Posts Tagged ‘content’

SEO companies aren't magiciansTo my knowledge, most SEO experts don’t have a degree in quantum physics, aren’t proficient in calculus or even have a degree from Hogwarts school of magic. But clients seem to think a search engine optimization company can work magic. (Though, based on the sales pitch you hear from the SEO telemarketers, they would make you believe they can.)

Everyone today is searching for the easy button – that quick fix that will catapult their site to page one of Google. And there are lots of SEO companies out there promising to do just that, when, in reality, they are just taking your money. The truth is Google is slowly whittling away at the tactics used by most of these companies. Link building, blog commenting, and optimizing anchor text, all common practices, are now being penalized by Google’s latest updates.

That spells bad news for the SEO companies that are looking for the fast buck. For the business owners, it’s both good news and bad. The good news is, the playing field is being leveled so that your competition can’t cheat the system as easily. The bad news – now your site must stand on it’s own merit. If you want to be at the top of Google for “Money Saving Widgets”, you better have the most authoritative site on “Money Saving Widgets.”

easy-buttonThe easy button you’ve been searching for is content. Every time I tell a client that they need to create content, you see a dejected look, a “I was hoping you wouldn’t say that” look. Creating content conjures up unpleasant memories of high school English. “Where am I going to find the time to write content?” “What am I going to say?” “Everyone knows what our business does.” Here are some suggestions to help you start creating content:

1. Create content that educates – A website/blog is the best source for educating your customers/clients. Regardless of the subject, people want to make sure they are making an informed decision and your content can reinforce those decisions.
2. Create content that entertains – We buy based on emotions, then justify it with logic. Content that entertains the reader taps their emotions and forges a bond between your site and the reader.
3. Tell a story – Storytelling is an effective content strategy. Readers can immerse themselves into the story line and identify with the characters. Consider a testimonial type of story that demonstrates how your company solved a problem. Readers will remember you for your problem solving skills rather than your list of services.
4. Forget the sales pitch – If your content is done right, you won’t need to have a sales pitch. A sales pitch immediately shifts the focus from the reader to “me, me, me”. The harsh reality – no one cares about you or your business. They care about whether you can solve their problem, increase their profitability or make their life easier. If your content gets that message across, you will never need a sales pitch.

So as you’re looking for that elusive shortcut to the top of Google, remember, there is no shortcut. The easy button is only in commercials. If you are committed to forging your way to the top of the search engines, you need to be ready to start creating dynamic content and keep creating dynamic content. Like any sporting event, the playing field will be dominated by the person or team that is the most dedicated, consistent and prepared.


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When You Want An “F” In Writing

   Posted by: Gary Wagnon    in web design

fOur goal in school was to avoid getting an F, right?  We failed when we got an F.  But when creating the content for your website, you want to make an F.  Not because you want to fail, but because you want your site to succeed.

When creating your content, it’s important to know how people view your page.  Do you know anyone that leisurely reads a web page?  With the shear volume of competition on the web, browsers will scan a page to see if that site has what they are looking for.   If you want your site to be in the running for their consideration, you need to make sure they see the major points of your site.

Here’s where the “F” comes in.  Researcher and writer Jakob Nielsen, Ph.D. conducted a study of how people read on the web.  In his groundbreaking eyetracking study, he found that the reading behavior was pretty consistent.  The dominant reading pattern looks like a large letter “F”.

  • Users first read horizontally across the top of the page, which forms the top bar of the F.
  • Next users move down the page a bit and read across a shorter area, making the lower bar of the F.
  • Finally readers scan the content’s left side in a vertical movement, completing the F.

Move outside of your website owner’s chair and look at your site with an objective eye.   What jumps out on your page?  Is your content capturing your browsers attention or are they hopping off your site to your competitor?

Gary Wagnon and 800biz has been providing website design, search engine optimization and social media marketing for small to medium sized businesses since 1999.


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