If you think writing for the search engines is simple, think again. Latent semantic indexing (LSI) allows a search engine to determine what a page is about beyond just simply noting that it contains the keywords the searcher was looking for. A page about Apple will generally also have terms such as iMac or iPod on it. A good writer will keep this in mind when developing content for the web and use a variety of terms that “belong” with the theme of the main keywords. Google prefers sites that appear more natural and that have occurrences of a wider variety of terms than just the main ones you hope to rank for. To find related search terms:
- Search Google using a ~ for search results with related terms. Googling ~books will return pages with terms matching or related to books, and will highlight some of the related words in the search results.
- Use a lexical database such as the one at http://wordnet.princeton.edu/.
Tips for Hiring Writers
The truth is, most small business owners don’t have time to generate new content for their websites, often struggle with regularly generating a small amount of weak text, and sadly are often too afraid to give a professional writer a try. One way or another, you will need regular content that changes and increases or you will not be highly regarded by the search engines or your prospects.
While some people look overseas for cheap writers, be careful about outsourcing the work to vendors in places where quality is low. You get what you pay for. Make sure your content is high quality as well as optimized for search engines and that it includes relevant calls to action. If you don’t have time to write it yourself, give a writer a try. You might just be relieved and surprised to see projects you have had on the back burner for years completed in days or weeks. Don’t let a lack of content keep you from getting that next big deal. When you find a writer, be sure that your contract spells out that you will own the copyright on the content your writer creates for you. Basically, you’re hiring a ghostwriter—you can even put your own name on content like ebooks or blog posts. This practice is more common than you may think and can be quite effective if, for example, you are struggling to keep up with your blog and need someone to provide regularly updated content.