Why Story Works as Search Engine Optimization Strategy

Marketers spend unnecessary time and money optimizing online content for search engines. That’s because many marketers implement two approaches to content creation. They first write for search engines and then write for humans, or vice versa. This disjointed, two-step approach to content creation doubles the workload and sets marketers up for long-term failure. Each new algorithm release and update can, and often does, negatively impact search engine optimization (SEO) metrics. This can create tiresome, unprofitable work and even lose the service provider its client(s).

Why Story Works in Search Engine Optimization — Appealing to Humans and Machines

There is a way for marketers to avoid these cumbersome challenges in SEO. The solution is to create content that appeals to both human minds and artificial agents in a coordinated, one-step strategy.

That strategy is storytelling.

Story design follows our brains’ natural neurological pathways to learning and bonding. We as humans have used story for hundreds and thousands of years for survival. It was how we built community and culture, evolved language, and shared history and information generation-to-generation. How our brains work hasn’t changed much and story is still the primary way we process, retain, and share information.

This is why search engines favor content with story elements over content that lacks it.

Google and other search companies understand that it needs machines to “think” like humans in order to select and provide the content humans search, enjoy, and find useful. (This is one of the reasons Google is working on artificial intelligence and machine learning initiatives.) Google wants to be as fast and efficient at serving content as possible, but also provide the best content available based on each user’s search intent.

The importance of story-structured content will only increase as technology advances and machine learning progresses.

Prevent Long-Term SEO Challenges and Failures

The search engines that scan, index, and provide content in search results imitate human cognition patterns with more and more efficiency every year. This means the companies that take longer to implement story in content strategy will encounter more SEO challenges in the future.

It’s also why black-hat SEO tactics don’t work, at least not for long. Algorithm updates will always negatively impact SEO metrics for those who are attempting to trick the machines rather than provide original, story-structured content.

Future-Proof Your SEO Content Strategy

You have the ability to future-proof your SEO content strategy by creating the content that is structured to complement human cognition and artificial intelligence. That first step is understanding story and implementing it throughout content.

Imagine your team executing website user experience tune-ups instead of repeatedly re-optimizing previous content. Imagine technical SEO metrics staying consistent (and even improving) once an algorithm is released or updated. Imagine presenting a consistent and science-backed strategy to clients when they want to know why they should trust you with their search marketing efforts.

Contact me to learn how I can work with your team as a Story Strategist and Consultant. I work with content teams to provide services including:

  • Presenting and educating clients on campaign ideas and theory
  • Participating in lunch-and-learn and team-building presentations
  • Developing story-structured content strategies for search marketing initiatives
  • Developing analytics and measurement plans for story campaigns
  • Providing regular and insightful reporting on services and campaign results

All services may be in collaboration with external or internal content and analytics teams.

About Katherine R. Dollar and Moxie Blue Media

I’m a story strategist and marketing technologist, and I help companies better understand and leverage how buyers interact with their brand through stories and technology.

Moxie Blue Media (launched in 2014) is an ecosystem of marketing specialists, agencies, and technology companies that refer and work together to create mission-oriented, data-driven marketing concepts.

As founder of Moxie Blue Media I work with a variety of marketing and technology partners focused on content strategy, user experience, big data, omni-channel personalization, and experiential marketing. Together we help clients transform campaign ideas into business development solutions.


The journey is better together. Contact me to set up a time to visit about your content and marketing goals.

Email: kdollar@moxiebluemedia.com

Twitter: @KRDollar