Web Content for Humans AND Search Engines
There Really is a Method to the Madness
Once you have identified your keywords and know which words or phrases to optimize for on each page, the fun begins. It’s now a matter of crafting each page with information that your visitor wants and needs, while at the same time using proven search-friendly page structure and current practices to help get your pages indexed.
Most Common Success Features for Website Content
Successful pages typically have some features in common. For example:
1. Fresh Web Content: updating information by adding pages, changing content and adding resources on a regular basis makes the search engine spiders come around more often to index new additions.
2. Easy to Read Page Structure: Keeping paragraphs short, using bold, colorful or italic text, bullets or numbered lists all make the page easy to skim.
3. Common Language: Using short sentences and avoid industry-specific terms. Do not assume that the visitor knows the insider jargon of your business.
4. Spelling and Grammar: Running spell check and reading the pages out loud when you’ve created something new helps you uncover possible problems. Having errors on the page suggests a lack of care, poor execution and minimal attention to detail.
5. Staying on Topic: Choosing one main point per page makes it easy for the search engine to know if this page is a good match for a visitor’s search query. If you’re optimizing for a primary keyword or phrase, incorporate it into the body text as well as the headings on the page.
6. Using Basic on-Page Optimization: Use the keywords in your headings and body copy. Create a unique title tag as well as a brief meta-description of each page using the target keywords and phrases.
It’s Not all about Ranking
PageRank (PR) is no longer the primary goal of your website. Writing unique, engaging and original content matters more to visitors and to the search engines. Professionally written web content will convey your message in a way that will keep the visitor’s interest… and move them closer to purchasing your product or service. Google and other search engines have become so savvy at returning “local” search results, that being #1 on the search engine results page (SERP) is no longer the goal. A page that’s #1 in Atlanta may not be the same page that’s #1 in Denver.
Traffic, engagement and conversions are a better measure of relevance and success for your website. Using your analytics, you’ll be able to see which keywords and phrases are sending visitors to your website. Keeping track of which of those are working best, you can refine, expand and continuously improve your results.
Getting the Most out of your Web Content
- Make sure a professional writer has the information needed to write clear and compelling copy and identify your unique selling proposition. Share the highlights and important points to cover on each page to get the maximum benefit.
- Update your content often. Blogs and articles are perfect for this purpose. When your blog is located within your site (and not linked to another location), every time you post, you create a new page to be crawled and indexed. It also keeps your readers coming back to your site regularly to read your new additions.
- Finally — Distribute your content over a variety of platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, online Press Releases, Infographics and Article Marketing as well as blogging. Potential customers are coming from many different sources and may discover the information they need in various places. Instead of re-creating the same information, consider re-purposing it for different outlets.
Take the quiz: Is Your Website Search-Friendly? 10 Questions to Ask…