Curve of clarity: Picking the right keywords

Choosing the right words to fill your webpage, or keywords for your ad campaigns can sometimes be hit or miss. Using the ‘curve of clarity’ as an idea, you should be able to choose appropriate keywords to maximise seo efficiency and also the readability and relevance of your site.

Key principles

  1. Words in common usage have high numbers of search engine results.
  2. Words which are specialist have lower numbers of search engine results.
  3. Marketese words, or words which mean one thing but are given a different meaning for marketing, business lingo or general jargon, have high search engine results when searching those terms, but low search engine presence when searching for the term those words actually mean in plain English. (See also: Plain English to help SEO and note that marketese increases bounce rates)

Examples

  1. cat: 905,000,000 results.
  2. abyssinian: 985,000 results.
  3. lap warmer: 62,800 results.

Curve of Clarity

 The curve of clarity has an arbitary scale, but you’ll get the general idea:

SEO long tail: use it to your advantage

One of the keys to a successful web presence has nothing to do with search engine optimisation. Though SEO techniques can certainly benefit the exposure of your site, what really counts is making sure the site has direction. Indeed for most websites, paying good money for a SEO consultant would be about as productive as posting junk mail to yourself. Search engine algorithms are being more aware of over-optimised sites and penalising those who attempt black hat strategies. Giving a specific direction, making sure your site stands out will help more than SEO for a generic direction. 

Usability and SEO of hyperlinks and link text (Reflections on Jakob Nielsen)

Jakob Nielsen is proclaimed as the guru of web usability, analysing and writing about usability and SEO methods any web designer, developer or author can apply to their site. He is both adored and panned by the web community for his insightful and informative, but hideously designed website*. Ranked very highly in the community, his work (when you ignore the shameless promotion of his pricey conferences, reports and books) quite often presents a particular argument followed by a very short counter-argument.

Plain English to help SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

The highlight of the week just gone was the issuing of 200 banned words by the GLA: BBC News Story, List of Banned Words. This reminded me of the importance of plain english, the sort that the Plain English Campaign hark on about. These people write some very useful guides which help those writing for the web avoid inane jargon and write normally. The principle is straightforward when applying plain English to websites: