Let’s say for a second that you’ve committed every trick in the book to get your website to rank just a little higher in the search engines. You’ve used keywords in place of pronouns to the point that you’ve begun to doubt your own command of the English language.

Maybe, if you’re lucky, the results are beginning to pay off. Google has begun to refer more search traffic to your website. I’ve got some news that I hate to break:

Website Traffic Alone Won’t Pay Your Bills

The obnoxious bumper sticker didn’t read “He who dies with the most traffic wins.” You can drive thousands or millions of unique visitors to your site. If they’re not your audience, that traffic is as useless as a $3 bill. Traffic alone as a metric doesn’t tell the whole story.

So let’s go back to the searcher who found your site through the keyword bomb you dropped on Google for a moment.

There’s a fleeting moment (about 5 seconds) as that searcher clicks on your site, where they’re looking for the right type of content. They’re looking to learn. They’re looking to have their specific questions answered. It’s the “OK now what?” moment for you and them.

Instead of finding what they’re looking for, there’s more mumbo jumbo. They don’t care that you’re a landscape company providing your landscaping services for people looking for landscaping. Forming these types of sentences just makes you look dumb.

Businesses that engage in this type of search engine trickery have already wasted their capital in the transaction simply attracting this traffic, and it may not be the right traffic. There’s another way to do business out there, and it’s a little friendlier.

Try Search Engine Humanization

It’s a phrase that self-proclaimed non-expert expert Marc Ensign coined to bring the human element back into marketing, and it’s also a free ebook he wrote that will help you.

I’ve mentioned this idea before. Unless you’re lucky enough to count Google among your clients, chances are you’re barking up the wrong tree. You need to be focusing your efforts on the people who might actually buy what you sell–you need to be more human-centric.

You need to be writing the type of content that’s good enough to be shared. You need to be answering readers’ questions, providing consistent value, and standing out from the competition.

Blogging Accomplishes Your Objectives

Not just publishing mediocre posts, either. You need to consistently provide the type of information that builds trust. This means spending time answering the types of questions clients are likely to ask in person. Chances are someone’s searching for those same questions.

It means not letting your blog sit unattended for months. That’s a quick turnoff for anyone who happens to stumble into your corner of the world. It means giving up the hard sell and not drowning readers in keywords.

Treat your readers right at this point, and you’re far more likely to hear from them in the future!

Matt Brennan is a Chicago-area marketing writer and copy editor. He is also the author of Write Right-Sell Now.