The Search Doesnt End at Your Homepage

In a recent report for a new client, I wrote:

"Remember, a visitor's search doesn't end when they leave Google. Their search and the phrases associated with it continue right through to the completion of the task they have in mind."

Many of us pay attention to the keywords and phrases being used by our visitors when they arrive via a search engine. It makes sense not only because it gets you higher rankings, but also because the use of the right search terms signals to your reader that your page is relevant to them. In other words, your heading and intros are directly relevant to their search.

But all too often, once those key phrases are in place, we think the job is done. Not so.

There are other key points on your homepage where getting the phrase right can make a big difference.

Here's what I mean.

Let's say you are working on two pages; the homepage and a second level page. Working with your site logs and a tool like WordTracker, you optimize the homepage with the best keywords and phrases you can find. And that's great. You now have text that is relevant to your visitor's search.

But here's something else you can do...

Use the same process to identify the best words for the links from your homepage to the second level page.

Simply go through the same process with that second page. Use your logs and a keyword tool to find the most relevant terms for that page.

And then use one of those terms in the link from your homepage.

Do you get the idea? The core of this process is to recognize that your visitor hasn't completed their 'search' when they arrive at your homepage. The search is just the beginning. Part of your task is to understand how best to write the links that take people deeper into your site. And one way of maximizing that clickthrough is to use terms that are directly relevant to the visitor's continuing search.

SEO helps us focus on writing in ways that are directly relevant to the task our visitors have in mind. My point is, don't consider the job completed when you have optimized the homepage or any particular landing page. Use the same approach, the same way of writing, to help that visitor all the way through to the moment when they complete their task, whatever that may be.

Nick Usborne is a copywriter, author, speaker and advocat of good writing. You can access all his archived newsletter articles on copywriting and writing for the web at his Excess Voice site. You'll find more articles and resources on how to make money as a freelance writer at his Freelance Writing Success site.

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