Two Tips for Formatting Content for Natural Search
When considering natural search optimization, it’s important to remember to build your site for your user first, and for the search engines second. What search engines ultimately want is to serve results that users will find helpful and relevant—subsequently, users and spiders seek good content and helpful links, both properly formatted. Here are two things to consider when formatting online copy:
• Order your information properly. When you optimize content for your users, think prominence and focus. Use techniques such as writing in a journalist’s inverted-pyramid style, with the most important information at the top of the piece.
• Make your headline stand out. Just as a page’s headline provides the signage to help orient your user, HTML headline tags help search spiders find the most important ideas on each of your pages. On every page of your site, a primary descriptive headline should be encased within headline tags. Many designers avoid H1 and H2 tags because they don’t like their default appearance, which is big and clunky. But by including Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), a style sheet language that allows you to specify fonts, colors and spacing, you can control the rendering of these headlines, while still getting the important organic search boost from these tags.
The end result? Qualified users can locate your site via search engines, and enjoy a well-organized, easy-to-navigate site that primes them for conversion.
Larry Becker is vice president at the Rimm-Kaufman Group, an online marketing agency. You can reach him online at www.rimmkaufman.com.