via Why Content for SEO?.
via Why Content for SEO?.
Good piece on the importance of search engine optimisation and a snapshot of the basics on the Channel 4 News Blogs:
A former journalist colleague of mine worked for an SEO firm; her job was to write about anything. Literally any subject she fancied covering. Her copy would be used on one of the firm’s network of websites, and because it was well-written, journalistic text, Google would assess the site as more authentic and give it a higher rank.
The fact that my former colleague was paid hundreds of pounds a day gives an insight into how much value companies place on having a good Google rank.
It often seems counter-intuitive to explain to academic colleagues that blogging frequently – even if it’s not about academic topics, can tangentially result in higher rates of applications to their courses, greater public interest in their research or larger conference attendances.
Yet, that’s the way it is, at least until Google’s next change of algorithm anyway.
Here’s a useful little tool I’ve recently rediscovered (I’d last used it in 2008):
Beside its kerrrrrazy approach to capitalisation ‘flickrSLiDR’ allows content managers to embed a slideshow of images from Flickr (from a particular user or set) onto a website, negating the need to format or upload large batches of images multiple times.
Admittedly, this particular blogger comes across as fairly obnoxious, but he does give a good overview of what content-based marketing is about:
It’s not about being pushy. It’s not about slamming people with endless pitches and sales efforts.
Your site/email newsletter/podcast/whatever should consist of something like this:
- Some posts that are just friendly and storytelling.
- Some posts that are gentle pushes towards a next action or an ask.
- Some posts that are pure selly-sell, as I like to call it. Apparently over here they call that an offer.
- Some (but very few) totally off-topic posts.
As many universities now rely on academic or support staff to update content on their website(s) – as opposed to online copywriters, here’s some useful info for those new to online copywriting:
Users Scan and Skim Web Content
- Web users at most have the time to read little more than 20% of the words on a webpage during an average visit. (7)
- “Scanning text is an extremely common behavior for higher-literacy users.” (8)
- Lower-literacy users “plow text” rather than scan it. (9)
Implications for Content Writers
- Make webpage text easy for users to scan.
- Use bolded headings and subheadings that make sense and include keywords of the content.
- Use bulleted lists when you can to break up content. Bullets are also easy to scan.
- Read the suggestions offered in Helping Readers Skim and Scan.
One of the major facets of my job over the past few years, seems to have been cleaning up messy HTML code on various content management systems that’s been pasted directly from MS Word by web users of differing skill levels.
The final published webpage often ends up with strange formatting, random fonts and generally looking a mess.
Some CMS systems – such as WordPress, seem to tidy text up automatically, but for users of those that don’t, here’s a neat little, browser-based tool for creating ‘clean html’ from Word Documents.