Published On: Sat, Jan 21st, 2012

Writing Content for Search Engines [PART 3]

This post is the third and final in my series looking at writing content for search engines. With a break from the previous format and to bring the series to its conclusion, I’ve written in more depth about less topics in this post and it contains some tips to consider, rather than immediately act upon.Nonetheless, I’m confident the issues covered will provide PRs with food for thought and I’ve included links to further reading for each topic, as they easily warrant an essay in their own right.Incidentally, it seems fitting that in the middle of penning this guide, the BBC’s Rory Cellan Jones asked if mastering Google’s search algorithm and Wikipedia’s editing system are essential skills for the modern PR executive or lobbyist? Rory is nearly right. A solid grasp of search and an understanding of how to go about ethically editing a Wikipedia entry are two attributes in the ever-expanding digital skill-set. Whilst, these are standard skills for digital PRs, I’m unconvinced if they will become more widely adopted.However, it’s hugely significant that Cellan Jones mentioned both Google and Wikipedia. They are interlinked. If Google is the first place people go to search, then Wikipedia is often the first thing people find and I remember back in 2008 Ste Davies proclaimed Google as ‘your new corporate homepage.’

Understand the Long Tail
To really make the best use of keywords and search budget, you need to understand the Long Tail. Ian Lurie, CEO of Portent hits the nail on the head when he describes the Long Tail as: “specific, niche search phrases, usually more than 2 words in length, that offer a low competition, low search volume and high searcher intent.” In short, it makes good business sense to understand and focus on Long Tail keywords to increase search visibility. There are several reasons for this. Firstly, the couple of keywords you aspire to rank #1 for are likely to be very competitive and therefore more expensive.Secondly, Long Tail searches are more specific and the lower volume actually adds up to a larger figure than the Short Tail – a widely quoted statistic from SEOMOZ says Long Tail comprises 70% of all search queries.Thirdly, given the descriptive nature of Long Tail phrases, they often convert better into sales as people know exactly what they are searching for e.g. ‘jacket with red stripes’ is much more specific than just ‘jacket’.
Further reading:

Recognise the growing relationship between social and search
For the last couple of years we’ve been hearing about the impact social media is going to have on search results. The starting pistol to deepen the relationship was fired when Tweets began appearing in Google results and Facebook ‘Likes’ on Bing, but Google’s recent‘ ‘Search Plus Your World’  which integrates normal search results with content that has been shared on Google+ represents the biggest convergence of social and search to date.

The full impact of Google+ on search is yet to be felt, but this play by Google shows the definition of search (or at least what it encompasses) is expanding. Future SEO campaigns will need to be more social with a focus on great content, as well as incorporating traditional (perhaps fundamental is more apt) search techniques, such as page names, meta tags, headings, anchor text etc.

Social is important for search as it provides the most natural platform for humans to link, vote, and endorse content and its inclusion into search algorithms adds a layer of human verification that is more difficult to game, resulting in better results for users, as Google continue their search for the perfect search engine.
Further reading:

About the Author

- Marketing Manager with a passion for inbound at HubSpot, Founder of Growth Hack Talks, Blogger at and Chief Quaffer at .

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Subscribe to SWT

Most Popular Posts


Get every new post on this blog delivered to your Inbox.

Join other followers: