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Twitter is going tweeting mad

Twitter has dominated the headlines in the past couple of days. From Copyblogger providing 5 Steps to Going Viral on Twitter, the Telegraph showing Twitter traffic up 974 per cent in a year, and more locally (for me) news.com.au giving us Australia’s most interesting Twitter users – Twitter is really gaining momentum. 

It’s going to make a lot of traditional web content writers re-think the best way to get a message across. Sure social media has been popular for a while, but the speed that a well-timed and well-targeted link can be distributed around the Twitter network is simply mind blowing. Same goes for word-of-mouth recommendations for work. It’s the ultimate online referral system.

So are you tweeting yet? I’ve just joined the ride – follow me at http://twitter.com/snappysentences

Hey, even the Prime Minister is doing it.

Has SEO made us all lose focus?

Often when conducting a content review on a website, clients ask that the pages be re-written to ‘improve our ranking on Google’.

They consider this the holy grail – success will automatically come as soon as the site makes the first search engine results page (SERP).

While this is sometimes true, we have to make sure that we don’t lose focus of the real prize: Getting people to visit our site AND to complete whatever task they need to do once they are there.

So, if you manage a website, make some of these your 2009 New Year resolutions:

  • Understand what the true purpose of your site is. Is it for generating new client leads? Is it to sell products? Is it to disseminate news? Or, is it for existing clients to self-service?
  • Successful sites are carefully planned so sit down and identify your site goals and strategies. Don’t get caught up with your Google rankings unless this is one of the strategies you are going to use to get new visitors.
  • Find out more about how your new and return visitors use your site. Conduct some user research and use metrics to identify what is working well and what needs improvement.
  • Have a plan of how you are going to convert your new visitors to new clients, or make them purchase your products – whatever your site goals are. Too many companies become too obsessed with SEO that they forget that getting people to the site is only one step in the process. You still have to enable them to find the information they want – and then follow that through with a purchase or other task. That’s why well written content – aimed at the user – is just as important as content optimised for search engines.

And finally, don’t forget about your internal site search engine. There is nothing more frustrating than searching for content on a site – only to have irrelevant or vague search results returned. Having keyword rich content on product pages is all well and good for external search engines – but if this prevents potential customers from easily finding the product they want on your site you are going to lose sales. Investigate if your internal search engine allows you to enter synonyms and best bets to help users find the content they want.

Happy New Year.

A new look for a new year

You may have noticed that this site has recently had a major overhaul. I can thank my lovely friend Tanya Ruxton from Rumpus Design for creating this new look. She’s worked hard to develop branding for Snappy Sentences – everything from the site to new logo, business cards, letterhead, and email signatures.

We’re extremely happy with the results – thanks!