thing I must warn you about: this will not help you find the number of Humans who search for your topic, written Exactly as you wrote it. If you remember from the last lesson, that is incredibly important when it comes to optimizing your content for Humans.

Lesson over :)

Now you know how to start optimizing for Humans, by finding topics that Humans are genuinely interested in.

These are the topics that are prone to bring in some profit for you, and make those Humans share your articles with other Humans, making you more popular and more moola, moola.

Great! Now you have your topics. In the next lesson, we’ll get into writing content for Humans and optimizing it, so that Humans will genuinely like to read your stuff, share it and come back for more.

Keep practicing with this.

Optimizing Your Content For Humans: Identifying Your Profitable Topic

It’s great to see you in class today for the second lesson of this training program.

Nowadays, there is a lot of talk about optimizing things for search engines, and it’s useful to take care of that aspect, but the risk of doing such is that you’ll miss the whole point: it’s humans that you want reading your articles.

Oh, man.. Now we’re in trouble.

The ones who are supposed to be bringing you in some nice moola, moola (just an awful slang for money) are People. Humans, like you and me. And we don’t care about seeing a robots.txt file in your site.

We care about seeing that you actually speak our own language and make a persuasive case to prove a point, or give us food for thought. You won’t get to this by using the settings from Squirrly SEO and generating a sitemap, because we won’t crawl it like some search engine bots.

You know that SEO is amazingly important, and trust me, it is, no matter what nay-sayers will tell you.

But, in the end, all that we ever do regarding optimizing our sites and the content from our sites for search engines, we only do in order to get more Humans to read our stuff and engage with our content.

My first and most important objective is to help you approach all of these internet marketing activities with the right attitude.

The purpose of this training is to get you into the right mindset regarding how to plan out your SEO content. The training covers some pretty important aspects of how to optimize for search engines.

Once you know how to get search engines to help you bring in Humans, it’s important to make sure that when the Humans come, they will love your site a lot and just keep coming back.

What we’ll do next is start focusing on the Humans part.

The biggest problem that content writers face when trying to market their content (e.g. Actually getting the written stuff to be read by others) is that readers miss the whole point because the writer doesn’t really speak their language. He doesn’t use the words that the audience expects him to use.

This can make them feel like what they found on the internet through search engines, just isn’t right for them.

There’s just no click between what the writer wrote, and what they kinda hoped they would find.

Seriously: remember when your Math’s teacher used to talk very academically about weird symbols and numbers and stuff and you were like “Okay, so when will this class finally be over?“.

You couldn’t really click a button in the browser and be done with that Math class, you had to stay for 45 more minutes, but your reader sure can (and he also will).

When talking about Research, many focus on the SEO stuff related to keyword research. But that is not enough, because you also have to research your topic.

So, in this second lesson, we’ll start with “Researching Your Topic” .

In the following ones, we’ll go deeper into how we include Human Optimization techniques into writing the content and then into measuring the success of the content we write.

Because we’ve put a lot of energy into building this free training program for you, every part of it is methodical and takes you by the hand in a step-by-step learning process.

First step: Researching Your Topic

Chapter 1: Identifying Your Profitable Topic

Remember: in order to gain an audience by means of search engines and people who recommend your articles on social networks, you need to include certain terms in your titles that will grab the audience’s attention because it’s a topic they are genuinely interested in.

This is done via a keyword, or a key phrase (basically a search phrase that contains more than one keyword). We’re not doing SEO again, don’t worry. Just follow through.

We’ll use “keyword” to refer to both „keyword” and „key phrase”. Otherwise, it’s exhausting to read (trust me, I know from reading a lot on this subject).

Think of the keyword as a topic for what you’re planning to write.

Here’s why: You’re optimizing for Humans, so you have to make sure that the topic you plan to discuss in your article is something that Humans are genuinely interested in, and that they’re already discussing about that topic in a certain way and trying to find more articles about said topic.

To sum this up:

1) Find the topic, or to be more accurate: the name of the topic, in such way that Humans will easily identify with it and get the feeling that it’s what they were interested in all along.


2) Make sure they discuss your topic because that shows that it’s amazingly important to them.


3) Make sure that the topic is so great that Humans already search for articles regarding it. A lot.

These are the 3 important aspects of identifying a topic that’s worth writing about in order to have it bring in moola moola (that awful slang for $$ again) for your IT services business, muffins business, etc. Some people call this: profitable topic identification.

Awesome! We talked about moola moola, now let’s see how you can find your profitable topic, by using Squirrly, and also by NOT using Squirrly.

Identifying your profitable topic by using Squirrly.

If you are a Squirrly SEO user, I hope you updated your Squirrly plugin to the latest version.

It’s important that you update it to make sure it works right (we spend all our days doing R&D and improving it, to better serve your needs as a content writer and as a marketer).

1: Suggestions

Okay, now here’s what you need to do:

a) Make sure Squirrly is activated and updated on your WordPress site.

b) Go to your Squirrly Dashboard.

c) Click on Research on the blue bar you see there.

d) Input some of your topic ideas, where it says: Enter a keyword that matches your business. We’re using the same thing, but with the Optimizing for Humans mindset. You’ll see that it’s a lot different, as we focus on more important things than before.

e) Click on Next, and then add the Google domain you want to rank on. This is how you start doing research and analysis using Squirrly’s keyword research tool (the algorithm is really complex).

f) You’ll receive a list of your topic ideas and also a few other suggestions made by our Squirrly SEO software.

g) Look at the information associated with your topics. At this point, you care only about two bits of information: Discussion and Search.

Ignore Trend and Competition for now, as they are valuable only for SEO.

2: Discussion

Discussion shows you how many people discuss that topic that you want to write about on Twitter, Facebook, and Forums.

You’ll see in the next Lesson that doing this manually will take you a lot of time. But it’s still worth it.

As I said before, for a topic to be profitable, people need to actively talk about it, so make sure that people discuss about your topics.

3: Search

Now,  look at Search.

This shows you the exact number of people who search for your topic in the exact way that you wrote your topic.

Example:

If people search (exactly) for „cheap cat food” more than they search for „organic cat food”, it will be more profitable for you, in the long run, to write about „cheap cat food”, because more people want that. That’s why Search is so important.

If you’d do this research using Broad Search, you’d get a lot of noise that messes up your profitable topic identification.

PRO TIP

You can also use a tool like Squirrly SPY to spy on your competitors and get new topic ideas. Squirrly SPY will give you a list of keywords that your competitor uses to rank on Google.

By seeing the keywords your competitor uses, you can get inspired on hot topics you haven’t yet covered in your content – but you should. You’re basically getting access to a treasure trove of high ROI keywords that are already working out for businesses in your niche.

Once you have that list of keywords, you can follow the steps provided in this lesson to analyze them and find new profitable topics that are worth writing about.

End of Lesson 2: Quick Recap

  • The Suggestions helped you identify the possible names for tackling the more general topic, or just the right name of the topic. Humans will love to see that you use what they had in mind (makes them feel more okay with the content they’re going to read).
  • The Discussion data that we pull in using our Social Intelligence features shows you how popular the topic is and how much people talk about it across different networks.
  • The Search data shows you how many people actively search for articles on the topic that you plan to write about.

The one that’s most discussed and has the most exact searches is your winning, profitable, moola moola bringing topic.

Great!

You’ve just learned the first important step in Optimizing Content for Humans.

In the next lesson, I’ll show you how to do this without using Squirrly SEO, and we’ll include some cool work files for you to help you out.