Marketing, Content Writing and Keyword Research

Published in Web Development on Monday, June 21st, 2004

How good marketing, keyword research and metadata benefit the user, client and search engines.

In Its all about marketing your widget, it was dicussed how knowing your market and more specifically your user base, you could create a better website by not only using vocabulary that the users are familiar with, but your site will become all the more visible in search engines because it contains keywords that users are actually searching with.

Coming at it from a different angle, Gerry McGovern in Quality metadata makes for successful web content mentions the following:

The reason why we need keyword metadata is because people think in keywords. Keywords need to be carefully researched before you write anything.

Choosing the right keyword metadata is absolutely critical to the success of your web content.

Choosing the right metadata requires a deep understanding of your reader.

Good metadata

He specifically talks about headings and summaries, something that I have been learning a lot about while writing entries for this blog. Keith over at Asterisk has a good write-up covering Good Web Page Titles, but summaries are something a little newer to me.

Depending on their intended use, summaries can be very powerful. Here on this blog, for example, the summaries are used on the home page and side lists of articles, as well as in the <meta type="description" /> tags. Having accurate keywords and engaging phrases in these blurbs are both important, as many search engines use the content of <meta type="description" /> if it matches the search criteria.

In addition, the summaries can be used within the site for things like 'related articles', where you can help move a user through your website, keeping their interest and gaining their confidence.

Leverage your work

In the end this is more support for good research and good user centered content writing. By doing the research to know your market, everyone benefits: you, the user and the search engines.

While many clients may not see the value of writing web specific content at first, explaining how you can leverage good research by using it to help better relate to the user base, improve search engine positioning and help with the usability of the website may sway their opinion. In this sense you could show them how a little work up front could go a long way.

Comments and Feedback

I dislike META somehow, if have the feeling it should be reinvented, but perhaps it is just the HTTP-EQUIV part. I wouldn\'t use \'title\' and \'robots\' though. You could use robots.txt and the TITLE element to handle those.

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