attempt at writing content for search engines.
For those who do not know, Adsense enabled websites are those showing Google adverts in or around their content. An advert is clicked, the website owner receives on average a few pence. More visitors equals more clicks therefore more money to the website owner.
From a business point of view this sounds like easy money. From a visitor perspective it could mean low value content.
Take the search term “self sufficient” for example. Google returned several websites dedicated to this style of living. Being a bit of an eco-mentalist myself, I was pleased to find www.selfsufficientish.com. In depth articles from people wearing t-shirts proclaiming to have been there, done that.
Looking at the website, I would expect some of the t-shirts to have been woven directly from the sheep or the fleece sewn back up and a V neck cut into it.
Not a modern design or layout for the site but the authoritative information is worth the hunt. On the flip side, one website I found had an excellent graphic design, lots of articles and gave the impression of being modern and knowledgeable. Having read a few pages however, they seemed vague and glossed over the topic.
One particular article was about alternatives to a modern fridge. It suggested putting ice in a Styrofoam box to keep your perishables fresh. My first thought was where does the ice come from if you have no fridge? My Spidey sense started to tell me this was not what it appeared to be and I almost reached for my latex red pyjamas.
Being more curious than busy, I emailed the site owner about the ice question and also enquired if the website was setup purely for Adwords revenue. Yes, was the reply, it has been setup for Adwords, each article is purchased for £25 with a view to them earning £1 a month in revenue from Google. I never got a complete answer to the ice question.
Lesson To Learn
Building a relationship, in my opinion, is showing that you know what you are talking about and have something to offer.
The car show room with cheap prices on the windows may get you to enquire but if the salesman doesn’t know what ABS or powered steering is then are you going to trust he is qualified to offer you good advice?
The self-sufficiency website with Adwords failed to generate trust by taking a “half articles” approach to content e.g. written for search engines not viewers. This confirmed by the “ we pay per article approach”. People paid to gather other content, rewrite it and sell it on.
Having pointed this out to the website owner his reply was “they can always go somewhere else”. True, but building trust means building visitor numbers, many of those return visitors that actively seek you out to learn more later i.e. more Google money.
Much easier to communicate and sell to a room full of trusted friends than a group of strangers so building trust is very important.
Write for your visitors. Understand who they are, what they want, how they want it and then optimise for search engines e.g. liberally sprinkle keywords in content and alt tags etc.
Practical tips for building trust
- Write the article as if your audience are sat in front of you.
- Provide images of the author and a name.
- If you make a claim, back it up.
- Use testimonials from people who know or have used you before.
- Money back guarantees, free trial and price promises work well.
- A professional design and layout helps.
- Use plain English unless your audience understand jargon.
- Clearly show your physical address and easy means of talking to a human.
- One bad word is 10 times more powerful than a good one so make sure all your claims are backed. It only takes a whiff of suspicion to send visitors away.