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Julian McEwen

on 28 April 2010

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Transcript of content2

Writing Content 1 for the web a comprehensive understanding of what it takes to plan & write great content specifically for the web.

We'll also use this time to discuss your particular goals and challanges. (in 3 hours) Search engines and your content
Your site and your content
Content for people using the web Search Engines and your Content the Rules 1. Write content that's entertaining, engaging, informative, and compelling. Stuff that your readers will love and link to.

2. Do keyword research and optimize your title and your article for those keywords

3. Write an article whose title is a question people are asking Google and whose body is the answer. Content for the people

Use a journalistic style of writing, the inverted pyramid technique. A catchy/suggestive headline or title. A slightly more detailed sub-line. The first paragraph or summary should contain ALL the essential elements of the story with supporting content following in order of diminishing importance. This ensures your readers get the essential points of your article after just a few seconds.

Subsequent paragraphs should contain less critical information. Don't try and structure your article to deliver a punchline or ah ha! moment right at the end.

Good content is always task focused. End with something for your readers to do. (like these links) Search engine Factors that every content writer should be aware of Search engines are how most people find your content

The words you use also heavily influence how easy it is for people to find your site

Your words are what search engines use to determine what your website is all about

Search engines REALLY care if other people like your content. They can tell if people like it by the amount of links to your pages.

Search engines know if you have copied content from another website - and they punish you.

myths and truths Myth #1: SEO copywriting is repetitive and not creative

The truth ... The only difference is that the article needs to use pre-selected keyword(s) throughout the text to reassure the user that your article is about what they typed to get there. It's still up to you to bring all that good writing mojo to the table. Marrying the two isn't as hard as you think.

Myth #2: SEO copywriting is writing for search engines

The truth ... is that search engines don't read. They are robots. When visiting your site, they don't sit down to a cup of coffee and open up your article to pass the time. However, people who use search engines to answer billions of questions every day do read; a lot. All SEO copywriting is meant to do is get your content in front of those interested parties. Always write for your audience, not robots.

Myth #3: I can skip keyword research and head straight to writing.

The truth ... is that you can't fake SEO. If you're going to SEO copywrite, you've got to go the whole hog. This means picking which one of those billions of questions being asked of search engines you want to answer in your article, before you write.

Myth #4: Once I've picked my keyword, I must use it as-is, no changes.

The truth ... is that you should use both the keyword as-is and use variants on the keyword to spice it up.

Myth #5: If I use the keyword once in my article, I'm golden.

The truth ... is that this is completely wrong. Our suggestion is to use the keyphrase in your title (at the front if possible), in headers and at least once per paragraph.

Myth #6: If I use the keyword fifty times in my article, I'm golden.

The truth ... is that this is completely wrong. Read your article after it is complete. Does it sound choppy, repetitive or difficult to read? If so, start taking out some of those keywords. Remember, you're still writing for your visitors and readability is king.

Myth #7: Alt text isn't important.

The truth ... alternative text, also known as "alt text" , is very important. Screen readers rely on this information to provide information about the photos which aren't rendered on the page. Simply describe the photo in the context of your target keyphrase and you'll be helping both text browser visitors and SEO to boot.

Myth #8: I need a certain keyword density in my article or else I won't rank.

The truth ... is that this isn't necessarily true. Ranking is based on over 200 factors that continue to evolve over time. A certain density threshold of keyword use is simply too hard to chase down. A good rule of thumb is to use the keyword at the front of your title, in your headings and at least once per paragraph.

Myth #9: It doesn't matter how i write as long as the facts are there.

The truth ... is that this might be ok for search engines but you are primarily writing for people. If your content is poorly written, you'll lose people attention and their trust.

how people consume content online focus on what people (want) search for Don't write about topics you're audience is not interested in. write with a purpose - keep your content task focused every page MUST, MUST have a purpose, if it doesn't get rid of it. People are impatient! Get to the point quickly and expand later. Your site and your content breakdown of site structure, individual web pages and how content should be used. Anatomy of a web page When people use the Web they tend to be TASK focused. They are there to get something done. Your company is not the centre of the universe! Aristotles universe Don't write as though it is. Always, always, always write content your visitors want - not what your company thinks is important. (eg. About us in the main navigation?) Top Headings

* Tons of tunes (22%)
* Poison found in pet food (30%)
* $3 software for developing countries (23%)
* Flying off the shelves (31%)

Bottom Headings

* Apple's Music Store breaks the mould and sells technology (0%)
* Rodent poison found in now-recalled pet food blamed for animal deaths (0%)
* Three-Dollar Windows for Govt.-Subsidized Student Computers... (0%)
* 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows' sells 2.6 million copies in 24 hours (0%)

Top Summaries

* 99 cents per download, no restrictions. One million tracks sold online in one week encouraging sign for ailing music industry. Apple... (49%)
* By Josh Fineman and Michael Quint. March 23 (Bloomberg)—Rat poison killed at least 16 cats and dogs and prompted last week's recall of 60 million cans of... (38%)
* Microsoft plans to offer a US$3 stripped-down package of Windows, Office and other software to people in developing... (34%)
* WARNING: If you don't want to know what happens in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," stop reading now. JK Rowling is far too savvy a... (38%) Bottom Summaries

* The music industry owes a lot to technology. But the new millennium has brought slumping sales. Technology now terrifies music executives... (0%)
* BY MICHAEL AMON. At first, the pet food recall didn't much worry Jack Friedman. His cats love Iams canned food but had never eaten the "cuts and gravy"... (0%)
* In its effort to remain competitive and relevant to today's new generation of Windows users around the world, Microsoft unveiled on Thursday a new program... (0%)
* Cash tills around the world rang to the tune of Harry Potter over the weekend and the seventh and final book in the... (0%)
The Common Characteristic of Success

The content that works on the Web has one key characteristic: It is customer-centric.

The content that doesn't work on the Web also has one key characteristic: It is organization-centric.

"99 cents per download, no restrictions" is the essence of what people want today. They want an immediate answer to the question: What's in it for me?

They want brutal, pared-down content that gets to the point immediately.

Your Web site is not a murder mystery. It is certainly not a place for we-we content. Short, sharp, second person and active; that's Web content.

Get to the point. Then stop. less is more say it with less You will be remembered for how useful your content was, not for how much you wrote. Homepage: short and sharp Lower level pages: more detail All the important stuff should be findable from here Put all your detail lower down - and your less important stuff broad overview view detail page page page page home page Who Cares?
Is it Compelling?
Is it Clear?
Is it Complete?
Is it Concise?
Is it Correct? Web Content 'SIX Cs' don't write things the 'might' be interesting Retire rich! or Retire Early? make sure you are delivering what your readers want, first. are you ensuring your content is helping people complete their task? lead with a need. Get to the point. Then stop. Cut and paste will destroy you. Check your facts. carewords Understand what words appeal and are important to your readers or clients. One thing is almost guaranteed, the list of words chosen by your company as important will be different to the list chosen by your clients. Public consultations
Reports and publications
News and Information
Policy Curriculum, syllabus & teaching guides
Supporting my child
Exams generall information
Protecting my child
School search Gov. Department of Education Parents How to find Care words step 1 Prepare a long list (about 100) of potential care words Brainstorm, ask customers, ask staff, check competition websites, step 2 Ask people (ideally 100) to choose their favorite words. These people should be your customers. Tell they why you are doing it.

Get them to score their favorite word with a 10, the next with a 9 and so on. Ask them to do it quickly (no more than 10 mins) step 3 Input all the data into a spreadsheet. column A: carewords
column B: total score for word
column C: % of grand total of votes Accommodation
Special Offers
Planning a Trip
About Ireland
etc 2479
etc 8%
etc Dublin
Northwest example: the irish tourism board website what the customers said what the tourism board said Page title h1 - heading Body Text links Don't think about your site as a linear journey. Each page should stand own it's own and make sense in isolation. illustration of site and page structure >>
examples of good and bad content >>
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