TIPS FOR WRITING YOUR WEBSITE CONTENT
The first question most people ask me is "Can you make me rank #1 in the search engines?" Unfortunately, I can't just wave my magic wand and "poof" you will be #1 in the search engine rankings. But that would be cool, I wish I had that little ability. What I can do is the behind the scenes. Please see, Search Engine Optimization SEO. The thing to keep in mind is that nothing will help your rankings better than simply having good copy for visitors and search engines to read. Content is the most important, and most overlooked, aspect of good SEO. Your website content needs to be well-written and unique while staying focused on your primary keywords or keyword phrases.
I've put together a few pointers that may help you in preparing the content for your web site.
- Pick ONE web site theme — It is best if your entire site has the same theme or you risk loosing points with the search engines, and credibility with your visitors. If you have a real estate business, a smoothie shop and a book you wrote about skiing, that's GREAT, but put them on totally separate web sites. I can design a 5 page brochure type web site for as little as $375 and you can piggyback all of them on the same hosting plan at little to no additional cost, an investment well worth it. If you don't feel the Return on Investment ROI will be there then "Houston, we have a problem".
- Spend some time Organizing — Really think through all the topics that you are going to touch upon in your web site and group what is most important and what
is related together. Any "page skimmers" will have an easier time locating what they are looking for if you break up your content with subheadings and keep your paragraphs short. When the paragraphs are long and drawn out people tend to get lost, especially on a computer monitor.
<download MS Word website content SEO worksheet>
- Which Keywords and Phrases? — The best way to determine what keywords and phrases you want to optimize your site for is to sit down at your computer and pretend you are searching for your company. What keywords or phrases would you use? Who comes up first when you use those words? What companys come up in the searches? What can you do to out rank them? Make sure to incorpoarate keywords into your writing that your target market will be search searching for.
<download MS Word website content SEO worksheet>
- Be yourself— Make it interesting, be creative, be unique, and make it fun. You want your web site to stand out from all the other sites. Don't be tempted to simply copy and paste content from someone else's web site and change a word here and there. Use of copyrighted material without permission is not only rude but also illegal and can get you kicked out of search engines. It isn't worth the risk, if you are reported Google takes it very seriously.
- Write for your audience — When you write your web site text think from the perspective of the customer, and not from your viewpoint. Why are THEY there? What are THEIR physical AND emotional needs? What is the best way for you to fulfil THEIR need? What will make your visitor come back for more? What tips, strategies and expert advice would they be looking for that you can offer for free on your site? Write on their level, if you need to use techinical terms, they may not know, add an explaination. When writing for general users it is best to keep your writing on about an 8th grade level.
- Read what you write — This may seem like something that people shouldn't need told, but you'd be suprised how many people write things and never re-read them before posting to the web or before sending emails. If you take the time to read your text out loud, instead of silently, you will be surprised at the things you missed when reading silently.
- Write in the newspaper style — Write your web pages in the inverted pyramid style used by newspapers. You catch visitors interest with the important stuff and then detailed supporting facts come later on the page. >>Learn more from Wikipedia
- Stick to what is relevant — Do your visitors really care that you like ice cream sundaes, your dog's name is Spot and and he peed on the floor yesterday? If you feel the need to write about such things I'd suggest getting a MySpace or Facebook account, you'd have a blast for hours on end. There is no need to include "everything" that is relevant either, it is good to keep some things for when they contact you. Remember you competitors will more than likely be reading your site so don't give away any information you don't want them to learn.
- FOCUS, FOCUS, FOCUS — If you are "all over the board" trying to put as many keywords/phrases as possible on each page, STOP IT NOW! Decide on one or two search phrases for each page. Be careful not to artificially inflate the keyword density write like you would naturally speak. Artificial "Keyword Stuffing" increases your risk of being banned from search engines. Feel free to throw in some synonyms for the targeted keywords, internet surfers don't all think alike when it comes to typing in search terms.
- Search engines are not psychic — If a keyword you wish to be found by the search engines in not in the text then you probably will not come up in the search. If you don't have San Jose someplace on the page then you won't rank very high in a search for "your industry San Jose"
- Keep it fresh — Plan on adding new content every 3 weeks at the very minimum. If visitors see the same thing every time the visit then they have no reason to come back. Keep the good stuff adding to make it better and delete anything obsolete.
- Spell checker, friend or foe? — Bee careful knot to rely solely on the spell checker, four obvious reasons.