Count the F’s are in this sentence:
“Finished files are the result of years
of scientific study combined with the
experience of years."
The New Scientist explains that most people can see three F’s, forgetting the three times the word “of” appears in the sentence. As we learn to read faster, we select the most important words, permitting our brain to fill in the gaps in meaning. Speed readers focus on the most important words, which are nouns and verbs.
There’s a lesson here for bloggers: Blog readers are scanners, by and large, not readers, and they came online to search for information. Like the speed readers in the New Scientist experiment, searchers will select the most important words, the ones relating most directly to what they came online to find in the first place.
Those are your “key words”. Just as those words were key to searchers finding your blog in the first place, key to whether those searchers “bounce” away from your blog or keep reading, key to whether they click through to your website, and key to converting searchers to customers and clients. Just as in the sample above, the little connecting words like “the” and “of” won’t make much of a difference to the results of your blog-based marketing efforts.
Key words, as Shel Holtz and Ted Demopoulos explain in their book Blogging For Business, are just what the term suggests – words that important to your materials and which searchers use to find your blog. Choosing the right key words, then using them naturally but in very determined fashion, is very important to the success of your blog.
Just a couple of Do’s and Don’ts for key words:
* Use key words in the titles of blog posts. “Search engines assume that if text is in a heading, it must be important”, says Demopoulos.
* Use key words in the first or second sentence of each post.
* Use key words in links. Say you’re referring people to a related article or book. Rather than link using the name of the book or article, use your key words.
* “Stuff” key words into a blog so that the content sounds awkward and “sales-y”.
* Make blog posts so short they won’t “matter” to search engines and there won’t be room for much use of key words. (250-400 words is just about right, is my advice.)
* Make blog posts overly long (remember, these are scanners, not readers). If you have a lot to say, spread it across two or three blog posts.
Experienced readers and online searchers select the most important words. With business blogs, if those are well-chosen, appropriate key words, searchers might just come on in to your website to fill in the gaps!