Archive for January, 2009

		

		
			
			
		

				
				SEO: Content 2
				Monday, January 26th, 2009

				
					
Continuing our series of SEO blog posts, today we consider HOW to
write good content for your site. 
Note that this post follows on directly from our previous post
entitled SEO: Content 1. 
Please remember that we do not consider ourselves to be SEO experts.
In this Beginner’s Guide to SEO we are simply aiming to
demystify SEO for our members and to pass on some tips and information
that we have picked up over the years.
(i) Content and SEO – how are they related? 
To explain how Content and SEO are related, let’s take a traditional
example… Let’s think for a few minutes about two writers,
Sam and Jess, who are both publishing BOOKS on the topic of
“Beginner’s Guide to Computers”. 

Background


Sam (Poor Content, but Great SEO)
Sam puts no effort into the book. He repackages old and out-of date
information that will not be useful for anyone. However, he launches a
fantastic marketing and publicity campaign for the book. He has a
snazzy modern cover for the book designed which disguises the old
information the book contains. 
Jess (Good Content and Good SEO)
Jessica writes a good beginner’s guide book and launches a
complementary marketing campaign to launch the book. Jessica’s
book does what it says it will do!


Results?


Sam (Poor Content, but Great SEO = DISASTER!)
Many people may pick up Sam’s book in the store, but if they
flick beyond page 1 it’s unlikely that they will purchase it.
That said, Sam may achieve some sales due to the heavy marketing
campaign, but his readers will soon realise that there is no substance
to the book. They will NOT be fooled into buying Volume 2!
Jess (Good Content and Good SEO = SUCCESS!)
Jessica, on the other hand, has combined a well-written guide WITH a
solid campaign to let the public know about her book. People who buy
Jessica’s book are also likely to consider buying any future books
she publishes too!


Conclusions


The above example illustrates the importance of good quality content.
In the same way that a badly-written book won’t hold your
interest, a poor quality website won’t keep your attention
either. 
If your website is poor, the best SEO in the world won’t help
you. 
Sure, you may manage to get a temporarily high listing in the Search
Engines, but it won’t last. In addition, listing highly in the
search engines won’t help you increase conversions on your site.
For example, your visitors won’t buy something on your site just
because your site is #2 in Yahoo! Your visitors will only convert on
your site if your site is useful and helpful to them. 
Remember, in trying to fool the Search Engines with SEO tricks, you
really only end up fooling yourself…


(j) Search Engines – What do They Think of Content?
As far as Search Engines are concerned, the more basic TEXT content
the better. Search Engines love text because this is what they
analyze.

The more text on your page, the easier it is for Search Engines to
figure out what your page is about; the more confident the Search
Engines can be that the content is useful; the more chance you have of
relevant visitors finding you. 
IMPORTANT! The text should, of course, be relevant and easy-to-read
for your visitors too. 
Listing reams and reams of keywords on your webpages in small or
invisible text is not a good idea. It makes your site look shoddy and
cheap and counts against you if the Search Engines find out about it
too. After all, if your site is good and of value, why do you need to
resort to tricks to promote it?
(k) But Adding Lots of Text Content will ruin my Website Design!!
If you have a very clean, minimalist-style website, you may not want
to add extra text to it… That decision is, of course, entirely
up to you but you should note that by using images only you are not
giving the Search Engines much to work with. 
After all, what good is a beautifully designed site if no-one visits
it?!
If you fall into this category, you COULD consider keeping very little
text on your homepage, but including plenty of text content on the
inner pages of your site for SEO purposes.  
(l) Ok, so HOW do I Create Good Content for my site?
If your site is “informational” (e.g. a database of
recipes and cooking techniques) it is relatively easy to focus on
content and creating it. 
What do you do however, if like Carol’s (fictional) site, you sell
woodcraft products? 

(You can read about Carol’s site in section (f) of our previous
SEO: Content 1 post.) 
All that is required is come creative thinking! 
Almost any topic you name can be written about and since your site is
an extension of you or your business, you should be well-qualified to
write about it!
First, Carol could make sure to write detailed descriptions of all the
products on her website. (Remember Carol’s visitors can see the
pictures on her site, but Search Engines can’t!)
Next Carol should consider writing other articles for her site. For
example:

how best to care for and protect wooden furniture; 
explanation of the different types of wood and the climates they suit;

woodworm and how to prevent it; 
sustainable forestry; 
removing stains from wood; 
how to conduct simple repairs; 
the history of wooden furniture; 
the different woodworking techniques available; 
how to prevent wood from warping…. 

With a little effort, Carol could put together a helpful and valuable
resource for visitors to her site, which will also act to help her
site move up the Search Engine rankings. It’s a win-win situation.
And if Carol can do it… you can too!  
(m) Good Content – TOP TIPS!

Focus on creating the best site you possibly can. Create quality and
the rankings will follow. To quote John from our Good Content example
(see section (e) of our post entitled SEO: Content 1), if your content
is GOOD, people will want it … and if people want it, then the
Search Engines will want it (and list it highly) too.
Try to regularly add new content to your site – the more often
your content is updated, the better. (Make sure the content is
relevant and good quality though!) Think about it. A site that is
regularly updated is almost bound to be more useful and relevant to
visitors than a site that hasn’t been updated since 1996!
Remember that Search Engines can (generally) only see text! Use a text
based webpage viewer to see your site through the eyes of the Search
Engines. This will help you to establish if you are telling the Search
Engines everything they need to know about your site. Make sure to
describe your site and what you do. Here’s one viewer you can
try.
Think about the phrases that people would associate with your site and
make sure to USE these phrases early and often in your content –
but don’t overdo it! Think of Carol in the example above –
initially her site didn’t actually mention the products that she
sells anywhere! This meant that the Search Engines had no idea what
her site was about. (You can read about Carol’s site in section
(f) of our previous SEO: Content 1 post.) In the revised site content,
Carol used “limited edition wood creations”, “wood
creations” “handcrafted wooden products”,
“furniture”, “bowls” – these are all
terms that people might use to search for a site like Carol’s.
Now the Search Engines can tell what Carol’s site is offering!
(We’ll be covering more about keywords in a later SEO blog post)

Use your creativity to turn your site into a useful resource which
will be valued by your visitors and hence by the Search Engines
– write as much useful content as you can! See section (l) for
ideas. Aim for 250 – 1000 words of relevant, useful text content
per page.
Do NOT forget that rankings are NOT your aim, a more successful site
is! (e.g. more sales, increase sign-ups etc)
Do NOT get caught up in trying to work out SEO tricks. Your time would
be far better spent creating more content for your site. 
DO use headlines, bolding and italics to emphasize relevant parts of
your content. Your visitors and many Search Engines will consider
highlighted text to be important and so will place greater emphasis on
it.

Related Posts:
(1) SEO: Intro
(2) SEO: Content 1
(3) SEO: Content 2
				

				Posted in SEO |   55 Comments »

			

				
				StatCounter on myspace
				Monday, January 12th, 2009

				
					Further to a number of queries, here are the steps to follow to
install StatCounter on a myspace profile. 
With StatCounter you can track hits to your myspace page and learn
about your myspace profile views.

First Things First…
In your StatCounter account, you MUST generate HTML-only code for your
myspace profile. This is really important, so don’t forget!
(This is due to policies imposed by myspace.)

Step 1
Log into your myspace. Go to the “Profile” menu and click
“Edit Profile”.


Step 2
Paste your StatCounter code into the “About Me” section.
Click “Save Changes” and that’s it!


Your StatCounter will now begin recording visitor information and, if
you chose the visible option, your counter will be visible on your
myspace page! (The image below shows a sample StatCounter)


To assist you further, we’ve also put together a video tutorial
which you can see below…

As always, comments, questions and feedback are welcome!
				

				Posted in Installation |   45 Comments »

			

		
		
			
			
		

	
	

	
		

			
				




			

			

			
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