Create Use Cases for SEO Keyword Selection

One of the most important elements of search engine optimization (SEO) is choosing the right keywords for your content. It’s an art as much as a science, and it’s difficult to teach. I think considering use cases for your target audience can help.

First, an introduction to keywords: Essentially, keywords are terms — words or phrases — that people use to search on the Internet. Whether on Google, Bing or another search engine, they type in a word or phrase to find information they’re looking for.

If you own or manage a website, you generally want them to find your site — if, that is, they’re looking for anything related to what you do. To do this, you can optimize the content on your site to match up with the keywords people are using in their searches.

It’s important not to overdo this — not to load your pages up with too many references to the keywords, for example. (The best rule of thumb to keep in mind at all times is to make your website a good experience for visitors. You do not want your language to feel unnatural to a visitor.) Continue reading

1 Tip to Make You a Better Writer

Aside from getting a really good all-around education and much-improved job prospects, I learned a few really important things in college. For example: Keyboard:

  • I learned how to read poetry. (I had a great professor who taught me this, and it’s enriched my whole life.)
  • I learned the basics of ballroom dancing.
  • I learned that storing tomatoes and bananas near each other makes both ripen more quickly. True. Try it. (Or try separating them if they’re already as ripe as you want them.)

But one of the most important things I learned — especially for me, a journalism major — was an important tip to tighten up my writing. Here it is, free of charge, saving you the cost of four years at a Big 10 university: Get rid of the extraneous warmup text at the beginning. Continue reading

Happy Begets Happy

My “One Moment” this week

A long time ago, on a dare, I gave up swearing and grumbling. I was working in a newsroom at the time. My college education was in journalism, and the first 15 years of my professional life were spent in newsrooms — which is a lot like being raised by sailors. I’ve heard and used almost every kind of foul language, and almost nothing you can say would shock me. Swearing in a newsroom is pretty much second nature.

A reporter came into work one morning, either on or just before Ash Wednesday, and said she didn’t know what she should give up for Lent. Laughing, I dared her to give up swearing. She looked at me and said, “I will if you will.” Continue reading

You’ve Got Spam!

I’m a success!

Really. I am. I know this because my blog is starting to be inundated by spam. I’m getting spam comments at a rate of 6-to-1 versus actual comments. I could ask y’all to get more engaged by submitting real comments (wink), but I’d rather celebrate my little successes.

The thing about spam comments, as annoying as they are, is that it means someone outside my usual network has started finding my blog. Continue reading