Google Advises to Focus on Audience, Not Just Tools

Shahid Maqbool

By Shahid Maqbool
On Nov 23, 2023

Google Advises to Focus on Audience Not Just Tools

Key Takeaways

  • Write content for your target audience and in their language, not just to please search engines.

  • Research what your readers actually search for.

  • Use tools to assist, but let your judgment guide decisions.

Google's John Mueller recently responded to a question on Reddit about relying on SEO tools to create content.

The person asking manages a blog for a Vietnamese travel company targeting Americans and Australians. He was confused because the popular SEO tool Surfer SEO was giving contradictory advice.

Here is the question.

I write for and manage the blog of a Vietnamese travel agency catering mainly to American and Australian tourists. Many of the article H2s contain the actual Vietnamese versions of words (such as location names) because a few uses of the accented version (e.g. Quảng Bình vs Quang Binh) tend to show up in Surfer SEO's suggestions.

Am I correct in my assumption that the accents should not be present because the target audience (tourists) will not be using accent marks in their searches? Or do accent marks not matter in Google's eyes?

In response, John Mueller advised:

Write in your audience's language - for the head(ers), body, & soul (whatever the soul of a webpage would be, I had to squeeze that in somehow, sorry). Don't rely on SEO tools to tell you how to write - do your own research.

Mueller's advice highlights the importance for SEOs to understand who their target audience is and optimize content specifically for them, not just to please algorithms. 

Also in my professional opinion, this speaks to a crucial need as an SEO professional - validating tool recommendations against real-world searcher behaviour.

As Google's John Mueller rightly pointed out, no tool should override the judgement of the content creator when it comes to understanding audience needs.

While SEO tools can provide useful input, they often base suggestions on limited datasets or generalized best practices. This may fail to account for the nuances of a specific reader base.

The bottom line - treat tools as assistants, not directors. Allow their insights to augment human creativity and judgement instead of replacing it.

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