Writing Effective Site Content
by: Gail Notestine, CGAP
In Lesson 4, you learned about the tags that you need to use to make sure the search engines notice and index your site pages.
In this lesson, we will teach you the difference between writing random paragraphs that contain emphasized keywords and writing good, grammatical paragraphs that are not only search engine friendly, but also communicate your message to your visitors in an easy-to-understand, interesting way.
Sit down, with your list of keywords and choose the most popular search terms that ACCURATELY describe the message that you want your visitors to get from that page. (You should have done this for your meta keywords)
Take the list of search terms, and using them, make short sentences that describe the main idea(s) you wish to convey.
Those will be your <h3> categories.
If you want visitors that are looking for dog collars, in this case, those subtitles might perhaps be:
<h3>Dog Collars For Casual Walks</h3>
<h3>Dog Collars For Sporting Dog Training</h3>
<h3>Training Collars For Problem Dogs</h3>
Under each of those sub headers or sub categories, you should write a paragraph or two about that specific subcategory.
For instance, using the header <h3>Casual Walks</h3>, you could write about the different type of collars that are available, for use, during a causal walk, and the fact that all dogs should have on a collar so they have their tags on them (rabies and address).
Using the words, from your keyword list, for the "dog collars" page, you would want to get the keyword phrase "leather dog collar" and "leather dog collars" into the paragraph about dog collars for casual walks. These search terms get 40,500 searches each month.
You always want to choose the top 3-word search terms for paragraphs that appear under subcategories or sub headers.
The search engines are already going to pick up the 2-word search string "dog collars" from the <h3> tags, so you don't want to overuse them in your content paragraph.
Search engines consider the overuse of popular search terms, within the same paragraph, spamming.
Paragraphs like the following would be ignored:
"When walking your dog you must use a <em>dog collar</em>. <em>Dog Collars</em> allow you to control your dog.
<em>Dog collars</em> come in many different types, sizes, colors.
<em>Dog collars</em> are used to hold dog tags."
Better paragraphs would be:
"Every dog should have a collar. It is necessary for control and safety.
<em>Dog collars</em> come in different types, sizes, colors and materials.
<em>Leather dog collars</em> are durable, but tend to get stiff and smell when wet. <em>Nylon dog collars</em> are both durable and easily washed.
Whether you choose to use a <em>leather dog collar</em> or a <em>nylon dog collar</em> is strictly a matter of preference. Both are very effective."
As you can see, from the two examples, we have not overused one keyword phrase. We have instead managed to use four different keyword phrases, from our meta keywords list, thus telling the search engines that our site page is about those search terms.
Practice writing paragraphs for your site, using the keywords from your meta keywords list. Make sure that the paragraphs are relevant to your subject, grammatical and use your "most searched for" keyword phrases.
Use your word processing program to write your content, then run the spelling and grammar checker.
In our next lesson, we will work on writing content that is easily understood by all age, economic and education groups.