Content rules!

Research your keywords.

I mentioned in a previous lesson that keywords are very important. In fact, they are absolutely essential.

When a search engine looks at your site, it's looking for the keywords that tell it what the content is about and which parts of the content are more important.

So, as you start to create the content, you must keep in mind the keywords that you want to highlight.

You'll go back as often as you need to the Keyword tool at: Overture and you'll check what keywords or keyword phrases you audience is looking for.

As I said before, forget about single keywords like 'cars' or 'dogs' or 'horoscopes'. There's usually way too much competition for those. A keyword phrase contains 3 or 4 words and is much more specific. For example, instead of 'cars', you would use 'vintage Ford Mustang cars' or 'antique car restorations'. If you're casting horoscopes, use the phrases like 'free compatibility horoscopes' or 'astrological signs for lovers'.

The main keyword phrase mentioned in the Previous lesson paragraph will serve to brand your whole website. You will use it frequently in all your pages, especially in your Home page.

The term keyword density refers to the number of times you use the keyword in a page. It should be around 5%, meaning that in a 500-word page you would use your keyword at most 25 times. That may seem like a lot but you have to find ways to work it into the conversation, so to speak. However, that's not a hard and fast rule. If you've got a lot of good quality content, it will not matter very much if you use your keywords 10 times instead of 25.

Once you've selected the main keyword phrase, you should select a few secondary keywords that you will sprinkle throughout all your Web pages.

When I decided to offer 'Free computer programming tutorials' I looked-up that phrase in Overture and I found that people also search for 'lessons', 'training' and 'courses'. So, I use those 3 synonyms, and several more, in all of my pages. In most of my tutorials I'm even more specific because I have to sell a particular language so I use the actual subject, Visual Basic or Microsoft Access or SQL, as a main keyword in addition to 'tutorial' and 'course'.

Without getting into the details of HTML (because I told you to study a tutorial on that subject), there is one marketing point that must be made regarding keywords: the Title and Description tags in the Web page must contain keywords.

The <Keywords> tag is optional. You use it to list several secondary keywords. Many search engines don't even use it but a few do look at it and it certainly won't hurt to include it.

The search engines look to the Title and Description first to determine what kind of content is offered. That first look weighs heavily in the overall evaluation.

To summarize: every page must have a 'Title' and a 'Description' and they must contain keywords. The rest of the page will contain main and secondary keywords sprinkled intelligently throughout to a maximum density of 5%.

Find other sources for content.

Get this: nobody ever said that everything that's on your website has to come from you. However, you will create 75% of it. The rest can come from other sources. It will serve to 'bulk-up' your website and you can use that other material to display the Google ads that bring-in the revenue.

Of course you can't just go around copying everything. There are laws covering important concepts like copyrights. And even if you think you won't be sued for taking content from someone else, I have to remind you that you have an ethical responsibility not to do so.

So, where do you find stuff that's perfectly legal?

On a search engine! Where else?

Go to Google and type-in: free reprint articles or free website content or free webmaster resources. You, as the operator of your website, are a webmaster. Sounds important, doesn't it! Webmasters are always looking for content for their sites and lots of people are willing to provide it.

You could find 100 articles on football, written by all kinds of experts. You simply copy and paste into your page.

Why do they do that? Simple: it's publicity. The article usually comes with a clause saying that you must acknowledge the author. In other words, don't pass it off as your own work. And the author usually has his website identified. We'll see later that that type of linking of websites has important advantages.

Everybody wins! The expert gets his due recognition and you get valuable content to show the search engines that you are an important player.

Here are just two of the many, many sites offering free articles for reprint. There are rules to follow. Be sure to read the "Terms and conditions for publishers" page.

My favorite is GoArticles.com, a site operated by the Jayde search engine people.

And, EzineArticles.com is also very interesting for the large amount of content that it carries.

There is a chance that you will be docked some points by Google when you use a lot of reprinted material. The reason for that is that Google frowns on duplicate content, i.e. content that is found on more than one site. And the odds are that the article you reprint will have appeared on many other sites. So, don't go overboard with reprints. You should not base your whole website on articles. However, I think that the small penalty you may incur is worth it to bulk-up the volume of the site to make the rest of the content more visible.

Finally, there is another technique that you can use that doesn't have the disadvantages of free reprints. It's called private label articles. This means that you buy the articles with full reprint rights. And unlike free reprints, you are allowed to modify them in any way you like, put your name on as author if you wish and redistribute them in any way. They are also a lot less likely to be duplicated by others and they may be more original in many ways.

The way it normally works is that you subscribe to the monthly service for something like $25 or $30 and that will give you access to several hundred new articles being published every month.

At this point I don't recommend private label articles for the beginner because I think you should develop most of the content yourself. Once you've got a solid foundation built, then you may want to start adding to it. But start with a few free reprint articles to see how that works out before you invest in a monthly service. Once you analyze your Web stats, you may find that your content by itself is popular enough that visitors don't bother with the extra articles.





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