Writing for the Web: Nourish the Spider, Engage the Human
By Rick Sloboda

When you're writing for the Web,
you answer to two masters: humans
and spiders.

For your website to reach its full potential, your web writing needs to appeal to the
emotional needs of your target audience as well as the logical needs of search engine

Nourish the spider

Search engines, such as Google, identify relevant web writing for their search results
by sending spiders (or robots) to 'crawl' and index websites. Complex sets of rules
called algorithms are then employed to determine how useful your site is and where
it should rank in the search engine results.

Given the facts that more than 500 million world-wide searches are made daily, and
search engines account for more than 85 per cent of all new visitors to a website,
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is by far the single most effective marketing
strategy you can use to gain online presence.

But before your web page can be optimized, you must determine which keywords to
target. This involves:

* Finding relevant keywords
* Determining their popularity
* Assessing the amount of competition
* Deciding which keywords can be best supported with quality web writing

The selected keywords must then be tactfully integrated into your web writing.
Search engines reward sites with well-written, relevant and content-rich copy, so your
web writing should comprise a keyword density ratio of three to seven per cent. This
is calculated by dividing the keywords by the total number of words on a page.

Engage the human

Once you drive traffic to your website, your web writing must connect with visitors
on an emotional level to engage them and ultimately convert sales.

What's the quickest and most effective way to achieve this? Give people what they
want: relevant web writing!

When you're writing for the Web, recognize and address the real needs of your
visitors, and make it easy for them to find what they need or want to know.

Engage, inform, influence and convert online visitors into customers with clear,
concise and relevant web writing.

Bore or irritate visitors with company-centered, self-absorbed messages, which will
only guide cursors to the 'back' button.

Ignite readers' emotions by clearly communicating the benefits of your products or
services. It's amazing how many businesses, large and small, overlook this
all-important aspect, and instead focus exclusively on features. Promoting benefits
will help visitors envision themselves experiencing your product or service.

By providing relevant web writing, you empower visitors to make informed
decisions. This gains you instant credibility and trust, increasing your chances to turn
them into full-fledged customers.

About the author: Rick Sloboda is a Senior Web Copywriter at Web Copy Plus.   
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