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1

Use passive voice in headings, blurbs, and lead sentences

"Use active voice" is one of the key web-writing guidelines. But according to Jakob Nielsen, passive voice let us front-load important keywords in headings, blurbs, and lead sentences. This enhances scannability and search engine optimization.

Links:

  • Passive Voice Is Redeemed For Web Headings Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - October 23, 2007

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See also: Text (24)  Tips and guidelines (95) 


 

2

Users research weeks before buying online

In a study performed by DoubleClick in conjunction with comScore Networks they found that:
- Roughly half of online shoppers conduct research on a search engine before making an online purchase
- Most users complete product-related searches weeks ahead of their actual purchases
- Users conduct more general searches (77%) than brand-only searches (22%)
- Buying decisions are generally spread out over a number of searches that vary by product category, where buyers on sports and fitness sites made an average of 2.5 searches and travel buyers conducted 6 searches

Links:

  • The article Consumers Search Before Buying Online Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - February 17, 2005

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See also: E-commerce (28) 


 

3

Online health searches have become commonplace

According to Pew Internet & American Life Project, the act of looking for health or medical information is one of the most popular activities online, after e-mail and researching commercial products and services. 80% of adult Internet users report that they have searched for at least one of 16 major health topics online.

Some of the more popular health topics are:
- Specific disease or medical problem (63%)
- Certain medical treatment or procedure (47%)
- Diet, nutrition, vitamins, or nutritional supplements (44%)
- Exercise or fitness (36%)
- Prescription or over-the-counter drugs (34%)
- Alternative treatments or medicines (28%)

Some additional findings:
- Women are the primary consumers of online health information
- Internet users find support in online support groups and use e-mail to discuss health issues with family and friends.
- Health seekers want access to more information, but can't always find what is already available online

Links:

  • The report Internet Health Resources Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - August 06, 2003

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See also: Research (130) 


 

4

Analysing search engine keywords

Wordtracker is a online tool for analysing how often people search for specific keywords at a number of search engines, and how many competing sites use those keywords.

Wordtracker is a commercial tool, but they have a limited free trial version, which will analyse you queries against Altavista only.

Links:

  • The online search engine tool Wordtracker Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - May 11, 2003

Permanent link Comments (2)

See also: Tools (106) 


 

5

Google diagnostics with Poodle Predictor

To quote one of my colleagues: "Usability begins at the search engines."

Richard Bennett and his mates have developed a tool, which will let you see pages as Google does. It gives you a rough idea of how a page's listings will look, which links Google will find, and how efficient the HTML coding is at feeding Google the right keywords.

Links:

  • The article Poodle Predictor - See your site like Google does Open link in new window
  • Poodle Predictor Open link in new window
  • About Poodle Predictor Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - April 08, 2003

Permanent link Comments (1)

See also: Tools (106) 


 

6

The web has grown into a commercial tool

A study of search behaviour published in march 2002 suggests that the web has evolved from an entertainment into a business and information medium in the period from September 1997 to May 2001. Search topics have shifted from pornography and entertainment to subject related to commerce, travel, employment, or economy (24,7%) and people, places, or things (19,7%).

While search topics have shifted, the study showed little change in user search behaviours. Some key findings:
- Most people submit a single short query (27%)
- Users are viewing fewer search results pages (51% view only one page)
- The use of Boolean operators has increased from 5 to 10 percent

The study included more than one million search queries submitted by more than 200,000 users of the Excite search engine.

Links:

Henrik Olsen - March 02, 2003

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: Research (130) 


 

7

The Death of Meta Keywords

Making a site show up on search engines often becomes a big issue in web development projects. One method which doesn't work is meta keywords. According to Danny Sullivan from Clickz, the only major crawler-based search engine supporting meta keywords is Inktomi

Links:

  • The article Death of a Meta Tag Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - November 18, 2002

Permanent link Comments (0)


 

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