Monday, February 13, 2006

What Kind of Content Do You Need?

Today's post is sort of a continuation from the previous post. You can find it below if you haven't already read it.

It is titled: "Why is Content So Important to Your Online Business?"
Or, here is the direct link to it if you don't feel like scrolling:
Importance of Content

Ok, now for today's free home business tips...

Going back to some of the SEO methods used in the past, some website owners were happy to fill pages with keywords that attracted search engines, but turned visitors off. Now even the search engines are learning to ‘read’ like a human. If the content has too many keywords and unlikely sentence structures, it may consider the site to be manipulated and not list it.

If you want a site that attracts search engines AND keeps people on your website, you need to have information that is relevant, informative and well written. However, when using methods that are designed to attract search engines, the content still needs to be keyword-rich. What does that mean?

Keyword-Rich Content

Keywords are very important to search engines. The words you think that people looking for your information or product might use in the search engines are called "keywords". The search engine acts like a Yellow Pages phone book. People look up a topic by word or phrase and find the related entries listed.

Your traffic will depend largely on if you choose the right words. If you use words that no one is searching for – or words that are highly competitive – your chances of being found through the search engines goes down dramatically.

One way to find the right keywords is to find out what words are most popular for searches. Using a word harvester like the Keyword Selector Tool (found at you can find out approximately how many searches have been made for your selected keywords. You may find some similar words or phrases that have even higher amounts of searches than your first selection.

The key to finding the best words for your content is to use the most general term first and then find more specific words or phrases that relate to your website. For example; if you are looking for words for a children’s education site, you might first look up the words "children" or "education" to discover the most searched term related to your topic. Perhaps you’ll see "child education" or "teaching children" are more commonly searched terms than "children’s education".

When you’ve found words or phrases that are commonly searched for you can find details on the competition for these words in the PPC area by using the View Bids Tool, also in the Overture Resource Center. If the word has high bids or many bidders you can consider that the competition will also be high in the natural search engine results. Check it out for yourself. If the natural search is bringing up sites that lack appropriate content you may be able to top them with your own keyword-rich content.

Unique Content

The algorithms are constantly changing, but currently it has been stated that the search engines don’t like duplicate content. That is why many affiliate businesses that set up new websites for each member are often unable to make a top showing in the search engine results. Too many of the same thing.

Writing your own content or hiring a ghost writer to write it for you will work better. Using free to reprint articles may work, depending on the amount of times that work has been reprinted. In every case, do not duplicate the webpage of another site – both for ethical reasons and the fact that it will not bode well for your search engine status.

If you are using a template site you will need to change a significant amount of the information in order to create a site that the search engines will consider as unique. You can do this by changing your web page title, meta tags, introducing paragraph and by inserting links or editorial blocks within the article body.

Unique content is also important to visitors who may be viewing other related websites and are looking for fresh information on the topic. By providing unique content you will stand out from the crowd.

Informative Content

As mentioned before, getting traffic is not valuable to you if people leave your site right away. Providing informative content is not only more beneficial to your visitors it is important to "smarter" search engines which also pick up on the content.

If the content is made up of keywords and phrases strung together the search engine may discount it. There are grammatical rules that some search engines may use as a basis for weeding out optimized sites from the truly informative.

Obviously the search engines won’t really know if the content is of any value to your visitors – only you can know that – but if you have to sit and write proper information you’d do well to make it of value to the reader.

Relevant Content

Keeping to a theme will help your website both with the search engines and visitors. Keyword-rich articles will likely be relevant or you wouldn’t choose them. If you are posting information on various topics, you just won’t have the opportunity to optimize your site to its greatest potential.

Amount of Content

The more pages you can say something on the better. Keep information pages short (400-800 words) or the search engines may not "read" all the way through. Creating many web pages and optimizing the content and the web page will allow you to target more keywords then if you try to cram them all onto one page.

Be careful when using systems which create hundreds or thousands of web pages automatically. Creating content for each page is important and many of these programs create cookie-cutter sites that are simply keyword-rich without any real content. In fact, not only may it not help you with your position in the search engines – it may even hurt you. With many individuals using the same programs the search engines can read the "finger print" and may consider the web pages to be invalid for inclusion in the search engine.

Content is useful for creating traffic, pleasing the search engines, and offering valuable information to your visitors. So, offer valuable content on your site and your website will be well on it's way to top search engine rankings and making lots of money for you!

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