How do you know what type of content is really going to attract the right searchers?
In this article I wanted to cover a few very basic tips that you can keep in mind when building high-performance strategies. Remember that good search engine marketing is not about trying to manipulate or "fool the search engines." Good SEO skills are more about creating genuine relevancy for well-written content that deserves to be found because it is truly the most relevant and useful to your audience of readers.
What students quickly discover in the 5-Day classes is that the optimization skills are not nearly as hard as many people make them out to be (even for the most competitive phrases,) once you've been trained and understand the full scope of influences that are at work. The biggest advantage that we have had is all about the "accuracy of information."
1. Write content that your audience is already looking for within the last 90 days.
True keyword research is not about 'guessing at keywords' but its all about researching actual data. How are your SEO research skills using Wordtracker or Keyword Discovery? At the SEO Workshops we teach much more than the traditional "keyword research" methods. We help students learn "Keyword Forensics" and how to quickly tap into the hidden niche trends that 99% of most Webmasters never even notice.
2. Does your Web copy speak to the reader or does it speak about yourself?
Remember that your Web site should be focused on your audience first and appeal specifically to a niche interest. When writing your Web copy, you need to dialog in an appropriate tone and format for the right audience. Some of the most interesting content will have more appeal if it speaks to your audience in terms of "you." You can, you might, you will, yours, your and you're INSTEAD of we, ours, we're, we will, we can, etc.
3. Focus on writing for the human audience first and search engines second.
While search engine optimization is important to your visibility, try writing your content first. Most people don't write their best when trying to optimize and create content at the same time. Focus on creating highly useful content that is extremely focused on one topic per page. Once you have completed your writing so that you are pleased with it, then go in to do a mild re-write for the search engines.
4. Tips for triggering idea generation and giving your strategies a unique twist.
While many people seem to spend time exploring their competitor's Web sites, we encourage you to lead the way with new ideas. Try not to be obsessed with what the competition is doing, but be creative and start your own new trends. Spend just a little more time working on your projects this week than you did last week. Setting yourself apart from the competition is easier than you might think and gives you a huge advantage over others.
5. Creating your content so that it "speaks" to a specific audience of visitors.
Think of how your Web copy reads and ensure the dialog flows smoothly. Read your work out loud and see if you can improve the tone of your message with natural expression. Keep your specific audience in mind. How you write for senior citizen (in tone and in format) may differ considerably from writing for an audience of for example "new parents." Always ask yourself "what is important to these readers?" Rely on researching accurate data to eliminate guess work.
6. Remember strong calls to action
Without a firm call to action, don't expect the reader to naturally guess at what you want them to do next. Plain ordinary dialog that asks the reader to take the next action will usually work best. Dialog that is written for voice (similar to the way a broadcaster writes to project their personality.)
7. Build your search engine optimization skills in the beginning with the "stress free" approach.
If you are new to SEO, you may want to focus on the long tailed niche phrases since most searchers are doing fairly descriptive and intelligent searches these days. Ideally you want to attract those who already know what they are looking for and just need to find your pages more easily. With practice and the right training you can go after highly competitive phrases too but you'll find that the best conversions nearly always come from the niches. Also remember that it is the basic SEO skills that carry you through and must come before any of the advanced strategies. The result will be stable top rankings that stand the test of time with minimal fuss.
8. Give your readers a non-threatening reason to respond right now.
What is the objective for your page and does your Web copy work effectively at fulfilling that objective? It may not always be about trying to sell a product or a service. It should not be about fulfilling your needs first but it should be about meeting the needs of why that searcher first conducted a search. Meet their needs and deliver up something that satisfies their search first and then give the visitor a non-threatening reason why they might respond to you. Do you want their e-mail address? Or do you just want them to pick up the phone and call? Never lose sight of the fact that the Web is a marvelous two way interactive experience, if you want it to be. Make your Web site a vehicle for relationship building and remember that many readers may actually have the desire to interact and participate through Blogs or other "User Generated activity." Give your visitors something that involves their participation.
9. Remember that your readers always want to feel like they are in control of their Web experience.
People often use the Web for researching topics of interest or doing preliminary price comparisons or for looking up information. While most people explore the Web for their own purposes, the more that you put them in control of their experience the better. If appropriate, you may want to consider adding additional tools or functionality to your Web site in order to enhance its usability for your specific audience.
10. Did you know that if you write your content so that it naturally "reads very well."
You will naturally gain some bonus for having created content of quality. By this, I mean content...that reads well to a human being. Don't stuff keywords all over the place. Instead, use moderation in everything you do. One of the things you need to understand is that "theme based" search engines like Google, are actually using a measure of artificial intelligence (AI) to measure how well your article "reads" based on all of the overall context of your body text (other than the keywords) based on data that a search engine has gathered concerning a specific topic. This is great news for writers because if you are making a transition to writing for the web, you'll find some search engines are literally rewarding pages that are "well written."
About the Author:
John Alexander has taught live SEO Workshops since 2002 at http://www.SearchEngineWorkshops.com as well as Online Webinars at the SEO Workshop Resource Center at http://www.SEW-WRC.com.