Articles in the Content Strategy & Optimization Category

Take your content production to the next level with help from MoreVisibility’s content experts. Learn how to create effective content strategies for onsite, link building, social media posts, blogs, and more, as well as tips and tricks for optimizing every piece of content you create.

July 16 2009

Your Website Needs Text

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Most webmasters do not realize how valuable good plain text on their top level (important) pages can be. For instance, in addition to providing a better experience for the user, plain, textual content provides the search engines with a way to assign relevancy to a page.

More plain words on a website targeting unique two to three word keyphrases can increase the reach in the search engines for more search terms and (if the content is good) can inspire other websites to link to you. Merely having a site that incorporates a list of links and cool Flash animation just doesn’t cut it, if you are looking to rank well in the search engines.

Of course, it can be difficult for website owners to come up with a couple of hundred words for all of the most important pages on the site, but at the very least, the homepage should have a paragraph or two outlining the main theme of the website. The homepage is the user’s entry point into the site and needs to give the user a clear understanding of what they can expect when the traverse the links to the other pages.

June 30 2009

Concerned About Your Bounce Rate?

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You’ve worked extremely hard for months and have finally achieved first page positions in the search results for many of your important keywords, yet you’re still not happy with your site’s bounce rate. What could be wrong?    

Let’s first start out with a few definitions.   A bounce is a single page visit.   A bounce rate is the percentage of visitors that arrive at one page and exit the site before viewing another page.   So the real question is not what is a bounce rate, but rather, what can I do to improve (decrease) my site’s bounce rate?

The first thing you should do is to check the coding of your site. Have all of your pages been tagged with the proper tracking code?   If not, this could be the problem. If only your homepage is tagged, your Analytics account will not be able to account for any other page views on the website.

Is the website’s design or usability a factor?   We all know about the importance of first impressions.   The same applies to your website. The presentation and design of the site can affect the bounce rate. Are the pages cluttered or do irritating pop-ups appear when a visitor arrives to the site?   Is there an intuitive navigation that enables someone to easily find what he or she is looking for? Take the time to address these questions and ensure that the design and navigation options are not creating obstacles, preventing your visitors from viewing other pages.

Do the page titles and descriptions correspond to the content on the page? Throughout the optimization process, you have crafted meta data so that the titles and descriptions are compelling and keyword-rich, but if the content on the page does not match up with those titles and description tags, you will be setting your pages up for failure.   Make sure that the titles and descriptions for all of your pages describe the content accurately.

The search engines have advanced algorithms and do a decent job of providing searchers relevant results.   However, if you have optimized pages for keywords that aren’t what the searcher is expecting to find, you are going to have a difficult time keeping the visitor on your site. Taking the time to conduct keyword research is crucial. All of the pages on the site need to be optimized for precisely what they are about. There are often variations of keywords that would make sense to optimize the content of a page around, and this is where keyword research is most important.

While there’s not a magic number that is good or bad, it’s never too late to review the above items to ensure that you’re providing the best experience for the visitor, which can reduce the bounce rate. It’s essential to know your visitors, why they are arriving to your site, and what they are looking for once they get there.

May 29 2009

Content Management Systems and SEO Part 2

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This is part two of a two-part topic.

In my last post, I introduced content management systems and listed a few of their benefits to a web site creator, including search engine optimization benefits. To review, a CMS organizes and stores the content portion of a website, separating the content from common visual page elements and from the inner-workings of the system used to organize and display your content. It can standardize a content creation workflow that simplifies can allow multiple authors and multiple site administrators. Standardizing your processes, as well as having organized content saves you time. Whether it is starting a website from scratch, or updating many pages at once, using a pre-built CMS can help you move towards your goal faster.

SEO benefits of quality content management systems include being able to easily and quickly create keyword-rich, SEO-friendly URLs and remembering to create accessible and valid HTML code when you forget. It can also help maintain and properly display your articles’ meta information and titles. The ease and speed in which a CMS will allow you to update meta information, titles, URLs and content can be a huge time saver, but can get you into trouble quickly if you’re not careful: the automatic and global nature of a CMS will multiply effects of any un-optimized aspects of your website.

For example, if you don’t realize that your CMS is not using search engine friendly URLs, (out of the box, many of them do not) every page in your website can suffer. An inflexible CMS may reduce the effectiveness your site if it does not support SEO-friendly html code such as alt (alternate text) attributes or allow you to control what text goes into the H tags. In addition, possible ‘code bloat’ may occur from including useless features which causes the user to wait for unneeded features to download. By its very presence, this extra code will reduce the effectiveness of your valuable content on your web pages, especially since it’s likely that your content will be pushed further down in the HTML code. A CMS can readily propagate all these problems to every page of your site instead of potentially only a few if you did not use a CMS.

You should be aware that without a solid transition plan, changing URL patterns (or structure) after your web site has been indexed can be extremely detrimental to your SEO efforts.

Before using a CMS, I recommend that you spend plenty of time evaluating different systems while considering your requirements. Also weigh heavily the skill level of the people who will be using the content management system day in and day out.

There are three final suggestions I’d like to leave with you:

  1. Be prepared to spend time tuning your CMS for the best SEO results possible.
  2. Remember that the more flexibility you require, the steeper the learning curve.
  3. It’s likely that someone has already developed a solution for the problem or CMS customization you’re working on.
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