Tag Archives: seo Blog

Content: From a Visitor’s Point of View

Website content is the vehicle site visitors take to decide if your offerings meet their needs. Writing web content requires a style fit for the medium. Web users are busy and rely on the Internet for convenient access to information. To communicate effectively it’s important to understand what motivates users, how they use the web, and how to speak to them on their terms.

Web users are primarily online to solve a problem. The sites they visit must quickly make it clear whether they can solve that problem, or the visitor will move on.

Because of the sheer volume of information available, web users do as little reading as possible, then make a judgement. They scan pages for relevant information, then decide whether or not the site can help them. Information therefore must be presented in “scannable” form. Headings, subheads, photo captions and bullet lists are all important scan-points for website visitors, who use these elements to determine if there is anything worthwhile for them on the page.

If a visitor finds something of interest, they will click to go deeper, and read in more detail. But initially, visitors cannot be expected to wade through lengthy paragraphs when it’s so much easier to click to something else that may be more useful.

Web content also benefits visitors when it’s more focused on information and less on “sales-speak.” Glossy, adjective-laden prose serves the company, not the visitor, and visitors have no patience for it. What visitors want is solid, factual information that helps them solve their problem. The sooner their problem is solved the sooner visitors can stop searching and become customers.

Brief Is Better

Because reading on computer screens takes energy, and because visitors are busy to begin with, web content must be brief. Short paragraphs and sentences with plenty of white space make textual content much more inviting. Cutting the word count to the bare minimum almost always improves readability.

But web pages are not only read by people. Computers read sites, and this is especially important when sites are visited by search engine “spiders.” These programs read pages and assign rankings based on the content they find. Web pages, therefore, should be written with search engines in mind. Keywords should appear in the page’s META and TITLE tags as well as headings, image ALT tags and page copy to improve search engine rankings.

Finally, content should cause visitors to act. “Action” should be the automatic response of visitors whose questions have been answered, and whose problem has been solved as a result of visiting the site. Content can include links or other devices that enable visitors to act on the information they’ve found by going to the next step in the process. Giving users the ability to act on information is a key difference between the web and other communications media, and can be fully utilized in web content. For instance …

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Google’s Tweak Should Mean Better Search Results

Google has tweaked its search algorithm and that should be good news for websites with legitimate content. They are finally going after the “article farms” that create keyword-rich articles in order to rise to the top of popular searches.

Manipulating search engines is something that no one wants but everybody does. The goal of being “#1 on Google” is the typical request of people who want their websites to rank high in search results. But to get there requires meaningful, useful content that others connect to via links — in other words, content that’s good enough to share. And that’s a very good approach for deciding who should get top rankings on search results pages. After all, highly relevant results are what we want when we search, right?

That is, unless your site is one that could also be returned for those same search terms. Then you want your site returned and given priority, whether the content is the best or not. Getting your site to #1 is the art (myth?) of SEO (search engine optimization), an industry that’s been called everything from miraculous to snake oil. And sorting out pages  with genuinely useful content from pages that are merely “optimized” is the dilemma that search engines must deal with every day.

If you’ve gone to great lengths to create useful, meaningful content that helps people make decisions you’ll be happy with Google’s new tweaks, which penalizes sites with content designed simply to manipulate the search engines and manufacture rankings. If you’re an “optimizer,” you won’t be very happy. However, the happiest people of all should be search engine users — remember them? It is useful, relevant information they’re looking for, and if you can deliver the goods you shouldn’t  have to “optimize”  to see your pages valued by Google.

Read full article: Google Tweaks Algorithm to Push Down Low-Quality Sites

SEO and the Article Myth

There’s a myth out there that says, spraying keyword-rich articles about your company and products around the web will enhance your search results. SEO specialist Jill Whalen reminds us that articles, written for people, that give pertinant information to help them make intelligent decisions, is the only effective way to “optimize” your website.

When your goal is to create SEO articles, you’ll almost always make the wrong decision on what to write about or how to write it because you’ll be thinking about search engines rather than your target audience. Anything and everything you write or post to your website needs to have a reason for being there.

And that reason is not SEO.

What you add to your site should always enhance it in the eyes of your target audience.

Read full article: Just Say No to Articles Written for SEO Purposes!.

The Easiest Way to Optimize Your Site

The clip below is from an article on Clickz.com which illustrates that search engine optimization doesn’t always have to be rocket science:

“The easiest way to optimize your site is to love what you do.

Every time I come across a website that’s naturally optimized, it always comes from someone who is passionate about the topic they write about.

Because they love their topic, they have an endless reservoir of material for their websites. Consequently, they come up for hundreds of key phrases in the search engines.

Do you remember when you were in school asking how many pages your research paper had to be? You asked that because you weren’t really interested in the topic. If you had loved the topic, you would have written the paper until you had covered the topic completely. The length of the paper would have been irrelevant.

When someone is just doing a “job,” they always ask if they really have to write new pages for all the key phrases we’ve found. When I say yes, their next question is, “Can we just take the content we have on one page and make a bunch of other pages with the same content and just switch out the targeted key phrases?” No …

People that truly love what they do are living a life filled with purpose and happiness. Almost without fail, they optimize their website perfectly every time.”

Read full article: http://www.clickz.com/3640886

The Three Most Important SEO Factors

In the current economy, SEO (search engine optimization) and social media (Facebook, Twitter, Linked In and the like) are all the rage. Justifiably so. But for the most part, people are interested for the wrong reasons, ie: many tend to think it’s a free or cheap way to making big money on the Internet. Yes, it’s far cheaper than most traditional marketing methods, but  it’s far from free! In fact, a solid commitment of time and financial resources is required for success in these venues, just as it is in any other worthwhile arena.

Still, there are many things that a website owner can do to improve their search rankings — if not become “number one on Google,” as the spam pitches promise. And some of the easiest to implement can also begin providing marked results. That’s the point of this article from ClickZ.com, which shares three simple but effective SEO tips that you can put to use right away.

1: Use Your Key Phrase in Your Title

2: Use the Target Key Phrase in the Body Copy

3: Cross Link Your Pages Using the Target Key Phrases

Sound interesting? Check out the entire article for details, try the techniques and then see how your site does in Google over the next several weeks.

Full article: http://www.clickz.com/3636405