Optimizing Website Content: It's Easier Than You Think

3/13/2007

- Jennifer Zibrin, Campaign Strategist

My clients often say to me "Look at all the content I added to my site! Why aren't my positions improving?" or "Why am I still not getting indexed? I don't understand!" So, I take a look at their site and do, in fact, see lots and lots of content... And it breaks my heart to have to tell them that all those hours they spent doing what they thought was the right thing, actually wasn't... and that they have to change it, yet again.

Writing content for a website is not rocket science... Although, when the search engines are as big of a mystery as the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, it may seem that way. With a simple approach, writing content that is both search engine and visitor friendly isn't as complicated as it might seem. In fact, it's quite doable. So, in Layman's Terms, here is what I believe to be a good approach to tackling the giant.

One of the most important things that you should take into consideration is how your site is organized.

I'd like to use an example most people can identify with. Try to remember the last newspaper article you read. The introduction paragraph had the clincher Ð that little bit of information that caught your attention and made you want to read more about it. Each following paragraph had its own specific theme, where the author got into much greater detail about the supporting facts of the subject matter. The final paragraph gave the reader the means to contact him/her with questions, comments and inquiries.

A website should be organized in much the same way. Your Homepage should serve as your introductory paragraph, capturing your visitor's attention and making them want to learn more about whatever it is that you have to offer them. Your interior pages should serve as your supporting paragraphs; Each dedicated to explaining the details of one component of your business. Your Contact Us page should serve as your final paragraph, giving your visitors the means to request more information or ask questions about your products/services, perhaps in a form of some sort.

By now I'm sure you're asking "What does organization have to do with writing optimized content?" My answer: "It has everything to do with it".

It is often overlooked, but critical to remember that although the engines crawl your site as a whole, your pages are indexed individually. If a page does not have a clearly defined theme, the crawlers will not find the content relevant to the terms that your potential audience is searching on. If your page is not found relevant, it will not be indexed.

Now that your site is organized, let's talk about content.

Remember that your interior pages should each have their own unique theme, dedicated to one component of your business. For example, your business sells both Widgets and Widget Accessories. In addition to that, your business also services them. This warrants three separate pages; one for "Widgets", one for "Widget Accessories", and one for "Widget Repairs".

Let's take it one step further and say that the theme content should focus on no more than two primary keyword phrases and be supported by a handful of secondary phrases that are relevant to your topic. So, for example, your "Widgets" page, might have secondary phrases like "Blue Widgets" and "Large Widgets". Perhaps your "Widget Repairs" page would have secondary phases like "Widget Service" or "Widget Maintenance".

If you are not sure what the crawlers consider "relevant", then try Googling your primary keyword phrase and add a "~" before it. For example, Google "~Widget Repairs". The search results will include the normal results, in addition to anything the crawlers associate with "Widget Repairs". This is often eye opening, and can give you insight into the mind of the crawlers, in addition to some new ideas.

When you understand what the engines are looking for and take a practical and methodical approach to it, writing well optimized content that is both visitor and search engine friendly is not unattainable. Like everything else, you just have to know the ground rules.

If you are interested in finding out more about how to optimize your website's content, please come visit us at www.MoreVisibility.com.

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