- Author By Gillian Muessig |
- Posted on
Today’s blog post comes to us from Gillian Muessig, Founding President of SEOmoz
We are not born to read. We are born to run around the Savanna and if the grass moves oddly, race up a tree. We are not born reading. Reading requires work. Here’s a compendium of hundreds of years of knowledge we’ve accumulated about how people read and about 2 generations of info about how we best /most easily consume written content on screens.
- 4-5 lines per paragraph
- 2-3 paragraphs in a row
- 10 – 12 words per line
- Use exactly as many words as you need. Use no more. There are really no other rules on this one
- Use the keywords where they make sense. And not one instance more. Really; listen to the Google spam team when they say, “Write for your readers, not bots.” This doesn’t mean ignore your readers’ preference for terminology. Be reasonable; if your readers call it a car, don’t use the term ‘vehicle’ to the exclusion of the term ‘car’.
- Break up the page –
- Use Subheads
- Bullets (see how much easier it was to read this info in bullets than in a single sentence with commas?)
Fit The Scroll, Not The Screen
Some of the highest converting pages are 6-8 scrolls long. People get it now; we know how to scroll and read the rest of the content. High converting pages usually include an easy call to action several times throughout long pages, roughly associated with having one call to action button per screen you scroll through.
Submit Well, Rank Now
Use Google Feedburner to submit your content because, um… Google owns it. Posts frequently rank in as little as 30 seconds.
What Should I Write About?
- Google Suggest-offers terms that are similar or related to terms that you suggest (type in)
- Google Reader– Keeps your favorite websites organized in one place, making it easy to refer to them when you need content ideas.
Bumping Up To Page One
Take the existing page that already ranks, write additional content on other pages of your site, and link back to that original content.
The Goal Of The Blog
The goal of a blog is NOT to sell your stuff! You’ll need to blog about relevant stuff, but not to sell your stuff. Generate interest, and become known as the authority first . You want to be in the decision pool when the readers are ready to buy. Write accordingly.
Make Stumblers Stop
StumbleUpon is an early social media site that continues to perform amazingly well. It’s a tool bar you install. You find something you’re interested in and hit the Stumble button. StumbleUpon shows you related content it has gathered from around the web that other thought were also cool. It’s a great service; get it. You can hit on something in your industry and StumbleUpon will feed you all kinds of good ideas about what to write.
- Use images at the top of your post to stop readers dead in their tracks… and encourage them to read on.
- Choose funny images. Surprising. Shocking. Edgy. Avoid using crappy stock photos
- Make your images interesting… how about a talking toad instead of those two business people shaking hands in dark blue suits
- Scale your images to be 600 pixels wide or less. Don’t use html attributes so the image scales to fit the screen size. If you do, all your readers will have to download a really big file and then wait while it resizes
- Optimize your images by compressing them using Photoshop or similar software. It will make your pages load faster. Faster loading pages are crawled faster, which means Google’s bot will crawl more pages on your site
Write Amazing Headlines
They attract readers and suck them in faster and keep them longer, especially if you build up your post to repeat the headline – either exact- or near-match – as you wrap up your post.
- Seven Headlines That Grab Attention
- Seven Headlines That Will Get Results
- Seven Headlines More Incendiary Than Than Glen Beck on the John Stewart Show
Headlines that connect an idea with a recognizable example of what you’re talking about is always the most compelling option. Have a little fun with your headlines and blog posts. Humor is attractive and sticky – it draws folks in and keeps your readers reading to the end.