Tag Archives: search engine optimization

Real Secret to SEO

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is a big concern for many writers and website developers. The concept of SEO runs counter to pretty much everything a good writer learns. SEO suggests that a webpage can rank higher in search engine results pages, or SERPs, based on how well it conforms to certain search engine friendly concepts rather than based on how good the content of the page is. Even worse, many of the main SEO rules are the opposite of what makes good writing in the non-search engine world.

It’s Not What You Know, It’s What They Know

There are a lot of SEO resources out there that will teach you the tricks of the trade for SEO. SEO tactics like getting the right title tags, using header tags properly, and most importantly of all, building backlinks can help your webpages and your online writing rank higher on Google and everywhere else. However, there is one factor of search engine rankings that is often overlooked. It is overlooked, because it actually has nothing to do with SEO, targeting keywords, or ranking highly for a desired phrase.

For a good writer, the most important factor in determining whether or not you can make money writing online is not how well you can rank for the keywords you want to rank highly for, it’s how well you can rank for the keywords THEY ARE LOOKING FOR.

A good freelance writer can write an informative and useful article about almost anything given enough research. Therein lies the rub. The Google search that most people are making is the research that they are doing. Unless your article title and its associated title tags match what they are looking for, another article that does match will rank higher for the search they are performing, regardless of its quality. That means you not only need to write quality content, but that you must do it in such a way as to match what someone less informed might be searching for.

For example, after doing some research, you might know that someone upgrading the memory in a netbook would need 200-pin DDR2 RAM. However, if your article jumps right into referencing RAM, and DDR2, and 200-pins and so on, it won’t ever be seen by someone looking for information about how to upgrade netbook memory, because they will type into Google, “netbook memory upgrade” or maybe even, “put more memory in netbook.” Notice how the words RAM, DDR2 and pins are all missing. Eventually, they might know some of those words, but that will be a smaller search segment.

When writing about topics that you don’t know or that you need to do significant research about, write your title and introductory paragraphs before doing the research. That way, you’ll be coming from the same place as your reader and be much more likely to hit them on their searches. Be sure to include lots of synonyms or other ways of saying the same thing to catch all the possibilities. From our example above, the intro paragraph should incorporate the words netbook, laptop, computer, memory, RAM, upgrade, and so on. Otherwise, you are just leaving money on the table for someone else.

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Google Wonder-Wheel Missing

What happened to WonderWheel on Google search?

For those of you webmasters and bloggers who like using Google’s WonderWheel tool, there was an unexpected surprise that came with the new Google Instant search rollout. It seems that Google thinks that the functionality of Wonder Wheel is handled by the ever changing search results and suggestions that appear on Google.com when you search using Google Instant search functionality. Unfortunately, that is hardly the case.

google-wonder-wheel-missing The Google WonderWheel tool was a great way to not only find useful and relevant information on the web, but also for web developers and professional writers looking for ways to make money writing online to figure out how OTHER PEOPLE might search for the information being written. For example, if I were writing an article about how to make homemade snowshoes, I might search for something like “homemade snowshoes,” but maybe that is not how most people would search for the same topic. Maybe most people would actually search for something like “handmade snowshoes” or “make your own snowshoes” or maybe even “building snowshoes.” Any of those searches could be made by someone looking for the same information.

Unfortunately, despite all of its success and acclaim, the Google search engine is really nothing more than a text pattern matcher combined with a link counter. If your text does not match what is being searched for, your article will not show up in those searches, no matter how great your content might be.

Again, using the example above, if I titled my article Homemade Snowshoes Made Simple with my H1 tag and used a title tag of Snowshoes Homemade, the article would never show up in any Google searches for “handmade snowshoes,” unless there were virtually no other webpages on the entire Internet about making your own snowshoes.

In other words, as a writer looking to earn money writing online, it is critical that your articles contain the phrases used by searches in order to generate high-ranking web content that drives search engine traffic to your webpages. In fact, it is so important, that as a professional writer, I frequently use misspellings, incorrect grammar, or redundant phrases, deliberately in order to be sure that what others type into Google will match something in my well-written web content. Then, I try elsewhere to apologize and point out that it was done intentionally so that potential freelance writing clients who are trying to judge my work know that it is not just sloppy writing, but rather that Google makes you write poorly in order to succeed.

The Google WonderWheel tool helped with this problem by allowing a web searcher to type in a search, and then by clicking on Wonder Wheel in the sidebar under More Tools, see a graphical tree of other related search queries. The new Google Instant search feature does that part just fine. What is missing is that with Google Wonder Wheel you could click on the bubble with the related search term and get a new Wonder-Wheel that showed a tree of search queries related to the clicked keywords. In this way, I could have entered “homemade snowshoes,” saw that “handmade snowshoes” was a possible related search keyphrase and then clicked on it to see what search phrases might be related to handmade snowshoes as well.

(Did you see that? I used three different ways of writing wonderwheel so that people who search with a space or hyphen can still find this article online by searching.”)

Turn Google WonderWheel Back On

Fortunately, it is possible to turn Google WonderWheel back on. To re-enable Wonder Wheel, you have to go into Google search settings and turn off Instant Search. Doing that takes you back to the old search interface, which includes the Wonder-Wheel tool.

Unfortunately, since Instant Search looks like the future of Google Search, there is no telling how long this functionality might be left on. Hopefully, Google decides that there is certainly no harm in keeping the WonderWheel tool in the sidebar even if Instant Search is enabled. After all, users who find that the new Instant search feature meets their needs will simply not click on WonderWheel, while those of us who depend on the tool to help correct some of Google Search’s inadequacies can continue to use it.

I wonder if there is an online petition somewhere?

Do you use Google WonderWheel? How have you reacted to WonderWheel being removed from Google due to Instant Search?

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Secret Formula For Google AdSense Money Making Websites

money There is a lot of information out there about how to make money with Google AdSense. Most of it boils down to some version of:

  1. Research Keywords
  2. Write Keyword Optimized Posts or Pages
  3. Build Backlinks to Optimized Articles
  4. Move Up in Search Engine Rankings
  5. Profit

If this sounds about right to you, I have some bad news for you. There is a very good chance that even if you fully succeed at the money making method listed above, you may never earn more money from AdSense than a few pennies.

If earning money from Google AdSense ads can’t be done by following the methodology above, then why do so many people repeat it?

First, off, congratulations on asking the right question. Secondly, the answer to that question is actually in the question itself. So many people repeat what they have “learned” about search engine optimization, or SEO, and making money with AdSense that it has become accepted conventional wisdom, even if it is not entirely true. If you are serious about making money writing online, it is imperative to be able to distinguish knowledge that has been used and verified first-hand, and the so-called knowledge that has been copied from sources second-hand.

The good news is that the formula for making money with Google AdSense above is not false, so much as it is incomplete. The most important step for earning money with AdSense has been left out of the formula, unintentionally, by hundreds of writers and webmasters trying to make a name for themselves as money making bloggers by reading information and then passing it on. There is nothing wrong with doing this. I do it everyday as a professional freelance writer by creating content and articles for publication based upon research that has been given to me, or data that I have researched myself. The catch is, that in order to be useful, the research that writing is based on must be both accurate, and complete. (You can read my freelance writing blog for more information and freelance writing tips.)

What Is Missing From Google AdSense Formula for Earning Money?

The key to making money with AdSense is getting clicks on the ads that are placed on the website or the advertisements displayed on the webpage that you have build with perfect keyword optimization. Most AdSense manuals of instruction provide the insider information for making money using Google AdSense by saying that you can expect a one percent (1%) click through rate on the Google ads displayed on your high-ranking webpage. However, while that number may be inline with most reported click-through-rates or CTR studies, that number is an average CTR rate, not a standard CTR rate.

The reality of Google AdSense is that some keywords get much higher click through rates. The bad news, is that many keywords get much lower click through rates.

If you spend a lot of time optimizing high-quality content and then linking it to the #1 position in Google search results (sometimes called Search Engine Results Pages, or SERPs), but nobody clicks on the ads that get displayed, you won’t make any money with AdSense no matter how good you are at high-ranking, keyword optimized, content for the web.

How do you find out what searches have keywords that get clicked a lot? Unfortunately, the only true answer is trial and error.

Some webpages can literally get a 25 percent CTR or even higher because the people searching for that information are so likely to be in need of services or products provided by Google’s advertisers. Other webpages can get less than 0.01% CTR because the people looking for that particular information have no need for the products or services provided.

The best way to find high-paying keywords for profitable AdSense targeting is to research high-volume, good-paying keywords and then publish well-written, high-quality web content around those keywords. Then, build some links to those articles and webpages in order to increase web traffic by having high-ranking search results linking to your content. By checking your AdSense Reports and your Google Analytics reports, you can determine which webpages are resulting in high click through rates and cross-reference those pages with what keywords are driving traffic to those webpages. Using those keywords to create high-ranking, top-quality, keyword optimized content to drive profitable traffic to your website that will actually click on your Google AdSense placements is the key to making money writing online by using AdSense.

Next Steps Making Money With AdSense

When you are ready to get serious about earning money with AdSense, important steps cannot be skipped.

First, you will need to start a writing business so that you don’t have to give your social security number out to everyone in order to get paid. Second, you will need to get approved for Google AdSense accounts. Third, it can help to be approved for Google AdWords as well. Finally, you will need to build a profitable website. One of the easiest ways to create a quality website is by using WordPress. Don’t get bogged down in WordPress themes that are search engine optimized and flashy. They are not any better for making money with AdSense and can cost you more dollars for webhosting if they use too many resources. Instead, look for great WordPress themes for writers that can feature your content without appearing boring or amateurish.

Then, grab the Make Money Writing Online Feed to stay up to date on all of the best money making writing techniques.

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Best WordPress Themes For Writers Earning Money Online

Let’s face it, the fastest and easiest way to make money writing online is by generating a truckload of good, solid, easy to write, usable content, just like you do every day as a skilled writer. Then, sign up for Google’s advertising program and get approved for Google AdSense and put some well placed ads on your high-quality content. Of course, you’ll also be on the hook for driving some traffic to your content by link building and other online marketing tactics, but you’ll have to do that no matter what you do to earn money online.

Yes, there are other affiliate marketing programs or those semi-legitimate pay per action ads that may or may not pay out higher income, but they all take another level of effort that diverges into the world of web design and Internet marketing. There isn’t anything wrong with that, of course, it just is not the same thing as earning money by writing online. When it comes to making money from your writing (and, of course, some basic level search engine optimization and writing techniques) Google AdSense plus good original content is king.

Best WordPress Themes for Writers To Use For Earning Money

In order to make setup, design, and adding content as simple as possible, many professional writers use the WordPress blogging platform as their content management back-end. You just pick a theme, tweak some settings for maximum search engine impact, add some useful WordPress plugins for writers, pick a good WordPress theme and then start writing.

The catch is that finding a good WordPress theme is not as easy as it sounds. Unfortunately, many theme directories have taken to showing just the upper-left hand corner of a theme screenshot. That isn’t very helpful if you are looking for a good WordPress theme for writers that displays your content elegantly and powerfully. After all, WHO CARES what the header image is? If you aren’t replacing that image anyway, you aren’t really customizing your publishing platform.

Even worse are the fatal flaws that can make your AdSense earnings lower than they should be without you even knowing it!

Every expert there is from Google itself, to advertising experts, to off-line advertisers, to writers and bloggers that actually make their living writing online will give you one major piece of advice for generating higher income from AdSense. That advice is to put a prominent ad above the fold. That means that the best WordPress themes for writers leave room for an ad and some content near the top of the design.

For those of you who haven’t gotten down the basic terminology of design and marketing online, above the fold for webpages basically means what the visitor to your website can see when the page first loads. In other words, above the fold is what you can see without scrolling down.

Now, do just a little bit of math (metaphorically speaking) and tell me, how can you display your article title, show at least a minimum amount of catchy, attention grabbing text from your writing, and show a decent sized Google ad, when the theme has some huge header image built-in?

Seriously, if you are looking at a WordPress theme with a header image and menu area that takes up one-third of the screen before it shows a single bit of word-based content, you are looking at a money losing theme for writers, not a money making theme for writers. Big, fancy graphics might look nice in a theme gallery, but they are space wasting, income ruining, bandwidth hogging, non-features when it comes to really making money writing online from home or anywhere else.

Make sure your WordPress theme is efficient and readable, or all the WordPress theme SEO-optimized header tags and other nonsense in the world won’t make a bit of difference.

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