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The Original Content Manifesto, Part II

The Original Content Manifesto, Part II

In part I, we discussed the reasons why inserting original content into your AOM storefront was so important. We also made a list of all the different locations on the page where you can put your own text. This time, we will continue with how to write the actual content, and the importance of using keywords to guide search engines, as well as the eyes of your site visitors.

There are probably three basic levels of writing that apply to a site like Associate-O-Matic. Lets label these Home, Category and Item for obvious reasons. Each level requires a different type of focus to convey meaning to the audience. Over the next few months, we’ll look at each in turn, starting with Home. For the following examples, we are going to imagine a sporting goods store that focuses 0n Baseball equipment:

Play Ball! at BaseballStuff.co
 

Home – This would be the most general level of communication to any visitors, and would be found on the home page, in the Home Welcome HTML, Custom HTML, HTML/PHP File or Home Welcome File options (or a custom box set to display only on the home page).

You would start with a slogan (such as the one found under the ‘Site’ tab of your AOM control panel) or a phrase that sums up your site, using any applicable keywords. This slogan should be wrapped in H1 tags which will get the eye of your shoppers (and search engines, who assign great weight to H1 tags, used sparingly).  Try to keep the slogan roughly between 12 – 20 words:

Welcome – You’ll Find Everything You’ll Need for Baseball but a Sunny Day at BaseballStuff.co

Your Source For Ball, Bats, Catcher’s Mitts, Cleats and More at BaseballStuff.co

Baseball Fan? Dress the Part! Get Gear for All the Major League Teams Right Here at BaseballStuff.co

 You can see how these examples welcome visitors to the site, as well as give a very brief overview of the purpose of the site (selling baseball equipment). Keywords are used (‘Baseball’, ‘ball’, ‘bats’, ‘catcher’s mitt’, ‘cleats’, ‘Major League Teams’) and the site name.

Once you have an H1 tag set up, you would then need at least one or two paragraphs that go into more detail about the site. Emotional appeals if possible, can strongly influence a positive response from potential shoppers. Recalling shared memories or well-known trivia can induce an attachment that can help people connect with the theme of the store. Ideally this would lead to calls to action, which suggest the reader do something, as well as information that will make the visitor feel secure about the site. This could include mentioning Amazon in regards to shipping and returns, so anyone shopping will know that ultimately Amazon is behind the site’s customer service. This information could also be used to allay any fears about the security of payment information (which will also be discussed on the Shopping Cart page; you can include it here if you are not going to use the cart).

It’s also a good way to mention brand names, if they apply to your niche; these are useful in conveying that the site is knowledgeable about the ‘big names’ in the target niche, as well as supplying related keywords to the search engines. Visually highlighting text (using Bolding, Italics or Underlining) is also important to draw the eye towards important keywords (yes, the search engines notice that as well). Enclosing paragraphs in the opening/closing P tag can help with visually formatting the text (< p >text text text< /p > – without the spaces in the tags).

And with all text, proper spelling and punctuation is crucial. Otherwise your site will look illiterate and ill-informed – not the picture of knowledge and assurance that you need to persuade shoppers to spend money with you.

Putting it all together, you should be able to come up with something like this (text in red would normally be italicized):

Step Up to the Plate With Major League Quality – Welcome to BaseballStuff.co for All your Baseball Needs!

Ever since Abner Doubleday came up with the basic rules well over a century ago, Baseball has enjoyed a reputation as ‘America’s Game’. And deservedly so. The great stadiums (Fenway Park, Shea Stadium, to name a few) resonated for years with the roar of the crowds, cheering on the greatest heroes of the sport. Who can forget the records set and smashed by Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jackie Robinson, Sandy Coufax, Hank Aaron, Mark McGuire and so many others? The memories of long lazy afternoons in the bleachers, the taste of hot dogs and roasted peanuts, the smell of freshly-mown grass, and the ever-present threat of rain takes many back to a simpler time.

For every father who taught his son how to bat; for every son who remembers playing catch with the old man; for every fan, young and old whose eyes widen at the crack of the bat, the suspense of waiting for that long pop fly to land in the mitt, this is your store. BaseballStuff.co carries all the equipment needed – balls, bats and gloves by all the great names – Rawlings, Louisville, Wilson and more. Plus official MLB fan gear to support your favorite teams.

If you need pitching machines, batting nets or other training gear, we’ve even got the bases covered. All you need is a sunny day. Our payment details, customer service and returns are handled by Amazon.com, so you needn’t worry about security, quality or guarantees. You’re safe at home. Now batter up and hit a home run while shopping at BaseballStuff.co!

Hopefully you can see how all the elements discussed have been blended together to produce a welcome that gives the visitor a warm feeling. A succinct opening H1 tag at the top. Relevant keywords have been highlighted, and images that evoke the niche are spread throughout the text. A sense of security is established by invoking Amazon to deal with the ‘nuts and bolts’ of purchasing. And finally a call to action is created (batter up & hit a home run) that encourages visitors to explore the site in greater depth.

Coming up with an arresting text on the home page can stir a strong emotional interest that draws in the casual shopper, as well as provide enough keywords to make the site appear as authoritative to search engines.  You can then build upon this in the Category Descriptions, which we will cover in similar detail next time.

Part III

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