Update your content & keywords

Update your content & keywords

Use quiet times in your business to keep your website up-to-date...
update-your-content

Christmas can be a quiet period for a lot of businesses, and it’s a great time to look over your website and make sure that your content is as interesting and as findable as it can be.  So take advantage of any extra time you may have to write new quality content and refresh stale pages to ensure that you’re getting the most from every page on your website.

Why?

Having a lot of great content that is frequently updated on your website is very important to its success for a number of reasons, such as:

What?

All of your pages should contain useful information for your visitors, and should contain at least 500 words [1]. This minimum limit is a good goal to aim for to ensure that your pages  are useful to your visitors. It is better to take the time to correctly explain your product or service, rather than try to get the page written as quickly as possible. Be careful not to write too much content however, as it’s best to try to gauge how much content is right for each page. Too much content may be intimidating for your visitors and may put them off. An in-depth and interesting subject such as the history of your industry justifies a lot of content where you can really show off your passion, whereas a simple contact page will suffice with a few hundred words. Search engines like Google count the words on each of your pages, and pages without much content won’t be seen as very important by them.

You might have great content, but there are other places on the page that also need attention if your page is going to be found easily. These are:

The Title

The title describes the page’s content, and it’s an important factor in the ranking process used by the search engines when they decide how your site compares to your competitor’s sites.  Here are some guidelines on creating good titles:

google-screenshot

The large, underlined text is the title of each page, so it’s important that the words grab a searcher’s attention. You can also see what happens when titles are too long in the case of the second entry, and this will not look good if it happens to your own website.

Headings

You might have written 500 – 1000 words of great and useful content for your visitors, but if you don’t format it into paragraphs and sections then it will look daunting and will be hard to read quickly. People generally read a web page differently than they read a book, and they will skim over content to get an idea about it before they commit to reading it properly.

As well as paragraphing your content, create sections that are made up of one or more paragraphs, and give it a heading.

Search engines look at these headings to get an idea of what content your pages contain, and descriptive headings will make it easy for them to get an idea of what your page is about. There are 6 types of headings, and you can read more about them in our article on page headings.

How?

Use tools to help you find great keywords for your titles

To help you find great keywords for your titles, use the Google Keyword Tool. Here’s a quick guide to using it:

find-keywords

Enter ideas for keywords in the first box. For example, if your page is about something general like shoes, enter shoes here. Set the location to the UK and then click Search. There is likely to be a Captcha box where you will have to type the words shown in an image into a box the first time you use the tool.

keyword-results

The tool generates a large list of similar keywords to the ones you entered at the start. Click on Local Monthly Searches at the top of the last column to sort the results by the number of hits each phrase receives in the UK rather than in the world. Make note of the Competition of each phrase, as the more general the phrase the harder it is to do well using it. This tool will give you plenty of ideas for phrases you can use in your page titles, and will indicate how beneficial each phrase is in relation to the others in the list.

Add headings to your content easily with your CMS

The CMS you’re using will affect how you create headings very slightly, but generally you simply highlight your text and apply your level of heading. You won’t generally need to go beyond the third level, so aim for one Heading 1 that is the same as the title of the page, and a few Heading 2s. You can use some Heading 3s under the Heading 2s if required. See below for an example.

The AFX CMS

Use the Format button to apply headings.

afx-cms-headings

WordPress

Use the Paragraph button to apply headings.

wordpress-headings

Learn the lingo

Stale content – Stale content refers to documents that have not been updated for a period of time and, thus, contain stale data (documents that are “no longer updated, diminished in importance, superceded by another document“) [3].

Headings – Search engines use your headings to index the structure and content of your web pages. Since users may skim your pages by its headings, it is important to use headings to show the document structure [4].

Keyword Relevance – Keyword relevance is the relationship of a keyword to a topic as entered by a user in a search query or on another section on a web page [5]. You should only use keywords that are relevant to what potential visitors are searching for.

Freshness algorithm – The freshness of a page’s content is a factor in Google’s algorithm that helps it decide how relevant a page is to its user’s search. Pages that haven’t been updated in a long time may be penalised for it.

By creating new and relevant information a business can receive several benefits, including search engine benefits [6].

Ranking – [The] position in which a website appears on search engine result pages [7].

References

[1] www.mybloggertricks.comwww.seobook.com/archives/001986.shtml
[2] www.searchenginejournal.com/viral-seo-titles/52543/
[3] www.searchenginejournal.com/
[4] www.w3schools.com/html/html_headings.asp
[5] www.emarketingdictionary.com
[6] www.bwired.com.au/
[7] www.mccauleyadvertising.com/home/glossary/
[8] www.webworldindex.com
[9] www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2010/05/05/word-count-for-seo
[10] econsultancy.com
[11] www.myit.ie/blog-articles-web-design
[12] http://www.seomoz.org/learn-seo/title-tag

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Samuel Claxon
Author
Samuel Claxon
Developer

Published:
11th January, 2013

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