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Audience Fit


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3k. Write meta-tags to have your pages found.

  • In the page content, and your meta descriptions in the head, include short, highly charged phrases that answer questions that a user might ask:

  • What is your unique content, service, or product?
  • Why should I bother reading this page? (Benefit)
  • Who is this page for? (And am I in that group?)
  • How are you different from your competitors?
    • Sum up the content in a series of keywords that appear in the regular text of the page, in the title, in the headings, and in the meta tags for Description and Keywords.
    • Make sure that the title still reflects the content of the page.
    • In your description, put the gist of your pitch into the first 150 words. (You can ramble on beyond that limit, but you want the first part to communicate to potential users, who see the text in a set of search results.) Only use words that really describe the content of your page.
    • In the keywords, include important phrases, but do not repeat the same word over and over. Include misspellings, though, in case the search engines fail to correct someone’s typos. Include lots of synonyms—if someone might use one of those words to locate your page. Only use words that really describe the content of the page.
    • Write alternate text for all images, emphasizing keywords.
    • Write linktext so that it echoes your main subject.
    • Include a description in the page header.

    <META NAME="description" CONTENT="Free information about volcanoes, for students and teachers. Tour key volcanoes of Hawaii and Italy, with close-up images of lava flows, before and after shots, and timelines.">

    • Make sure the first sentence of your description sums up the page in 150 words or so, because that’s all most search engines will display.
    • Add specific keywords from the body to the page header, to show relevance.

    <META NAME="keywords" CONTENT="Haleakala, Halemaumau, Vesuvius, Aetna, volcano, volcanoes, lava, aa, crater, Hawaii">

    • Tell robots that all your content is available (if true).

    <META NAME="robot" CONTENT="all">

    • Invite spiders back.

    <META NAME="revisit" CONTENT="15 days">

    Other ways to make links hot

    3a. Make clear what the user will get from the link.

    3b. Within a sentence, make the link the emphatic element.

    3c. Shift focus from the links or linked-to documents to the subject.

    3d. Provide depth and breadth through plentiful links to related information within your site.

    3e. Establish credibility by offering outbound links.

    3f. Make meta information public.

    3g. Write URLs that humans can read.

    3h. Make links accessible.

    3i. Tell people about a media object before they download.

    3j. Announce the new with special links.

    Resources on writing links

    Taking a Position on Links

    Heuristic Online Text (HOT) Evaluation for Links













    Place keywords in the meta information…. Ask users what methods they would use to find a site such as yours, and particularly what keywords they would use to search with. …

    Announce your site on relevant news groups and bulletin boards. …

    Advertise on major sites. …

    Advertise though other media, such as magazines, radio, and television.

    IBM (1999)

    The vast majority of queries are one or two words. … The lesson for web designers is the need to use focused and highly descriptive keywords in your META tags, because keyword searches are the way most users will find you.
    Nielsen (1999f)

    Just make sure that the keywords that readers are likely to search for are in your title and first few lines of text. Search engines will usually include those lines in their lists of hits. —Kilian (1999)

    More than half of Web users rely on search engines to navigate pages.…

    List the most important terms in a keywords meta tag with all common synonyms (even ones not included in the body text). Include generic terms used by customers or competing companies to describe the contents of the page….

    Use a controlled vocabulary to add keywords to the meta-tags for your pages. …

    Only use keywords that describe the main topic of a page.—Sun (2000)

    See: Belew (2000), IBM (1999), Kilian (1999), Lloyd-Martin and Whalen (2001), Nielsen (1999f), Sun (2000).


    Audience Fit
    If visitors want... How well does this guideline apply?
    To have fun Focus on the words that sum up what is unique about your page.
    To learn Concentrate on the words in your major headings.
    To act Get the action verbs into the headings, and turn those into keywords.
    To be aware Practice compassion for the person who is trying to find your page.
    To get close to people Up your relevance, to speed up access to your great pages. That's actually being helpful--unless your pages themselves are thoughtless.

    Ready for some challenges?



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