|Writing for People and Search
So you've decided to get a website
that's optimized for search engines. You're no dummy. You
want your website to show up any time a search is conducted
in your area of expertise. Who can blame you? But wait. Be
prepared for twists and turns ahead.
The Bible says, "My people perish from lack of knowledge."
This is also true in the technical world of search engine
marketing. Your lack of understanding of how search engines
find websites can be detrimental to your success. In effect,
you could lose your website investment, and lose again by
not being at the top of the engines later. If your website
is built and written correctly, you will experience a positive
return on your website investment that pays dividends for
years to come.
Before you start correcting the website content created for
you by The Marketing Shop, or any webmaster experienced in
SEO, make sure you have a firm grasp of search engine optimization.
If you have a question about something that looks peculiar,
ask your designer before you spend too much time fretting.
Chances are--if it's on your website--it's there for a purpose.
Writing a website is a delicate balance between pleasing people
and computers. Strike the right balance and you'll find your
website at the top of the search engines, converting your
website traffic into loyal clients. Miss the mark and your
site will be in no man's land without a word to say.
Here's a few things to know about search engine optimization
before reading your website content for the first time:
Keywords are Paramount. If your website does not have the
keyword content that people are using for search, it will
not show up in search results, period. This is not quantum
physics. Computers are machines. They can only pick up text.
It's crucial that we analyze what people are typing into the
search engines and build your website content accordingly.
Keyword Research is Necessary. The Marketing Shop performs
extensive keyword research for all our web marketing clients.
We want to know exactly what people are typing in what into
the search engines to find products and services like yours.
Based upon our expertise in search engine optimization, we
determine the best keywords and phrases to optimize on your
site. We have many different calculations that we use to determine
which keywords to optimize for and rest assured we've done
our homework on the best keywords for the current development
phase of your website.
Headings Must Be Search Engine Optimized. The headings of
your website impact your website search engine optimization.
It is important that they read in a precise way in order for
you to "score points" with the search engines and rank higher
in search results. There are at least three levels of headings
(h1, h2 and h3). If you're keywords aren't here, your page
won't be optimized.
We try to maintain a balance by writing headings that are
search engine optimized, and compelling for the reader. A
headline sets up the structure of the page and entices people
to read further. We try to do both wherever possible.
Your Page Layout Must Be Search Engine Optimized. Everything
about your website must be optimized for search or you may
loose valuable opportunities to gain new customers. Our websites
have generally the same layout because our research has shown
the layout to be most effective for SEO. While there are probably
many better ways to layout your website, we prefer the way
that the search engines prefer in effort to attract website
Your Navigation Will Make or Break Your Search Rankings. The
navigation on your website is integral to your website for
a variety of reasons. First, it contains links that help the
search engine spiders get to where they need to go on your
site. Second, it contains keywords that help your website
get indexed for search queries.
We strive to create intuitive and easy to use navigation systems
that are search engine optimized. Much thought goes into the
creation of your navigation. Though it may see strange, your
navigation is built for search engines and people. Whenever
possible, we will add keywords and key phrases to each and
every link of your navigation. Here's some bizarre things
you may encounter on your SEO navigation:
Repetition Keywords: It's important to put keywords everywhere,
including the navigation system. Not only do the keywords
score points for being there, but the link itself scores double
points for linking to the page it's linking to.
Re-Phrasing of Terminology: Sometimes we will need to breakdown
the way you phrase something in order to make it match with
what people are searching for in the search engines. If our
research shows that people are not searching for a given term,
we will change it to suit the search queries of the customers
you want to win.
Localization is A Sticky Situation. Many of The Marketing
Shop website clients are those seeking web marketing in a
local vicinity. We do our best to bring you customers only
from the area you request. However, there are times when our
keyword research concludes that people are just not searching
for your local area and we have to optimize more broadly.
If this is the case, rest assured that targeting the broader
area will still render results in your local area due to our
expertise in local web marketing.
Each Page is Only Optimized for One or Two Phrases. The most
successful web pages for search engines are optimized for
only one or two keyword phrases. That means the title is about
one thing and the page contains the same keywords sprinkled
throughout with plenty of links reflecting the same keywords
Images are Invisible to Search Engines. If you were expecting
a website to be a lead-generator that has more visual appeal
and aesthetic stimulation, please reconsider. Images are invisible
to search engines. Studies also show that people want information
when they come on the web as opposed to a colorful "website
Content is King. Content is king for a variety of reasons
including for search engine optimization, for website conversion
enhancement and for inclusion into Google.
Search Engines: Search engines can read only text. It makes
sense to keep fresh, relevant content on your site for search
Website Conversion Enhancement: People are on the web to get
information, not to read brochures. The more information you
provide for them, the "stickier" your website becomes and
the more people will bookmark your site and rely on it for
pertinent information. (See article on web content.)
Also, people who get free and valuable information from your
website are more likely to rely and depend upon you when they're
ready to purchase goods and services. It's a "give before
you get" mentality that really works. Offer information and
your website visitors will reward you with loyalty.
Another way good web content affects your website's conversion
capabilities is by showing your clients how you operate. Your
web content is very telling as to the goods and services you
provide. If you skimp on your content and your competitor
does not, your competitor will win the business. Your prospects
may wonder why you're not offering adequate information. Do
you not know what you're doing? Do you have something to hide?
Will you skimp later? It's best to just ante up the info immediately.
Google has strict requirements for it's top search result
contenders, including inclusion in the DMOZ. The DMOZ is a
human edited directory that requires unique and informative
content as a barrier to entry. We're in the Information Age,
time to step it up and provide useful information.
The World is Changing and Your Customer is Well Informed.
Why bother creating websites that are valuable to our website
visitors? Because your customer is different today than ever
before. Information is readily available to everyone. The
person who gives out information most efficiently is the one
people will rely on to do business with in the future. Customers
are well informed, savvy and able to get information at the
click of a mouse. We need to step out of the box and cater
to the new consumer.
SEO Sites Can be Tacky. There are websites out there that
try to capitalize on knowledge of search engine optimization
by adding keywords flagrantly and abusing the system. The
Marketing Shop will never do that as we rely only on ethical
search engine optimization techniques. We care more about
people than we do about search engine rankings. The only time
we'll put machines over people is when it's very important
to the overall SEO success of your website. Other times, we
try to appeal human visitors most of all.
Before you get started, make sure you understand what it takes
to get to the top of the search engines. Good foundational
knowledge in SEO will help your site be more successful, and
save your web designer and SEO professional a ton of headaches
in trying to get you to understand what's what. Please understand
that The Marketing Shop will do nothing to your website without
having a good reason for doing so. Please ask questions before
you get frustrated.
About the author:
Jennifer Ryan of The Marketing Shop is a web promotions and
sales expert. Having earned numerous awards, recognition and
financial success in sales, Jennifer now sells Dallas web
design online for businesses worldwide. Visit http://www.the-marketing-shop.com