This is a guest post by Cindy Bidar.
Last week we talked about writing for the web in terms of entertaining and educating your human audience. This week we’re going to look at writing for the search bots, for without them, you will have no human readers.
Know Your Keywords
In the simplest terms, a keyword is a word or phrase that you want your article to be found for. If you sell personalized ceramic coffee mugs, then you want your site to be at the top of the search engine results page (SERP) when someone searches for personalized ceramic coffee mugs, right? That’s your keyword.
In reality, you probably have lots of keywords. If you need help finding them or developing a keyword strategy for your site, I highly recommend reading SEO Fast Start by Dan Thies. You can get it for free on his site, SEO Fast Start.
What To Do With Your Keywords
Now that you know what your keywords are, you have to use them!
First, make sure you’re using your keywords in your content. Now that doesn’t mean you just list all your keywords in some nonsense paragraph and call it good. Remember your human readers, too! But do try to include your keywords, their variations, and related words in your content.
Those variations and related words are important because they help the search engines know that your site isn’t just a keyword stuffed scraper site looking for ad clicks. In other words, it improves your trustworthiness. The more trustworthy your site is, the higher it will rank.
The second thing you want to do with your keywords is to craft a good title tag and description. The title tag is what shows in the top bar of your browser, and is also the clickable part in the search results. The description is the small snippet of text that appears below that line. Again, don’t just list your keywords, make it meaningful.
Lastly, use keywords in your headings. You make a heading by using<h2> or <h3> tags. The reason these are important is because the search engines give more weight to these words when calculating your page’s overall rank.
Don ‘t Forget the Humans
It’s easy to get so carried away with writing for the spiders that we forget the real purpose of your site: to attract and keep human readers. But remember this – spiders don’t have credit cards. If you are in the business of making money (and aren’t we all?) then you must ultimately write for humans. The spiders will lead them to you, but your content has to keep them there.
Cindy Bidar is a freelance copywriter specializing in web content. She blogs about writing, marketing, and anything else that strikes her fancy at CindyBidar.com.