My first takeaway is how copy writing sets the tone for design and development projects, especially in web. So, I looked up an article for proper dos and don’ts for web copy writing and found an article from Direct Marketing News. Three professionals discuss what they find most beneficial and least. A concept I agreed with, and hadn’t really considered, is that when you write copy, create “a dialogue, not a monologue.” You want to engage with the audience, not to. I think for us (amateurs anyway), we’re more inclined to focus on ourselves, what we want from the audience, and not enough on what the audience wants from us. The article also highlights that “your words are your virtual handshake,” so it’s incredibly important to get the copy right the first time.
The second takeaway was the importance of picking a proper domain name. Sometimes, the domain name you want isn’t available, but when it is (either because someone let it go, or you are purchasing it from them), there are some points to consider. This article by Morgan Linton, co-founder of Fashion Metric, discusses what he believes are five big ideas to think about when purchasing an expired domain name. He suggests to that the more research you do about that domain name, the better. His reason is because there may be some unclean history tied with the name that will carry over to you if you choose to buy it. Also make sure the name doesn’t violate any Trademarks. Make sure the keywords in the domain name gets volume–that is, does it make sense? Again, he stresses the importance of keywords in domain name, just as we also discussed heavily in class.
Thirdly, h1 tag in html code is the best, if not one of the top, ways you can maximize search optimization. Out of curiosity, I wanted to know how a page could contain multiple h1 tags and, more specifically, how would it affect the entire code in terms of level of importance, structure, etc. This in-depth article I came across answered my question, and then some. The example given was that the first <h1> is used for your business title, but within a specific page, you have an article that is really the MAIN purpose of that specific page, which will also need an <h1> and not <h2> since the web will render the article title <h2> as beneath <h1>. Thus, people looking for your article may not find it as easily because it isn’t denoted as <h1>. It’s important to also remember that content between <h1> tags is best written with sectioning tags, such a <div>.
A fourth takeaway, or rather, a question from discussion that I believe needed clarification for my part, was the use of XML sitemap. I had only a little understanding of what it is, but I wanted to better understand it and why it’s so important. From wpbeginner.com, a site for folks using WordPress, the article describes that an XML site map is a list of pages on a website accessible to users, and it also tells search engines which links on your site is most relevant. Sitemaps do not boost site ratings, but makes it easier for search engines to crawl your site. The article also came with a video tutorial of how to install a plugin for the site map, which was a very useful visual.
Finally, Paul discussed several topics for Google Search Optimization Guide. One of the points he briefly went over covered proper anchor tags and making sure your anchor tags are well coded. I didn’t have time to ask what this meant because I kept wondering, “What makes a good anchor tag versus a bad one?” So I looked up this article and it lists a large list of proper to-do’s and must-have’s of a web link. Though I could go into great detail about various properties of the <a> tag, a point I wanted to mention here is that the article suggests that with search engine rankings, anchor texts “and the surrounding text…have great impact on both the source page’s authority status and the target page’s keyword relevancy.” In addition, general rules such as making sure these tags have an opening and closing bracket, <a…>…</a>, attribute values always in quotes, and special characters such & and etc. are major keys in writing a proper anchor tag. The whole article itself was very useful, and I’ll most likely bookmark it for future reference.