There are basic concepts for writing on the web that are so fundamental that it is incredible they’re so often overlooked and forgotten.
No matter how wonderful your prose, no matter how stimulating or persuasive your arguments, however much someone should read your words, if readers can not find your website, it will remain unread. Probably the reason this central fact is so frequently forgotten is that many people do not realize that writing for the web is different from writing for an old-fashioned print medium.
When writing for the web, there are a few great rules for structuring your website content to maximize the potential of what you have written.
Put yourself in your potential readers’ shoes. What would you search for? If you wanted a chef’s paring knife, would you key in kitchen knife? No, because you know this would bring up millions of vague and unrelated results. Be specific – and search for “chef’s paring knife/knives”.
Also, thinking about the searchers intent and the page to which they will be directed in the search engines are important things to think about. If you are trying to target users to your site using the keyword “clothes”, but you only sell children’s clothes, you’re likely to get many users using the back button to get off your site. They might be looking for: the history of clothes, women’s clothes, men’s clothes, clothes for pets, or information on clothing manufacturing. Search engines look at bounce rate, and have integrated it into their ranking determination factors.
Also important to note: searchers are becoming more and more specific with their search terms. Long tail keywords are utilized often, and can often translate to the point at which the searcher is in their buying process. A longer term keyword may signal they are ready to purchase, depending on what industry you are in.
Think about a variety of keywords. The best way to do this when writing for the web is to utilize third party tools like Google Ad Words, SEMRush.com, Wordstream, SEO Book, and others. Looking up synonyms for each of the obvious keywords will show you alternatives, and even Google Suggest can help you out.
Keep your sentences as straightforward as you can. Please don’t be tempted to “impress” your readers with big words. They won’t be impressed and will move on quicker than you can type monosyllable. Short is sweet. Long paragraphs mean readers will leave you quicker than rats from a sinking web ship. Keep it short. Like that.
Don’t call your website something clever. Cooking Up A Storm may be a clever name for a main street cookery shop, but for an online version it could be a disaster. Who’s going to search for that? Integrate your keywords into the domain name of your site. If you’ve already set up a site, and your brand name doesn’t elude to the subject matter of your site, try integrating keywords in your URL. In addition don’t forget the obvious spots: Meta Title, Meta Description, H1-5 Tags, internal links from other pages, and image ALT tags.
Register Your Site
It’s important to register your site with each of the search engines, and upload your sitemap. In addition try adding your company to directories like DMOZ.org: a free directory, Yahoodirectory ($299/annually), Business.com ($299/annually), BOTW ($99/annually), and if you have a blog submit it to Google News.
While the above ‘secrets’ aren’t exactly new, they do provide you with some great insight into how to help make your onsite content get indexed, cached, and found by potential customers and clients.