Tips on Writing Pages That Get the Click

How Long Should a Page Be?

Follow the Guidelines for Authors regarding number of words. But as a general rule, make the length "just right" for your target audience. "Too short" will likely fail to engage. "Too long" can intimidate. In general, it's better to break one long page into two shorter pages .

Remember Both Audiences

Your Headline is important for both the humans and the search engine. Its job is to pull the reader into your copy, and the text then picks up the headline's thread and take it the rest of the way

For your human readers...

Start your Body copy strongly

This will Compel your pre-visitor to click on your Search Engine listing. What you write here (and your Headline) will appear in some Search Engine search listings so it needs to do the job of a good Description.

Over-deliver great content in your Text. Establish the main benefits of reading this particular page right away. In short, answer the "what's in it for me" question that every visitor asks when arriving at a new page.

Create an enjoyable reading environment for your visitors... a friendly, informed tone, active verbs, short sentences, no more than 4 or 5 lines per paragraph, etc

On-Page Criteria for the Search Engines...

KEYWORDS

Pick four keywords (a keyword can be a single word or a phrase of up two, three and rarely four words). Your main keyword is your specific keyword and needs to appear in the first paragraph and then several more times throughout the text. The longer your text, the more of your keywords you need to pepper it with.

When submitting your article please type the keywords you have chosen at the top of the text, before the title, with your specific or main keyword first.

Think like a Search Engine.

It is trying to figure out what this page is about. It starts this process by looking for certain "on-page" hooks or hints. We call these "on-page criteria."

The placements of your page's Specific Keyword (and/or its roots) in your Body copy are the "direct hooks" to the Search Engine. These hooks directly tell them what the page is about. After all, if your page is about High Blood Pressure, if "High Blood Pressure" does not appear on the page a few times, it could just as well be a page about "Osteoporosis."

Search Engines today are sophisticated at recognizing the topic of a page. So while they need enough direct hooks (your Specific Keyword and/or its root) to "get it," don't give them too many. They'll "feel" manipulated.

All the usual rules of good writing apply. While writing your excellent content, use synonyms (ex., "High Blood Pressure"), related words and phrases ("Hypertension") and General Keywords ("Age-related Conditions")... all of which help the Search Engines realize what the topic of this page is about.In the example just above, you can see how synonyms, related words and General Keywords all contribute to "High Blood Pressure." The content is obviously not talking about "Osteoporosis," right? Better still, this helps you rank not only for your Specific Keyword, but for other keywords, too (without even trying!).

And best of all, writing in this manner makes for "good reading" for your human reader. As always, you have to please both audiences. Luckily, both engines and humans want the same thing, great content. Keyword placement ("on-page criteria") is merely "packaging your topic" to make sure the engines "get it."Off-page criteria (ex., inbound links) are important, too, of course, and growing in importance. But most individual Web pages don't get many (if any) inbound links, so your on-page "hooks" remain important.

Some Specifics
The nearer your Specific Keyword is to the beginning, the higher the engine scores it. So include your Specific Keyword in the opening sentence of your opening paragraph, if possible.

Use the Specific Keyword early in your first paragraph and also in the closing paragraph of your last Text Block.

Then weave your Specific Keyword (and/or its root) throughout the rest of your text. This "scatter pattern" should look like an hourglass... more frequently at the top and bottom, and less frequently (but still present) in the middle of the page. Keep usage reasonable, though. The engines look for excessive use as a sign of "keyword spammers."

A good general guideline?

Include your Specific Keyword just a touch more than "good writing" might normally dictate... but not so often that it is obviously being over-used. Instead, mix in some common synonyms and related words of your Specific Keyword.

Start blending in your General Keywords, too, so that you can score for word combos (i.e., Specific Keyword + General Keyword). Once you have decided on the subject of your article, ask the editor to research the General Keywords with the highest demand and good relevance to your Specific Keyword (i.e., the ones that a searcher is most likely to associate with your Specific Keyword). For example...If your page is about "High Blood Pressure," then "Age-related Conditions" and "blood pressure" would be good General Keywords, but "health" is too general. You'll use "health" without even trying, of course, in various parts of your site. On the other hand, "Age-related Conditions," as a word related to High Blood Pressure, will raise your relevance.

Bottom line?
Proper Specific Keyword placement, together with smart selection and use of synonyms, related words and General Keywords will not only satisfy both the Search Engines and human visitors, it will increase the overall relevance of your page (and likely provide you with excellent ideas for content).

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