|Ease in Writing?
"Ease in writing" comes from a poem by Alexander Pope, the British poet:
True ease in writing comes from art, not chance,
As those move easiest who have learn'd to dance.
Note he (and I) didn't say "easy writing." But just like dance lessons can help get you around the floor with your partner more gracefully, the goal for this newsletter is to share a tip or two each month so you can improve how your organization communicates in writing.
|SEO: Writing for Search Engines
| Search Engine Optimization encompasses techniques to structure websites, blogs, and other online vehicles so they rank as high up as possible in the major search engines--especially Google. It's a question of balancing the needs of search engine "spiders" with those of your human readers.
Current best practices include--
- Choose one keyword phrase per page, which you can sprinkle on (not bombard!) the page to describe your product or services. Research shows people usually use 3 to 5 words in a search phrase. And don't use the same ones on each page of your site--you'll only be competing against yourself for search engine placement.
- Think narrow (ish). The keywords need to be general enough that someone besides
you will search on them but not so broad that you do not have a
realistic shot of a high SE rank. Many services offer basic keyword
analysis for free, then charge for more premium assistance. The basic
stuff is fine for a start. Check out WordTracker (free trial requires registration), Overture, or The Analyzer to give you an idea of the keyword density of your current pages, competitor's pages, or new pages you create. Google has a tool that suggests phrases people used--some are ridiculous but some will catch your interest.
- Use the keywords in the page title and the headlines. Help the search engines find you! Example: A header could read "Hand-Delivered Gourmet Fruit Baskets," rather than "A Great Gift."
Although content is paramount for search engine placement, other factors play a role, too, including links, design, and server issues. Let me know if you need referrals to SEO experts in these areas.
- Label your graphics. Use the ALT image tag (your web developer will know about this if you do not) to describe your images in words. Helps the spiders and makes your page more accessible to the visually impaired or those with text-only capability.