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Keywords in promotional articles

On Sunday, I presented a workshop on using promotional articles as a business tool and discussed the use of keywords in such articles.

Keywords are words that a search engine will use to provide search results (e.g. if you type in “promotional articles”, they are the keywords and a search engine will find the sites most relevant for those words.) They are very useful in building up the popularity of your site with search engines.

So it is a good idea to include your keywords in your promotional articles so search engines will find your articles online and increase your exposure. In terms of attracting search engines, putting keywords into the title is also effective.

In reality, you probably use keywords in your articles without really trying – it isn’t easy to write an article about business books without writing business or books for example.

However, it is important to not use your keywords too many times in one article as search engines can actually penalise you for doing so. The easiest way to judge how many times is right is to read it out loud – if it sounds ok and appeals to a human, you probably haven’t over used the keywords.

I will share some examples tomorrow on overuse of keywords, but thanks to Suzie of Suz’s Space asking a question in my  workshop, let me explain that it is repetition of one or two words that is the potential problem – using a lot of different keywords in a suitable context is not a search engine risk.

For example, writing an article about a style of writing which includes a list of authors does have a lot of keywords (each name for instance) but is not over using the keywords (such as books and authors) for Suzie’s site.

Learning from SEO spam

Last week, I wrote about SEO offer spam emails. Having just received another one of these annoying emails, I thought I’d give some examples of why I don’t trust them…

We can put your site at the top of a search engines listings. If this is something you might be interested in, send me a reply with the web addresses you want to promote and the best way to contact you with some options.

Sincerely,

First Last

So what is wrong with this email?

  • no greeting is rude. Even if he didn’t want to take the time to research my name, he could have said “Hello” at the minimum
  • who is he? There was no other information to help me identify his business or contact him except by reply email
  • if he doesn’t know what my website is (so how did you email me then?) how can he be sure he can help my rankings improve? Maybe I’m already at the top, maybe it’s a family site I don’t care about rankings for, maybe a thousand different things that mean his service is not relevant
  • what does he mean by ‘top of a search engine listings’ anyway? Top of page 10 in Google is still top but not something I aspire to! Top for an irrelevant or obscure keyword won’t help me either. By not being clear, he missed an opportunity to show me he knows what he is talking about and starting some trust.
  • where is he located? Yes, we could deal via email which means his location isn’t too important, but knowing he is overseas helps understand time differences. Further, I would be more likely to hire an Australian as they understand my market better and I don’t have to deal with the dollar value.

Whilst I hope you don’t send out spam to get business, the above tips will hopefully help you avoid answering spam like this and help you write better sales emails.

Use your words wisely!

 

 

rejecting SEO “offers”

I seem to be getting more emails about search engine optimisation (SEO) services lately – all of which I delete without any consideration I might add!

Why do I delete them?

  • I don’t have time to read so many emails that are often copies of the same text
  • I don’t trust services who need to spam me to get work – if their services are so great, they should be able to get work in less annoying ways
  • no one can promise to get another site to to the top of Google – Google changes their system often enough that no one can hack it exactly for one thing, and it depends on what other sites are doing as well – if their site is improved, how do I stay as number 1?
  • I am convinced that good content is a key to succeeding with search engines – the amount of site traffic I get from my articles is evidence of that – and I doubt an SEO company will help me with my content!
  • I hate spam!

What worries me more is that some of them will convince other business people to take up their services. Not only would it be a waste of money most of the time, some SEO strategies can actually penalise your site (and if Google or Yahoo cuts you out, it is very hard to get your site recognised.)

So if you get made an offer to ‘put your site at the top of search engine listings’, please consider carefully if it is worth pursuing. In fact, if they convince you of the need to have SEO help, go online to find a company to use instead of trusting an uncalled for solicitation. Finding a company gives you the chance to decide how reputable they appear.

Alternatively, take some time to work on your content to make it useful and relevant for humans and read up on other ways to help your page rankings.