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How to Write For Better Search Engine Results & Increased Traffic

Contents: Before You Get Started: Do Your Keyword Research .......................................... page 2 Folder and File Names ......................................................................................... page 3 Page Title Tags .................................................................................................... page 5 Page Description Meta-Tags ................................................................................ page 8 Basic Content Writing Tips ................................................................................... page 11 Writing Anchor Text Links..................................................................................... page 13 Conclusion & Credits............................................................................................ page 15

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How to Write For Better Search Engine Results & Increased Traffic

Before You Get Started… Getting traffic to your website with organic search marketing is all about developing content that attracts search queries and gets your web pages pages listed on the search engine results pages of the major search engines like Google. Your first step when you sit down to create a new web page should always be to know in advance what are the terms, words, and phrases your customers/searches are actually using to find answers on the web. Often, we are so close to our own business that we forget that not everyone is as intimate with our products and or services as we are. We tend to develop and use inhouse jargon. This can serve as a useful form of verbal shorthand when talking to coworkers. Unfortunately, we allow that in-house jargon to find its way into our marketing copy, emails, and worst of all our web pages. In-house jargon words are usually not targeted keywords (unless you are targeting your peers). Your customers do not use jargon. They are generally not looking for products. They are looking for answers to their questions.

Do your keyword research first! So, if you have not already done your keyword research stop right here. Forget about writing content for your web pages. Go back and do your keyword research. Find out what kinds of words and phrases are actually being used to search.

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How to Write For Better Search Engine Results & Increased Traffic

Folder and File Names: Use Keywords For Better Search Results Well written folder and file names created with targeted keywords can improve your search engine ranking for those targeted keywords and help generate more web traffic.

Using keywords to create files and folder names Everyone who helps build your web pages should know and understand the importance of using keywords to create files and folder names. Effective writing for keywords is not just for writers and content gurus – its also for your technical team. Great writing is of course about choosing the right words and using them at the right time. Believe it or not even the words you use to name your folders containing files on your website have an impact on your search engine rankings for your targeted keywords. The reason folder and files names built from targeted keywords have an impact on search engine ranking and results is because the words found in your URL are a contributing factor used by search engine spiders and their algorithms to help determine what the content of your page really is.

Writing a sample folder name with targeted keywords Here’s a weak example: www.gdminteractive.com/resources/article.html Here’s a better example www.gdminteractive/internetmarketingresources/artilce1.html

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How to Write For Better Search Engine Results & Increased Traffic

Wait there’s a problem with our better example! The URL may include our targeted keyword phrase – internet marketing resources – but the words are not separated using a hyphen. Which is very BAD. The way we should write our better keyword targeted folder name is: www.gdminteractive.com/internet-marketing-resources/article1.html You should use hyphens because Google and other search engines do not parse keywords in URLs when they are run together (or when they are separated by an underscore). Thus, intenetmarktingresources is what the spider sees… and that’s not a word its just alphabet soup.

Use hyphens in your file and folder names Search engine spiders only treat the words in the folder name as separate words when they are separated by a hyphen. Unwelcome news for all the millions of underscore lovers out there. Now the same goes for file names… so lets create a file name with targeted keywords: www.gdminteractive.com/internet-marketing-resources/email-marketing-ideas.html Now we have a rockin’ URL that’s going to help out our search engine rankings and drive more traffic to our site for our chosen keywords.

Bottom Line Even when writing folder and file names it is important to think keywords, keywords and keywords. Now go forth and spread the word to everyone in your organization!

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How to Write For Better Search Engine Results & Increased Traffic

Page Title Tags: Simple Tips For Better Search Results Well written page title HTML tags are part of your overall success in the wild and wacky world of search engine ranking and generating traffic to your website. A lot of good can come from a few little (but very important) things you do when creating page title HTML tags for your content pages.

Create well written keyword phrases in your title tags Every one who contributes and writes content should know a few key things about onpage optimization… that’s the stuff that takes place on the HTML content pages. Some of it is seen and some of it is not seen… for example page title tags. Even though the page title is not really seen on the page it is an important element on every content page and has a dramatic impact on search engine success. Let’s get started… I am going to assume that you have already created a cheat sheet of keywords you wish to target across your entire site. If you have not already done so then back up a few steps, go back to your keyword research output and create just such a list. OK, now that every content producing employee has a copy in hand we can proceed!

Some technical details about writing page title HTML tags The page title tag is the most important of all the on-page content optimization html elements. Writing one well calls for a blend of technical and creative work with words. If you are adding content to your website in an HTML coding program like DreamWeaver then you probably will be taking a look at the underlying tag code which looks like this: <TITLE> Home Page – About Us</TITLE> The technical part of building a good page titles involves incorporating your keywords into the page title tags.

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How to Write For Better Search Engine Results & Increased Traffic

OK, let’s do that… <TITLE>Home Page: Digital Cameras</TITLE> The creative part of building a good page title involves incorporating your keywords into the title in a way that still delivers up a good clickworthy link. I love this part…. <TITLE>Digital Cameras – News & Reviews You Can Trust</TITLE> If you are working in the one of the popular content management systems like Joomla or Drupal, or a popular blog interface like Wordpress… then you probably have a the user friendly dialog box style interface where you can enter in your page titles. The software then creates the underlying HTML tag code like you see above without requiring you to get under the hood and mess with the code. But the technical and creative insertion of keywords into the page title is fundamentally the same.

Question: So, now you’re wondering why the page title is so important if the HTML tag contents are not visible on the page? And if you were not thinking this question you should have!

Answer: The page title is visible but not on the actually browser screen. Yes, it can usually be seen in the header bar or tab headers of your browser. But no body ever looks at them. However… page titles are highly visible on the search engine results pages. Yup, the first thing the searcher using Google or Yahoo! or Ask sees in their search results is your page title! The search engines assume your page title is the most important html element on your page… and they use it to create the clickable link part of your listing in the search engine results pages. This is why your page title tags should be a carefully crafted phrase developed to entice searchers to click on your link.

Apply this simple test Do a search on yours site using a phrase no one else is likely to have and that is within your title. Take a look at your page titles on the search engine results page. Do you like

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How to Write For Better Search Engine Results & Increased Traffic

what you see? Before you say yes consider this... your page title is really part of your front line advertising for search engine marketing. You may show up in the search engine results pages for your targeted keywords but will your listing get clicks? You should spend as much time developing page titles as you would developing a headline for a paid advertising. After all, aren't you suing organic search as a kind of front line advertising?

Use Great Care When Developing Your Page Titles Your off-page search engine marketing team may be doing a great job of building links and getting you high page rankings in the search engine results pages. But if your organic listing is not clickworthy you are not getting the clicks. And the best place to start shooting for more clicks is with a better written page title.

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How to Write For Better Search Engine Results & Increased Traffic

Page Description Meta-Tags: Writing For Better Search Results You can write effective page descriptions and boost your overall success in achieving better search engine ranking results and generating more traffic for your website. This unsung and frequently disparaged task is a small tweak that won’t rock your world but a small tweak that when done properly contributes to better search engine marketing results.

Page description meta tags Everyone who works on your website contributing and writing content should know about a few key things called on-page optimization … basically that’s what is found on the HTML content pages of your website. The page description meta-tag is an important HTML element that is never seen by anyone visiting your page. But it can be a significant helper in getting you better search engine ranking and clicks. Let’s get started… I am going to assume that you have already created a cheat sheet of keywords you wish to target across your entire site. If you have not already done so then back up a few steps, go back to your keyword research output and create just such a list. OK, now that every content producing employee has a copy in hand we can proceed!

Writing your page description tags Writing page description meta-tags in your underlying HTML page code is not generally considered to be an important part of your on-page content optimization. But it does have a part to play especially when properly done and description tags should not be neglected.

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How to Write For Better Search Engine Results & Increased Traffic

Like the page title your page description calls for a careful blend of technical and creative work with words. Your goal is to use the page description meta tags as a way to introduce keywords into our page but also to create content that may (or may not) show up in your listings on search engine results pages. If you are adding content to your website in an HTML coding program like DreamWeaver then you may occasionally find yourself looking at the underlying code which contains page description meta tags that look like this: <meta name="description" content="Product reviews and ratings"> The technical part of building a good page title involves incorporating your keywords into the title. Let’s do that… <meta name="description" content="Digital camera reviews and ratings"> The creative part of building a good page title involves incorporating your keywords with good density (ie. your keywords make up a more significant percentage of the total words in the description) into the title in a way that still delivers up a good clickworthy link. I love this part…. <meta name="description" content="Digital Camera Reviews – unbiased, expert advice on which digital camera is the best buy for you."> If you are working in the one of the popular content management systems like Joomla or Drupal, or a popular blog interface like Wordpress… then you probably have a the user friendly dialog box style interface where you can enter in your page descriptions. The software then creates the underlying HTML code meta tags like you see above without you having to crack ope your HTML for dummies books and write code. But the technical and creative insertion of keywords is fundamentally the same. The page description you write in your meta tags should not too long because the SERP results will just truncate long ones anyway. When writing try to get your keywords in early (like the first word dude) and often. But try to get it to still make sense as a

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How to Write For Better Search Engine Results & Increased Traffic

statement in English… in case the description is used in the search engine results pages just like you would for your optimized body copy. The possibility of being used is why page descriptions are worth crafting so they not only contain keywords but that they read well... no one sees them, they are not heavily weighted for search keywords, but… 1. Yahoo still uses page descriptions in some cases 2. If the actual keywords are heavily weighted in the description Google may occasionally display the page description – which gives you greater control over how your SERP listing looks and therefore how clickworthy it is. In both these scenarios your page description now becomes part of your front line advertising. So, page descriptions are worth some attention.

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How to Write For Better Search Engine Results & Increased Traffic

Basic Content Writing Tips For Better Search Results Everyone who works on your website can write to improve search results and help out whatever search engine optimization work is being done elsewhere.

Writing copy for search engines is for everybody A great deal of search engine optimization will probably always remain mysterious and arcane to the uninitiated but many hands make light work and a lot of small contributions add up to a greater whole. Everyone who contributes content should know the basics of building body copy with key word in city and prominence. Let’s get started… I am going to assume that you have already created a cheat sheet of keywords you wish to target across your entire site. If you have not already done so then back up a few steps, go back to your keyword research output and create just such a list. OK, now with every content producing employee now having a copy in hand we can proceed.

Search engines look at copy according to some simple rules Search engine spiders work on some very basic principles for analyzing body copy on an HTML page. The search engines spider assumes that Whatever comes first is most important and whatever is emphasized is even more important. This is most important when writing your opening paragraph. Make sure that you kick off your content pages with a great opening sentence containing your favorite keywords and preferably starting with your favorite keywords. Here’s your first sentence (which is ridiculously weak): You should consider trying our wonderful services.

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How to Write For Better Search Engine Results & Increased Traffic

Now lets add a dash of keyword goodness: You should consider trying our wonderful internet marketing services. Now just a pinch of keyword prominence: Internet marketing services don’t get much better than GDM. You should consider trying us. And a drop of keyword emphasis: Internet marketing services don’t get much better than GDM. You should consider trying us. Top it all off by wrapping the keywords in <H1> tags:

Internet marketing services They don’t get much better than GDM. You should consider trying us. Note: <h1> tags have to be used sparingly. If you use them as you page header you are going to be golden! But subheads lower down on the page are good too. Simple content tricks like these will not in and of themselves get you top ranking on search engine search engine results pages. As I mentioned earlier a great deal of search engine optimization is mysterious and takes place behind the scenes however simple tricks like this can it had just a little bit more of an edge to your website’s overall success. You see how it works? Internet marketing isn't so hard after all.

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How to Write For Better Search Engine Results & Increased Traffic

Writing Anchor Text Links With Keywords Writing great internal links with anchor text based on targeted keywords is another contributing factor to overall search engine marketing success. Everyone who contributes content to your website should know and understand how well written anchor text links based on targeted keywords can improve your on-page optimization and help to generate more web site traffic.

How do anchor text links work? Using lots of links is always a good idea for you or anyone else who is adding content to your web pages. Actually, linking information on one page one your website to related information found on a different page of your website helps search engine algorithms determine what the content of the destination page is all about. For example, if page1 on your website talks about cats it may have a link to page2 on your site that talks about cat food. Search engine spiders visiting page1 will follow the link to page2. As they go they make note of the text found in the link. Because the link text said cat food, the search engine spider as one more contributing factor to tell it that the page2 is probably really about cat food. With a few simple guidelines you can getuse well written links with keyword anchor text to give the search engine spiders better info about what the contents of your pages really are! Search engine spiders used to use page descriptions written in the tags to determine what the content of the page was… but people just kept lying. So now the search engine spiders decide for themselves what the page is all about..

Let’s get everyone on board and up to speed. As I have mentioned elsewhere it is important that you have already done your keyword research and have a nifty little cheat sheet of targeted keywords on hand for all your content contributors. If you haven’t got your cheatsheet ready then backup a few steps, do your research and get your list ready….Now, does everyone have their list in hand?

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How to Write For Better Search Engine Results & Increased Traffic

Let’s try writing a sample anchor text link! Writing with great keyword-rich anchor text is actually very simple but surprisingly hard to practice consistently. We all seem to have developed a very bad habit of wanting every link to say click here. Using the words “click here” as your anchor text doesn’t do your website any good unless you are trying to capture search results for the words click or here. The real trick is to use the words you are targeting as keywords in the clickable text. Here’s a lame example: Find out more about our internet marketing services by clicking here Here’s a better example: Find out more about our internet marketing services Here’s an example with more targeted keywords: Find out more about our internet marketing services in Cary NC

Writing anchor text with keywords wasn’t so hard, was it? Not really… but it does require some discipline and the occasional abandonment of a perfect sentence. To make anchor text with targeted keywords work for your website you have to pound it into your head (and into the head of everyone who contributes content to your website) that descriptive anchor text is the way to go! …And resist the urge to use click or here. Not only does anchor text with targeted keywords improve your search engine ranking and generate more web traffic, it’s also usually results in better copywriting! So go ahead… link pages in your web site like crazy but be sure to use descriptive anchor text every time. And remember to use your targeted keywords or phrases containing your keywords when you create your descriptive anchor text links.

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How to Write For Better Search Engine Results & Increased Traffic

Written by Craig Scott, GDM Interactive GDM Interactive is an internet marketing service agency based in Raleigh/Durham NC. When we are not enjoying the long summers and fabulous scenery in this part of North Carolina we work with clients to make more effective use of internet marketing techniques and strategies for finding new customers and growing your business online.

GDM's internet marketing services include: Pay Per Click Management – Go beyond the basics to develop targeted adword marketing programs that reach deep into your marketplace to find new customer source. Plus, we’ll keep your cost per click low and deliver quality traffic. Search Engine Optimization – Drive targeted, low cost traffic to your website with focused content development and linking campaigns. We'll take the time to gather real insight into your business and show you how to tap into new markets and new customer sources. Email Promotions – Create new sales and retain solid customers with effectively focused email marketing. We'll show how to manage this complex marketing method for maximum effect. Direct Mail - The web's best kept secret is that a huge amount of traffic is driven by print! We’ll show you how to integrate mail and web, track online and offline for the highest return on your investment. Web Analytics & Landing Page Analysis – Measure you online results and see where your ad dollars are having the greatest impact. We’ll show you how to create actionable goals based on what your web visitors are really doing rather than what you wish they were doing.

Get started marketing online Today: Call: 1 919 469 2281 email info@gdminteractive.com Visit: www.gdminteractive.com Let us put our experience to work for you!

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How To: Write For Search Engines and Increase Traffic