John has tutored algebra and SAT Prep and has a B.A. degree with a major in psychology and a minor in mathematics from Christopher Newport University.
The term search engine optimization (SEO) can be defined as a methodology that seeks to increase a given website's chances of appearing higher in organic, or non-paid, search engine results. This is accomplished by optimizing web pages and bringing the maximum number of visitors to that particular website. Furthermore, this can be a valuable tool for a technical writer who is attempting to increase their online communicative footprint.
Why? The point of utilizing SEO is to increase the chances that a user will ''stumble upon'' your website while they are engaged in online searching. In other words, an individual who works on SEO is trying to get various search engines to notice a particular website. These search engines include:
Moreover, SEO can be divided up into three distinct main categories, which are:
- Black Hat SEO - These techniques don't follow the Google rules
- Grey Hat SEO - These techniques may or may not follow the Google rules
- White Hat SEO - These techniques completely follow the Google rules
Additionally, SEO can be further broken down into five subcategories:
- Local SEO - These involve regional search results
- Mobile SEO - Involve mobile content mimicking desktop content
- Off-page SEO - Results from indirect activities taken away from a given website
- On-page SEO - Results taken from within a given website
- Technical SEO - A comprehensive category for website improvements
For example, Mary opens a gluten-free cupcake shop called ''Mary's Treats'' in her small town of Sprinklesville, Virginia. She has her sister Martha, who is a tech wizard, start a companion website. Martha utilizes Local SEO techniques to ensure that when local customers type in ''cupcakes'', ''restaurants'', or ''coffee shops'', they see Mary's shop high up in the search engine results. Needless to say, the shop is a hit with the local residents, who are enjoying her gluten-free creations.
In contrast to writer-centered communication, audience-centered communication is a way of conveying information in which the writer scrutinizes their readers so as to ascertain their needs and then make accommodations for those readers. This form of audience analysis is designed to first narrow down a subject and then eventually select a particular subject.
A computer algorithm is a specific sequence of instructions for a computer to follow. Let's relate this concept to audience-centered communication. What is the sequence you will follow when doing audience-centered technical writing?
First, ask yourself if your audience is one or more of the following:
- A general group of readers
- A specific group of readers
- Your employer
Second, evaluate your audience in terms of their:
- Economic status
- Educational level
- Experience with your subject
- Knowledge of your subject
- Social upbringing
Third, ask yourself what specifically your audience needs, wants, and values the most. You may also want to ask yourself what they value the least as well.
Fourth, what is your instructional goal in writing this article, and what message are you trying to convey to your audience?
Moreover, in this audience-centered style of technical writing, it is helpful to utilize the word ''you'' instead of ''I'' or ''we'', which helps to put your reader at the focal point of your message.
Keywords and Tags
Finally, both keywords and tags can be helpful when working on the Internet and attempting to increase the visibility of your technical writing. While the two words are sometimes used synonymously, they actually serve two different purposes as they relate to online content.
Keywords are those words as well as phrases that a reader literally enters into their keyboard when searching for various online items. Tags are labels a writer assigns to their own posts to distinguish them from other posts.
As it relates to a technical writer, the phrase search engine optimization (SEO) involves a method that increases a website's opportunity to appear higher in the results of organic, or non-paid, search engines. Five well-known search engines are Bing, Dogpile, Google, DuckDuckGo, and Yahoo.
The three major types of SEO are Black Hat SEO, Grey Hat SEO, and White Hat SEO. Also, SEO can be broken down into five subcategories: Local SEO, Mobile SEO, Off-page SEO, On-page SEO, and Technical SEO. The term audience-centered communication involves the writer putting the reader as the center of attention. A computer algorithm is a specific set of instructions for a computer to follow. You can use an algorithm approach to make technical writing be audience centered.
Lastly, while keywords and tags are often spoken about interchangeably, they are actually two distinct concepts. Keywords are words and phrases the user enters into their keyboard, while tags are author assigned labels.
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