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Writing for the Web

Writing for Google Searches

Becky Koch, (701) 231-7875,  November 2011

Unique Content

  • Never copy other material; instead, link to it.
  • What makes your information different from anyone else’s?

Keyword Usage

  • Relevant
  • Think about the words your audience will use to search (e.g. trees, not horticulture)
  • Google words to test them – hot dish = 13.4 million, casserole = 34.6 million
  • Use Google AdWords or UberSuggest
  • Use these keywords repeatedly in the page title, introductory summary, subheads, early in the sentences of articles, etc.

Content Organization

  • Inverted pyramid – most important information first rather than building to conclusion; conclusion then why
  • Many short articles rather than one very long one
  • Subheads
  • Bulleted or numbered lists
  • Images
  • Skimmable/readable

Links to Complementary Content

  • Link to high-quality, complementary .edu, .gov, .org; occasionally .com if appropriate
  • Share/market your website so others will link to you
  • Make it so “wow” that others share it for you

Call to Action

  • Tell readers what to do to fix their problem, improve their process, etc.
  • So what? Who cares?

Avoid PDFs. Not nearly as searchable.

Avoid lists of links.

Craig Wood’s Writing Discoverable Online Content

Best Practices for Writing and Improving Content

Google’s Webmaster Guidelines

“In general, webmasters can improve the rank of their sites by increasing the number of high-quality sites that link to their pages.”

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