class=right]img]images/default/thesearchmasterssecrets.gif/img]/class]How to write for SEO - three simple secrets I run an SEO course SEO101, where I teach Three Simple Secrets of SEO:

  • Search Phrase Selection
  • Search phrases added to the Head of an html page
  • Search phrases added to the content

The next seminars/ is being held on Monday 19th May 2008, with a workshop on Tuesday morning 20th May.

Even without adding links, most websites improve in the rankings substantially with just the above steps. Lets not let the cat out of the bag too much, but even with just the above bullet points, you should be able to improve your rankings on Google.

But be careful about how you write, as the words around your search phrases have to be unique around the web - please see my article on articles/123/writing-for-seo-change-your-pages-wording-frequently/ - you need to not only create unique content, but change the wording on your pages frequently.

In my Saturday wanderings around the web, I came across a great article that reiterated the above points. Michel Fortin’s article Breaking this copywriting rule boosts profits.

He talks about how we should have the search phrases as the first words words of our paragraphs - even if this breaks the active/passive rule of writing. He argues that:

Using passive voice can increase your readership and response because it front-loads important keywords, especially in headings, captions, bullets, and lead sentences.

Based on eyetracking studies, there is some interesting research behind this theory, which reveals counter-intuitive results focusing on the first two words of the opening sentence….

Eyetracking studies show that people only read the first few words. They also show their eyes tend to gravitate toward prominent markers.

People scan for these markers in an effort to make a decision on whether the content is of interest to them and worth reading.

So make the search phrases a prominent part of your pages. Don’t try and hide the words because you want visual purity. People actually read pages, and want information. Give them wonderfully SEO’ed paragraphs, and you will actually be giving them something that they want.