Sunday, August 22, 2010

How to Use Google to Search Twitter - Find Keyword Statistics

So I wrote this article on keyword statistics and Twitter. Why is this important? For a number of reasons.

First - go read the article on Suite101. Then come back. I'll wait for you ;) .
OK - done? Now, here's how it helps with SEO strategies and monetizing:

1. You know when to tweet links to your articles. Tax articles in August? YES. Halloween articles on homemade costumes in August? YES - especially if paired with fabric sales. See where I'm going? KNOW THE TRENDS.
2. You know the exact wording REAL users use when tweeting links to articles on your keyword topics. Think about that - you can catch the natural keywords BEFORE they are trending up, and you can BE the trend.

So go check it out. I am.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Flesch-Kincaid Readability Formula and SEO: Why Grade Level Readability Matters

More than a decade ago I worked as a Staff Writer for the publishing division of a private school system, writing curriculum materials. I had to learn to write to specific grade levels, and target my content and style.  I later took a technical writing course and wrote an entire manual on how to use the Flesch-Kincaid Readability Formula to determine the grade level of a particular piece of writing.

So what the heck does the Flesch-Kincaid test have to do with SEO? Quite a bit.

I recently wrote a series of articles on the GED exam (high school equivalency, for those not familiar with the term). Get a GED Online and Free GED Test are two examples.  It dawned on me as I wrote the first article that my audience would likely have less than a 10th-grade reading level. So I aimed for 7th grade.

The articles do fairly well in getting page views. So I recently analyzed my top earning articles on all the different sites where I write - I chose the top 5. Guess what? The closer to 5/6/7th grade for readability, the better the article's performance for page views and for revenue (when I know the exact revenue for an article).

The New York Times and USA Today aim for 10th-grade reading level. Most newspapers aim for 9th grade. I've read that romance novels are aimed at a FIFTH grade reading level (though the content is not aimed at 10-11 year olds!). If you're writing SEO/CRO articles, keep your audience in mind.

And to test reading level, check out this free Flesch-Kincaid Readability Formula site, or just use the MS Word feature.

By the way: this post was written at an 11th-grade level.