Is your Content Hard-Working?

When writing for the web, it is good to keep in mind that there are two very different types of readers in the audience. There are we humans, and then there are the computers who visit websites on behalf of search engines. The computers go out, and read or "crawl" the text that makes up websites. They use the information they gather to provide search results, a key source of traffic for any website. 

Most of us know a bit about writing for our fellow humans. At the very least, we can put pen to paper (or even fingers to a keyboard) knowing what we would each like to know about a topic when we begin the job of writing about it for someone else. 

Suppose you wanted to let other people know that you had decided to teach guitar lessons. You could tackle writing a few web pages with potential students in mind, right? You might describe your qualifications, or the space you teach in. Perhaps you would include a page with your contact information or a page with schedule options or even lesson fees.

Some website authors don't realize that the way text is used on websites has an impact on how search engine crawlers read it for relevance to keywords.  

There are some things website authors can do when writing content for a website to help ensure that the whole audience finds it attractive. We offer some suggestions in this short article on tuning website content for traffic.

Let’s say you conduct guitar lessons at your home studio in Dallas, and you want the whole city to know that there's a very talented local musician waiting to offer awesome, affordable lessons. So, you quickly create a website with Sandvox with all the information students will need. Then you ask yourself an important question: “How can I get my site noticed by Google?” Search engine optimization (SEO) is the answer!

Some basic SEO work can get you a long way toward making your website search engine-friendly. Fortunately, Sandvox is built with SEO in mind. This companion article explains how Sandvox makes essential aspects of SEO easy to understand and implement. 

In this article, we’ll focus on two things: First, the importance of creating compelling content and, second, identifying and utilizing keywords.

Content Attraction

It goes without saying that the point of a website, and its content is to serve your audience. Great content, which can lead people who visit your website to return, will help get a website to the top of search results, but it will also increase the odds that returning visitors will refer others. Your visitors who have their own websites or blogs could mention and link to your site. Getting links like these is a big plus toward having a website noticed by search engines.

Think Like Your Target Audience

You understand who you're trying to attract. Invest a little time getting to know what those folks want so you can make good decisions about how to structure your website. Getting people to visit isn’t enough; try to make sure that they stay, interact, and can easily accomplish any tasks you want them to complete at the website. It is the author's job to provide valuable information and experiences for visitors.

Let's think about that guitar lesson example again. You could probably put all the information a student would need to contact you on a single page, in less than 250 words. But what kind of an experience is that for the audience? 

How could you make the visitor's experience rich, and exciting? How could you show the audience that your lessons are the ones to choose? How about free tutorial videos, testimonials from some previous students, pictures of the studio, and some handy tips that you could even update on a regular basis. 

Keyword Optimization           

Amazing as search engines are at helping us find what we need, they are not perfect. There are a few things savvy website authors can do to help ensure that search engines recognize words that are related to their website content. 

We know that a "keyword search" is what we do when we go to our favorite search engine and type in a couple of words. We tend to type words that we think will get us results that we are looking for. 

Take the time to think about that when you're writing content, and publishing your site—not just when you're at a search engine looking for results. When you write, use keywords and terms that other people would be likely to use to search for the information or service you are offering on your website. It is OK to use them more than once or repeat them on each page that they apply to.

For our example, the keywords could be "guitar lessons Dallas". Your goal, of course, is that when people type that phrase, your site appears near the top of the first page of results. Once you identify the appropriate words or phrase, strategically place them within your content. For example, you might use a headline that reads "Hey Dallas, Guitar Lessons?" 

Under that headline, you could then include a sentence like "Dallas has a new teacher for guitar lessons." 

Tip: Check out sites that rank high in search results for the terms or keywords you choose. Explore the content offered by others, and try to gauge how or why those sites are at the top. 

Sandvox and SEO

Sandvox does a lot of search engine optimization “stuff” behind the scenes such as automatically managing header tags, providing an easy way to create alternate text for images, and making sure your web pages are properly reached and read by search engines. As it is with all other aspects of website creation, it is our goal to help make optimizing your website as easy and intuitive as possible to give you time to focus on what matters most, that is, the content of your site.

We hope to see you at the top!

Image credits: Guitar · Robot with Computer