Content Writing Strategy

Content writing strategy is more important today than ever before, especially in light of recent ranking changes by search engines. Google’s Panda and Penguin updates targeted content quality, and the search giant has made it abundantly clear that a website featuring excellent information will receive priority rankings in search results.

Do I Need an SEO Content Writer?
Many website owners seek out an experienced SEO content writer to provide high-quality text that does not offend search engine criteria. Web content writers should be brought in at the early stage of any website design to ensure they have current knowledge of the site’s content needs.

The webmaster will want to carry out an effective content writing strategy that includes the following:

  • Research – Keyword popularity, competitive use, ranking in searches
  • Blogs – Easy to read with informative content
  • Call to action – This brings home the bacon when done right

Website promotion is highly important; without viewers, all is either in vain or for vanity’s sake. A website that features optimization is in the best position to draw in visitors. While visitors may find your website using common search engines like Google or Yahoo, using site submission in bulk form increases hits just by extending the reach to consumers. Promotion done carefully on social networking websites is another way to reach millions of potential visitors. Some social media sites, like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube, are seen by more than 900 million visitors each month. It is an extremely low-cost and effective way to achieve site promotion.

What Is the Most Important Feature of Content Writing?
Content writing should strive for sheer relevance and value. Website submissions should include keywords that point to the main topic or relevant articles. If you have keywords that bring in visitors but your content is poor, they will feel their time has been wasted and leave, likely never to return. Do not keyword stuff!

Set yourself up as an expert about the subject you are promoting. Site submit informally to the public by guest posting on related website blogs so you become known as that expert resource. Strong backlinks that aren’t spammy are good. Anything remotely resembling spammy content will cause problems with search engines; they will rank you lower or refuse your submission attempt.

Remember that your content website is a reflection on you and your company. You may only have a few brief seconds to grab a visitor’s attention, so quality design, videos, article content and layout should all be a part of your content-writing strategy. You can submit your site to a search engine with the best of intentions, but you’ll continue receiving poor results if your website-writing strategy is not conducive to acceptance by current search engine criteria. You don’t need a lot, but what content you have needs to have value and be grammatically correct.

If you have questions on this article, feel free to contact kimtown!

CREDITS
(Disclaimer: We do not carry credit for this post nor any of the photographs; we are simply sharing information, you may not otherwise see, in accordance with the copyright laws and under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License of the USA) All Content Copyright John Zwissler

How the Latest Google Algorithm Penguin Update will Affect You

On April 24th 2012 Matt Cutts, the head of the webspam team at Google announced that there will be another algorithm change to the Google search engine.

This latest update has been named “Penguin” and the main objective of the change is to specifically target webspam.

To quote Matt’s words:

“The change will decrease rankings for sites that we believe are violating Google’s existing quality guidelines. We’ve always targeted webspam in our rankings, and this algorithm represents another improvement in our efforts to reduce webspam and promote high quality content.”

If your site’s search engine traffic went down significantly since that date then your site is most likely being penalized by Google for not following the quality guideline.
A lot of you may remember that the last time a high profile and significant algorithm change occurred was around February 2011 and that was given the moniker of “Panda”. Back then the Panda algorithm tweaks were aimed at penalizing sites with poor quality content – especially content associated with content farms like article directories.

Although the Penguin update is believed to chiefly be aimed at webspam, a lot of the general rules of thumb regarding what makes a quality website in the eyes of Google still apply.

The main thing which all website owners and creators should keep in mind is that Google is always tweaking their search algorithms because, as a global multi-billion dollar a year business, it’s in their interests to provide accurate and quality search results to their users.

Matt Cutt’s even says that Google wants to provide search results which will enhance the experience of the user.

How will the Penguin update affect your sites?

For starters if you have created and maintained a solid site with original and quality content which has been organically rising up the rankings, then you won’t have much to worry about.

By “organically” we mean that you have been steadily creating quality content which has been indexed by Google and over time it has naturally risen in the search rankings.

However, if you have tried to take shortcuts and employed what are known as “black hat” techniques to try and fool Google into ranking your site above the higher quality competitors, then you will probably see some significant drops in your rankings and traffic in the coming months.

Examples of “black hat” techniques which may have worked in the past but will, over time, cause more harm than good to your site are things like:

  • Unnatural and excessive back-linking
    You might have noticed by simply checking your spam folder in your WordPress administration panel to see how much garbage your Akismet plugin filters out of your comment area.
    All of these spam comments are from people (or automated robots) which leave comments with links going back to their site in the hope that they will be able to build a significant number of back-links. A lot of the time the comments are totally irrelevant and out of context to the topic at hand which makes them very unnatural.Another technique spammers employ is to try and leave comments with links going back to their sites in forums. There is also a variation of this method whereby the spammers create forum profiles and place links in their profile without ever leaving a comment.Whereas previously the technique of building huge numbers of back-links may have been effective in increasing search rankings, this type of tactic is now being targeted more readily by Google and it may be something they are addressing in the Penguin update too.
  • Poorly written articles which don’t make sense because of bad grammar
    In the effort to write as many articles as possible in the shortest amount of time, some people use what are known as article spinners. That is, they will often try to recycle existing articles which they’ve found on the net, by using a spinner to reword the article so that Google doesn’t detect any duplicate content.
    The end result of sites which are primarily built using such a technique is that they are grammatically illegible and quite useless as far as being informative goes.Google is constantly introducing intelligence into their search engines and crawlers to spot things like this and penalise sites with such qualities by demoting them in the search rankings.
  • Keyword stuffing
    “Keyword stuffing” refers to the unnaturally high frequency of keywords which are placed on a page. The reason why people do this is that they hope to get a better ranking for their chosen keywords by exhibiting a large number of those keywords on their pages.
    Quite often, when you read a page of a typical spammy website you will find that the content actually doesn’t make any sense because the post was written specifically to contain as many instances of a keyword as possible without any regard to the quality of the content itself.

The above are just some of the “black hat” techniques which spammers and wanna-be Internet millionaires employ in order to short circuit the work needed to succeed online.

However, with algorithm tweaks such as Panda and Penguin and future updates, these techniques will soon be as toxic as kryptonite was for superman in terms of the success of your website.

What to Do if Your Site Got Penalized?

If your site got penalized by the penguin update then you should try the following:

  1. Carefully read Google’s quality guidelines
  2. Make the necessary changes to your site
  3. Log into your Google Webmaster tools account and submit a request for reconsideration

Meta Keywords: Why I don’t use them

There is one question about SEO which seems to be coming up time and time again, so let me answer it now and be done with it. Meta Keywords are useless. No search engine uses them for any real rankings. That is why by default, there is no meta keywords input field in my WordPress SEO plugin and why I never use them. The fact that “other SEO plugins do have them” isn’t a good reason for me to enable them in my plugin by default.

Let me give you the full history of the meta keywords tag’s demise. In September 2009, Google announced officially what was already true for years back then: “Google does not use the keywords meta tag in web ranking”. Matt Cutts explains it in a video:

 

Do Yahoo! and Bing use meta keywords?

In October of that same year, 2009, almost two years ago, at SMX East, Yahoo! announced they no longer use the meta keywords tag anymore either. This turned out to be not entirely true, as they do index them, but they won’t help you one bit.

Bing said at one point, in a guide about how to optimize your page:

“It was abused far too much and lost most of its cachet. But there’s no need to ignore the tag. Take advantage of all legitimate opportunities to score keyword credit, even when the payoff is relatively low.”

So basically they’re encouraging you to do fill it out, even though the “credit” will be admittedly very, very low. I say: don’t do it at all. Don’t waste your time. Instead of thinking about which keywords to put in that silly meta keywords tag for 5 minutes, think about your content for 5 minutes longer. Really. It’s worth it.

But I want meta keywords!!!

If you really can’t live without them, go to the WordPress SEO dashboard and enable them:

Meta Keywords in the WordPress SEO plugin

Don’t expect me to think you’re cool though. The reality is, that if you’re trying to rank for any term that’s even only a little competitive, meta keywords won’t help. You should write engaging, meaningful content on a technically well optimized platform and get good links and social engagement. That’s what builds great rankings, meta keywords have nothing to do with it.

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CREDITS
(Disclaimer: We do not carry credit for this post nor any of the photographs or documents; we are simply sharing information, you may not otherwise see, in accordance with the copyright laws and under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License of the USA) {Original content from Yoast}

GOOGLE’S SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION-Optimizing your Images

 

Image-related information can be provided for by using the “alt” attribute

Images may seem like a straightforward component of your site, but you can optimize your use of them. All images can have a distinct filename and “alt” attribute, both of which you should take advantage of. The “alt” attribute allows you to specify alternative text for the image if it cannot be displayed for some reason (1).

Why use this attribute? If a user is viewing your site on a browser that doesn’t support images, or is using alternative technologies, such as a screen reader, the contents of the alt attribute provide information about the picture.

Another reason is that if you’re using an image as a link, the alt text for that image will be treated similarly to the anchor text of a text link. However, we don’t recommend using too many images for links in your site’s navigation when text links could serve the same purpose. Lastly, optimizing your image filenames and alt text makes it easier for image search projects like Google Image Search to better understand your images.

Alt Attributes

 

Store files in specialized directories and manage them using common file formats

Instead of having image files spread out in numerous directories and subdirectories across your domain, consider consolidating your images into a single directory (e.g. brandonsbaseballcards.com/ images/). This simplifies the path to your images.

Use commonly supported filetypes – Most browsers support JPEG, GIF, PNG, and BMP image formats. It’s also a good idea to have the extension of your filename match with the filetype.

Image Tree

 

Use brief, but descriptive filenames and alt text

Like many of the other parts of the page targeted for optimization, filenames and alt text (for ASCII languages) are best when they’re short, but descriptive.

Avoid:

  • using generic filenames like “image1.jpg”, “pic.gif”, “1.jpg” when possible—some sites with thousands
  • of images might consider automating the naming of images
  • writing extremely lengthy filenames
  • stuffing keywords into alt text or copying and pasting entire sentences

 

Supply alt text when using images as links 

If you do decide to use an image as a link, filling out its alt text helps Google understand more about the page you’re linking to. Imagine that you’re writing anchor text for a text link.

Avoid:

  • writing excessively long alt text that would be considered spammy
  • using only image links for your site’s navigation

Supply an Image Sitemap file

An Image Sitemap file can provide Googlebot with more information about the images found on your site. Its structure is similar to the XML Sitemap file for your web pages.

 

Next we’ll look at Using Heading Tags…Follow the RSS Feed

CREDITS
(Disclaimer: We do not carry credit for this post nor any of the photographs; we are simply sharing information, you may not otherwise see, in accordance with the copyright laws and under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License of the USA) {Content based on Google’s Guide}

GOOGLE’S SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION-Anchor Text

 

Suitable anchor text makes it easy to convey the contents linked

Anchor text is the clickable text that users will see as a result of a link, and is placed within the anchor tag <a href=”…”></a>.

Anchor Text

This text tells users and Google something about the page you’re linking to. Links on your page maybe internal—pointing to other pages on your site—or external—leading to content on other sites. In either of these cases, the better your anchor text is, the easier it is for users to navigate and for Google to understand what the page you’re linking to is about.

Link Diagram

 

Both users and search engines like anchor text that is easy to understand! 

Choose descriptive text

The anchor text you use for a link should provide at least a basic idea of what the page linked to is about.

Avoid:

  • writing generic anchor text like “page”, “article”, or “click here”
  • using text that is off-topic or has no relation to the content of the page linked to
  • using the page’s URL as the anchor text in most cases
  • – although there are certainly legitimate uses of this, such as promoting or referencing a new website’s address

Write concise text

Aim for short but descriptive text-usually a few words or a short phrase.

Avoid:

  • writing long anchor text, such as a lengthy sentence or short paragraph of text

Format links so they’re easy to spot

Make it easy for users to distinguish between regular text and the anchor text of your links. Your content becomes less useful if users miss the links or accidentally click them.

Avoid:

  • using CSS or text styling that make links look just like regular text

 

Think about anchor text for internal links too

You may usually think about linking in terms of pointing to outside websites, but paying more attention to the anchor text used for internal links can help users and Google navigate your site better.

Avoid:

  • using excessively keyword-filled or lengthy anchor text just for search engines
  • creating unnecessary links that don’t help with the user’s navigation of the site
Next we’ll look at Optimizing your images…Follow the RSS Feed
CREDITS
(Disclaimer: We do not carry credit for this post nor any of the photographs; we are simply sharing information, you may not otherwise see, in accordance with the copyright laws and under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License of the USA) {Content based on Google’s Guide}