We covered the basics in Content for your website but once you’ve gone through the steps to understand what your customer’s personas are really typing into the search bar and the types of content that you should be writing about and why, it’s time to take that content and optimize it.  It's not enough to just have articles or blogs, you need to have good webpage content.

This article is going to cover

    Picking a title
    Making the most of images and videos
    Using content to attract new visitors
    Page title and URL optimization – dash or underscore?

I’ve spoke about the subject of your article title in past posts.  I hope to help you relate the importance of this front line text.

In the offline world, you may be at waiting for an appointment, or a Doctor’s office, and while you are waiting for your turn there are magazines or newspapers laid out to give you something to do during the wait. You grab one and start turning pages.  What makes YOU stop on a page and read the article?  Well, it would be the title right?  The next factor might be an image related to the article. But before your eyes dropped to the image they landed on the “Title”.

This is the same thing that happens to people looking for information or just surfing the web.  It’s the title that makes them stop and pay attention.

Let’s test out two titles. 

  • First title – How I saved my pet from death
  • Second title – Pet lives

Which of those titles would you want to read first?  Research shows that people are drawn to “How to…..”, “10 steps to……..” or “What you need to know to……..” When you use these opening statements it is shown to get more readers.  You certainly don’t want to use them for EVERY post your make but keep it in mind for those times you need a really great title.

Steps in the content creation process. 

Find your keywords

1) With your product or service in mind, try to think about what a user would be typing in the search bar that would bring them to your page.  Use the language that your customers would use.  Write down a few search terms that sound like they may relate to your product.  For instance, you may own a pet store.  So what could be a few reasons that a person would be looking your site?  The keyword dog, cat and fish are too vague.  You will never rank 1 page with just those words so let’s think like a customer. 

Maybe they need “food for my hamster” or “Dog shampoo for a poodle”, maybe “Best pet for small child”.  These long phrases are called long tail keywords and by using these types of keywords you are able to show up on page 1 search results much easier than using a one word term.  Keep in mind that we are looking to create good webpage content, not just quick blurbs that really don't give the reader any kind of great information when they click on your link.

If you have a local store then be sure to use the location in your title.  “Best pet for small child, Kansas City”.   It is always going to be easier to rank higher for a specific location over a broad region.   Once you have a few good ideas on what your customers would be typing into the search bar; go to Google keyword tool. This is free to use, you don’t have to have an Ad Words account to use this. 

In the top bar you type in the search phrase (just one at a time) like the image below.

You will then get a bunch of great information.  It will show you how many times a month that search phrase or word is searched by users online, how high the competition for that keyword would be should you choose it and similar phrases that you might want to look at. 

I recommend going with low or medium competition keywords even if they don’t have a high search volume per month.  Your goal is to create a lot of good content.  If your links are starting to show up on the first page then your entire sites gains in authority.

Another really nice thing about this tool is that it can give you ideas for different searches and you may find a really great keyword that has a good amount of searches each month with low competition and you’ll have a winner!   The two different numbers shown for searches are Global and Local.  The Global is worldwide and the Local refers to your country, not your town.

Now that you have a good list of great possibilities for a Title, pick one and write the article using that keyword as the Title. Quick note here, you can feel safe that using I, Do, How, it etc. they will not interfere with your keyword optimization.  Google will disregard those connecting words, so if you want to use the keyword “Shampoo for Poodles” but you’d like to make it a bit more natural sounding, you can use “What’s the best Shampoo for Poodles” or “Picking a great Shampoo for Poodles”.  Your keyword “Shampoo for Poodles” is in the title and you are good to go.

Making use of images and videos

Remember we talked about what makes you decide to read the article.  The title will grab you but images are fantastic tools to really get your attention.  In a Magazine or newspaper you are limited to the size of the paper the article is written on. This is not the case for your webpage; it can go as long as you need it to go. 

Make your images either educational or emotional.  Show the dog being shampooed and talk about how to use the product and/or show an image of a happy clean dog after they have used the product, you get the picture right?  No pun intended.

Videos are also great but unless you’re giving an in depth tutorial on your product, keep it to just a few minutes.  People these days get bored really quick!

Keywords for images and videos

Don’t lose an opportunity to let the search engines know what your images are about.

Google has no eyes.  The search engines can only read what you are writing and it is with that information they determine the content and topic on the page.  Too many people lose out on the chance to rank higher for that article because they don’t title the image or video.

When you are saving the image or video on your hard drive and it asks for a name – give it one, a name that has to do with that page.   Instead of “image001.jpg” Title it “Poodle enjoying shampoo”.

Google knows that people are crazy about images and videos these days.  Your content will stand a better chance of getting Google’s attention if they not only see that you have images but they can tell what the images are about.

Using content to attract new visitors

Creating great content will result in attracting new visitors to your site.  Your traffic will increase, your sales will increase and, if you give your customers amazing service they will tell their social circles about you.  

Page title and URL optimization – dash or underscore?

Okay, so you have your great title, amazing content in your article, great images with key worded file names are you done?  Nope, not just yet. 

The last stage here is to make sure your page title and URL are also optimized.

Page title is different from your article title.  The page title is what shows up in the tab at the top of the open browser, it lets a person that has many pages opened know at a glance what website that tab is attached to.  It also lets Google know that your page is talking about the keyword that you used for the article.  
Then we have the URL.  This is what you and your customers and Google see when your article is posted.

A clean URL looks like this:  yourwebpage.com/shampoo_for_poodles a URL that is not optimized looks like this yourwebpage.com/Topic65552-37-1.aspx#bm65653 in the first example your customers as well as Google has no question about what your page is about.  The second example gives no clue what you might be reading should you decide to click on that link.

One last thing and only because it’s a question that gets asked a lot.  Dash’s or Underscores for the URL?

Does Google like            /shampoo-for-poodles
Or do they like               /shampoo_for_poodles

This is how Google says they index the two URL's above.

When Google sees the dog-shampoo they index dog as a word and shampoo as a word
When Google sees the dog_shampoo they index the words together as dog shampoo

Hope this helps!  Now get out there and write some great content for your site!

We hope you found this article helpful.  If the subject of Good Webpage Content is still a question for you, feel free to contact our offices and let's talk about your site needs.  Our consultations are always free and there is never an obligation to buy.

If you’d like help with your website or graphic creation, we would be happy to share our experience with you.  Complete Web Solutions is located in the United States and is available 7 days a week.  Call 719 302 5029 to speak with us today.