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What is Keyword Research and SEO and why does it matter?


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Writing Across Platforms university communication writing course.

Teaches students keyword research for SEO, including what it is, what link building is, and why it matters. This lecture relates to a lecture that follows with in class activities for students. See lecture "Writing for Search Engines: SEO, Google Trends, Adwords Keywords Tool" under my profile.

In-class activity explained in blog post:

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What is Keyword Research and SEO and why does it matter?

  1. 1. Writing Across Platforms.Matthew J. Kushin, Ph.D.Dept. of Comm | Shepherd University
  2. 2. Journal Time: 5 minutes
  3. 3. AP Quiz #2
  4. 4. AP Handout #3 – Quotes &Practice
  5. 5. AP Quiz #3 = next class.
  6. 6. Lead Lab Pair & Share
  7. 7. Social News Release
  8. 8. What? News release optimized for web & online sharing.  Optimized for search engines. today  Links  Graphics / videos.  Shareable.
  9. 9. Optimization Asks: How can we optimize our content to increase chance people will find it online?
  10. 10. SEO Search Engine Optimization – best practices to optimizing content to increase chances will be found via web search. Why?  People turn to search!  They pick from top few links.  Content @ top influences audience perceptions.  Creates: Competition to be highest in search results.
  11. 11. How Search Engines Work Accuracy & effectiveness:  Search engines attempt to determine what’s relevant and credible content to:  Create algorithms to weigh cues thought to:  Meet user search needs.
  12. 12. The Magic Formula? Search engines use SHH SECRET!! algorithms to rank content. SEOers attempt to learn & capitalize on algorithm. Algorithem changes  ERGO! SEO is constantly evolving.
  13. 13. Content + Links SEO will change, but @RockablePress states SEO =  Content – matches what’s searched.  Links – how much your content is linked to.
  14. 14. Inbound Links = Authority Links to your site on pages around web. Logic: Lots of people linking to you means you have: AUTHORITY. Your Link Awesome Link Content
  15. 15. Right Content = Relevancy. How closely does what people search for… Match your content? Photo CC Michael Dunn
  16. 16. Writing for 2 audiences. All web writing should be written for:  Humans  Search Engines.
  17. 17. How do we search? With No matter what we search, we think of keywords:  Can be single words or phrases.  Cars: “fuel economy” “safety” “price”  Restaurant: “pizza” “Italian”
  18. 18. Keywords are king So are vitally important to search! Knowing what terms others search when looking for what we’re offering is critical
  19. 19. About Keywords Primary Keywords – single words or short phrases.  Searched for more.  Less specific – may not relate to what you are writing about.  Greater competition (more people use this term in the content they create). Example:  Search: Automobile.  You are writing about: Automobile repair.  Could be searching for: auto dealers, after market products, reviews, etc. Photo CC KirtT
  20. 20. Long Tail Keywords: Phrases built on primary keywords. Get fewer searches. Are more relevant. Example:  Keywords: Automobile muffler making noise.  You: Have content about fixing mufflers. Photo CC KirtT
  21. 21. Competition!? Too much content competing for a popular keyword means your chances of ranking high in search = more difficult Image: rutty
  22. 22. Goal  Find RIGHT keywords people use when searching for your topic  Relevant but not high competition.  When keyword market = saturated  be creative & diligent.  There is usually a way in!
  23. 23. Example Selling Samsung Galaxy accessories. Lots of competition -> lots of people selling these. Use keywords about new product “TruSound wireless earbuds” Write web content about that!
  24. 24. For Class AFTER Next Class Brainstorm a list of 5-7 keywords (terms that you think people might search the web). The topic is:  Soup. Image creative commons: nettsu
  25. 25. Preview: Next class:  Formal Critique Day  See guidelines on Sakai. Image: CC natetherobot  Must bring soft & hard copy of your draft.  Structured: I will provide guidelines to help you. Following class we’ll discuss:  How we use these keywords once we figure them out.