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Don’t Forget about Your Other Audience: The Search Engine

There’s a computer reader that’ll be important for your website: Search engines. How often do you use a search engine to find new content? Most web surfers use them all the time.

When you use a search engine, you aren’t actually searching the Web; you are searching a database of website content information selected and maintained by the search engine provider. Search engine companies employ computer programs known as “bots” to surf the Web and gather that information. They then employ a ranking algorithm that uses various factors to determine where (and if) a web page should show up in a search for specific keywords.

The good news is that generally the advice for writing good titles and headings for human readers will work well for search engines. Informative titles and headings help search engines to index your content. Like your readers, search engines predict that the titles and headings reveal the main content of your web page, and they use the keywords from within them in indexing your content: better titles and headings equals better search engine ranking results for your web pages.

Incidentally, the practice of “writing” for search engines is known as search engine optimization (SEO). If you want to learn more strategies and tips for improving the search engine ranking of your own or your employer’s website, check out SEOmoz’s tutorial The Beginner’s Guide to SEO.