Search engines love content. Graphics may make your site look great, but a nice picture does not attract a search engine. Or a searcher for that matter. Good, relevant content does.
Search engines aren’t all that different from people. When faced with a ton of choices, they want to know which sites are the best. And, the best sites are the ones that give the most accurate and relevant information.
Good content serves three main purposes:
1. Search engines will rank your site higher for keywords and phrases included within your content.
2. Users will return to your site, and recommend it to others
3. Other sites will link to you, which will improve your linking popularity and make your web site visible to the spiders.
But, how do you get good content? Simple. You write it, or get someone else to write it for you, using keywords and phrases your visitors will actually use on a search query.
Feeling a little hot under the collar? Relax. It’s not as difficult as it sounds. Anyone can learn to write for crawler search engines. It just takes a little planning, detective work and focus. Ready to begin? Follow the steps below and you’ll be writing like a pro in no time.
1. Determine which keywords and phrases you want to target
Before you sit down to write anything, you’ll need to decide which keywords and keyphrases are relevant to your site. One of the best ways to do this is to use the Word Tracker keyword tracking service at www.wordtracker.com. Word Tracker receives its data from the Dogpile and Metacrawler search engines and estimates search counts for all other search engines based on its market share. You can sign up for a day, a week, a month or a year.
Another good way to find keywords your visitors are using is to look at your site’s server logs. These will tell you what phrases people are using to find your site. Some keywords will be too competitive. For example, the keywords “real estate” will return hundreds, if not thousands of search results, and may not place your site near the top, but “Houston Real Estate” or is more focused and targeted to a particular query.
If you want your site to be included in local and regional searches you may want to design your site with local searches in mind, even if you also market globally. How do you do this? Just include local keywords such as address, city, state, province and zip code in the header or footer of your web pages. For example:
XYZ Business Consultant, 3657 Acacia Avenue, Santa Cruz, California 95067. Tel: 408 746 8954. Located close to San Jose, CA.
That way you have a much better chance of getting a first page listing on a localized search.
2. Scatter your chosen keywords and phrases throughout your text.
Let’s say one of the keyphrases you want to target is “cotton duvets”. You’ll want to weave this phrase throughout your copy without making it sound stilted or contrived. Remember, you still need to persuade your prospects to buy your product, so don’t be tempted to write paragraphs like this:
“Our cotton duvets are the softest cotton duvets around. Check out our affordable cotton duvets in our online cotton duvet store now. ” While it’s obvious what your keyphrases are, the two sentences don’t exactly encourage your visitor to place an order. Be subtle. Use your keywords to emphasize your point and insert them where they naturally fit, without compromising flow and readability.
3. Review your headings, titles and hyperlinks
Use your keywords in headings, subtitles, page titles (found in the blue bar at the top of your Web browser), bold face and hyperlinks, because these stand out to the search engines. For example, returning to the cotton duvets you may want to change your “contact us” hyperlink to “contact us now about our luxurious cotton duvets. ” Or, “learn more about how our cotton duvets can keep you warm and snug this winter”
4. Post keyphrase-rich, informative articles on your site
Another great way to fill your site up with keyword-laden content is to post relevant, informative articles. Every article you post on your site adds more content–content that the search engines thrive on. And, if you write each article as if you are giving the spider a good, healthy meal full of essential keywords, they’ll devour every word, and index it for future use.
You can also post your articles on article directories such as GoArticles, Article City or IdeaMarketers that offer free content to ezine publishers and website owners. That way you’ll spread the word about your site, get some great back links and even free publicity.
5. Publish a Newsletter or Ezine
Newsletters and ezines are another way to add content to your site. If you’ve written articles already, you get to reuse them, and you can create a newsletter archive section on your website.
6. Post a blog or weblog
Blogs or Weblogs are frequently updated journals. that point to articles elsewhere on the web, and to existing on-site articles. The popularity of blogs have spawned blog services such as Typepad and Blogger which make it easy for non-techies to update their sites and add them to an existing web site. Because both the search engines and your site’s visitor’s love new, updated information, blogs can be a great way of adding content to your site on a daily basis. You can use a blog to announce company news or comment on industry news, announce new product details or to create a “brand” or “personality” for your company.
Before you begin publishing your blog, think about what you’re customers want to know. Then, answer their questions on a daily basis. It won’t be long before you’ll have them, and the search engines hooked.