For a couple of weeks last month I was busy, training intensely for a project… there was a fair amount of ‘learning’, but I’m bound by an NDA, so shan’t speak of it further… lips are zipped. In any case, why worry, this post isn’t about speaking, it’s about writing… ‘content’ for the web! I bring this up now, because on a quick search query for the words “sticky factor”, I was pleasantly surprised to see my post at the top of the SERPs… well, to be honest, it was on page 2. (Go on try it out.) Now, as someone I once knew would say, “Isn’t that something”! ¯(ツ)/¯
“SERPs” is the buzzword among marketing professionals, striving to ensure that their web pages show up high among the Search Engine Results Pages. There, you got it, right? Oh no… please desist from visualizing serpentine creatures popping up from a snake-charmer’s basket, and crawling around the place. Though of course, you’ll find ‘SEO’ experts from all over, striving for Search Engine Optimization, driving many copywriters and content writers up the wall. Well, these SEO cats (a subset of marketing professionals that mushroomed during the decade driven by Google) follow Search Engine Results Pages not unlike someone tailgating you on a busy freeway.
Here’s the thing… I had not paid for ‘keywords’, as most for-profit businesses would do. For them it is integral to their marketing budget – all so that their webpage shows up among the top results for a given set of query words, phrases, or even for a single word! My blog post had ‘grown organically’! Now why is it important that a webpage show up high enough on SERPs? Well, because folks like you and I, and millions of other people get utterly bored searching beyond the first couple of pages. If you’re searching for something on the web, you want to find it fast enough; the sooner that web page with your desired information shows up, the better it is for you… but remember, it is even more important to the website owner/s (or businesses) that have something to sell to you – it may not be necessarily to ‘sell’, but even to ‘tell’ their ‘story’. The story may be about their company, about themselves as individuals, or about the products and/or services they’re selling or promoting. What they have on their webpages is something they know. Until someone does not ‘visit’ that web-page, it is just sitting idle in cyberspace… lost and forlorn. It is somewhat similar to seeing a gorgeous home built in a large community. If nobody visits that home, or if there’s no buyer for it, it is simply there, but somewhat in a pointless existence, wouldn’t you agree on that? The website’s raison d’être is fulfilled when it shows up as a Landing Page and provides the adequate information to closely match what you were looking for.
Marketing professionals urge copywriters and content writers to craft their copy for the web such that it is “search engine optimized” i.e. “searchable”. Without going deep into the subject (because there are reams on this topic already floating around the web), all I’ll say, before heading out to dinner, is that many copywriters, content writers are compelled to ‘stuff’ their writing with keywords, so that when users search for these keywords, the respective pages show up… now you can well imagine, no respectable business owner would or should resort to this, unless the page has relevance to the query. Hence, it is important to write content that is relevant, interesting and matches possible search queries from your user base – in other words, your target audience. Who did you build your web page for? So… we’re back to the key elements of Marketing… is your target audience well defined? Who are your readers? What language do they speak… so on so forth… okay, am done for the day.