Saturday, January 31, 2009

Good Content - The Teeny Weeny Details to Success

[Part 3]

Web pages in the top search engine results have one thing in common - Good Content. The rest of the website is usually just built around it. Yes, good content is still the deal but there are a couple of teeny weeny clever details that you can work on too.

For instance:

Frequent Updates: Frequently updated content is one way that search engines, especially Google, find you. That is how some blogs end up on the top positions in the search engines. It pays to update creative content or add new pages with unique content at least once a week on your website/blog.

Mis-spelled: Sometimes mis-spelled words can also get you a good position. Believe it or not but some specific keywords (often mis-spelled in the query) can get you astonishing results. Why? Because most of the audience is not literate let alone literate in English. So every now and then a couple of common spelling mistakes (in some specific pages) can help loads. Check 'merchant acounts' for instance. However these are not many and there are good chances that search engines like Google will not care to notice. But it's definitely worth a try ;)

K.I.S.S: Keep it Short and Sweet! Short sentences are not just sweet but are also simply easy to read and better to understand than long ones clumped together.

Precise Words & Bulleted Lists: A couple of sentences for a couple of paragraphs and bulleted or numbered keywords and phrases can work wonders. It is makes the text reader-friendly and gives very specific info about your services. Tends to work for the search engines too.

Headings, Headings & Sub-Headings: A great place to use your keywords most creatively. Plus compelling heading or sub-headings for that matter can help you create user interest, generate call to action and provoke further reading. Don't forget that search engines will be reading the added keyword in these place with interest too.

Link it: It's not just your keyword optimization that matters but also the inbound links and anchor text on your web page that can also do the trick. Search engines tend to go for the overall quality of the web page so its always good to have relevant (and maybe 'keyworded') text links on your page.

Good Content: If your website is up and running doing an OK business then its only wise to invest in the quality of your content rather than on silly campaigns. Coz no matter what they say out there, Good Content is still the King!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Good Content - Firing up those Basics

[Part 2]

In the last part we covered the basics and understood that in order to create good content it needs to be relevant, useful and compelling. Now it's time to put these basics into action.

Here are the 3 Essential Ingredients for Creating Good Content:
  • Keywords & Phrases: Be creative. Apart from using the general keywords that all your possible competitors are already using, give it some thought and come up with keywords or phrases that a customer might use in order to find your particular product or services. It always helps if put yourself in your audience's shoes and see things from their perspective.
  • Headings & Titles: Don't forget to use targeted keywords in titles and headings while keeping them fresh and compelling. Choose words wisely, because your titles and heading are doing half the work most of the time, and you want to make sure that the reader gets some promising answer to his query in just that.
  • Home Content & Otherwise: Of course long articles and thousands of words can be quite compelling, but it's better to leave long stories for the article pages or pages that are made specifically for offering detailed info. It's cool to have a 600 word article but it's a complete NO NO for the Home page or any of the Landing pages. Where large word count can show your authority over the subject, having such a lot in crucial pages can also help lose whatever traffic you might be getting. It's better to keep word count under 300 for basic pages and leave the long stories for the inner pages.
Combined together, the keywords, titles and content, coupled with relevancy and usefulness can create quite a compelling content for your website. While keeping all the basics in focus you can create quite a comprehensive strategy that will fire up your site (without burning it down of course :p) and has a good chance of working all by itself to attracting customers and search engines alike.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Good Content - Back to the Basics

[Part 1]

There are plenty of articles out there that tell you what to do and how to write in order for you to get your site 'on the top' of 'the' search engine, offering you long stories and strategies about writing 'good content'.

First of all lets just determine what exactly is 'good content'. Very simply put, good content is quality content. Content that is capable of driving home customers and attracting search engines. Now that this is determined, what you need to understand is that there are only 3 basics to writing good content. And by good content I mean the kind that will make you, your readers and the search engines happy.

Relevant: First and foremost make sure that the content on your website, especially the home page and the landing pages is relevant to the subject matter of your site. Relevancy is of utmost importance. Be it the readers or the search engines, if they don't find relevant information within the first few lines of the content, they are likely to lose interest (and you are likely to lose them!)

Useful: If the products or services that you provide on your website are useful, then why can't your content be? Useful content has the capacity to drive a major portion of quality traffic to your website. Believe it or not, but people need to know about your services or what your products can or can't do for that matter. So if you want to keep your business flowing, you would make it's usefulness apparent.

Compelling: While your content should no doubt be useful and relevant, it should also be compelling. By this I don't mean that you should use flowery language but create content that people would like linking to. It should be straightforward, giving the visitors a clear-cut picture but should also be clever enough to turn them into customers.

So there you have it... 3 simple steps to writing good content that will not only attract search engines but will also turn your visitors into potential customers. Guaranteed 100% ;)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Googlism - Google's Little Goo Devil!

Googlism... Google's web application which queries the text from the search engine itself to show you what Google supposedly 'thinks' about anything and everything. More or less it tells you who, what, when or where 'your query' basically stands. For instance, try writing the name of... say any of Google's competitor's in the search field (suggestion: hotmail or yahoo) and then click Googlism. The answers will be... funny, yes... but quite reflective of Google's devilish thought process I'd say ;)

What Googlism offers are what they call the 'nuggets of wisdom'. These are more or less the public's opinions and thoughts... since Googlism is said to be picking up data from your bookmarklets. So basically Google is just letting you know what 'you' (as public) think about various sites, or people or objects. Or so they want us to believe... as always };> No surprises there! The way it seems is that this 'cool' application is just picking up the 'Goo' off other stuff, searching it through 'Google' and offering it to you calling it 'Google-ism' (sorry for being so crude :s) I mean, how else can you justify its 'thinking' capabilities, huh?

The tool however is quite popular due to its so-called 'humor generation' factor and you can't help but waste a minimum of 10 minutes while you're at it. However, updates are that Googlism isn't quite receiving its fair share of fresh data from Google anymore and most results are some what old. Oh well... that's another googlish tool for you!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Shoo Away Your Blogging Worries this Year!

Although termed as some what a tricky business, blogging can be all the more fun if done without any reservations. Having gained momentum in the past couple of years, blogging has taken to a wide scope and an even wider audience. What started as something personal soon turned commercial and was put to promotion and marketing in absolutely no time at all. And why not? Even today when the internet world has found other better ways of marketing and personal promotion like social networking etc, blogging seemed to have kept its original charm - giving us bloggers a reason to celebrate.

One common issue that comes up is that when blogging, people tend to maintain some restrictions, especially if its a personal blog - worried about putting themselves 'out there' in the open. While reservations should be maintained in various situations online, however when blogging you can't succeed unless you put aside all your vexations and become a willing blogger. You really need to let go and cut lose to truly enjoy and earn from blogging. Following is a small list of essential what-not-to-worry-abouts as a blogger. Take a look...

Here's what Not to Worry about when Blogging:

I'm Out of Ideas! Heeeelp!
Not possible! Especially with personal blogs, it's a NO NO. The thing to remember is that it's Your blog! Write about whatever your heart desires. Speak out on issues that affect you. Talk about anything you want. No one can stand up and say that you're wrong. And even if they do... so what, you have the freedom to Blog! Use it! Plus, a good controversy can't hurt anyone! ;)

Topic Burnout
Not true! There is always something to write about, no matter how draggy or dull the topic. All you need to do is find inspiration, whether online or off. The best way to go about is to spend some time relaxing. Take time out for a while and try doing a casual research of sites that promote your topic or other blogs that talk about the same stuff. You will be surprised as to how much there is still that you can write about and if you can, try and talk to people from the same industry. You'll eventually get the spark but don't forget to note down the pop-up ideas that come to your mind.

Sharing the Personal Perspective
Never be afraid about penning down your own thoughts and ideas. Your opinion matters and writing it down on your own blog is your right. True that some topics and thoughts might lead to controversies and it feels safe to voice only the non-controversial thoughts. However, on the contrary a personal opinion is but the strongest when voiced properly. A personal blog only provides you a powerful channel to speak out. Plus you never know when your opinion might just become popular.

Long/Short Stories
You shouldn't really worry about how little you are writing on your blog or perhaps about how much. Whether your posts comprise of a few lines or whether you tell long stories, really isn't important. It's rather the quality you should be concerned about, especially if you want to get noticed. If the quality of what you write about on your blog is good and the topics worth reading, there is no way that you will lose the amount of readership.

Promote Your Work
And why not? Your blog, your work, promote it. Period. That should be a reason good enough for any blogger. And while you're at it, don't forget to comment on other blogs and sites. That's another way to go about it ;)

So, I suppose that's about it for now as far as blogging is concerned. Unless you'd like to add something more to the list... Until next time... Here's wishing you another year of blogging filled with inspirational ideas and cut-throat topics.

Blog On... Blog Away...!