Scribe is a content optimization plugin for WordPress that allows bloggers to analyze and optimize a blog post prior to posting it. Scribe ties into the API of Ecordia’s Content Optimizer which was originally designed to provide in depth content analysis and content optimization via the Ecordia web portal.
Whether you are a serious blogger or are simply considering starting a blog, you are probably asking why the topic of content optimization is important?
Know Your Audience
There are two audiences for any piece of content on the web. The first is human beings such as you and I.
Targeting humans with great content should always be the primary strategy of a blogger. Good content gets shared and in many cases linked to from other blogs. This is good for traffic and sends a positive message to search engines.
The challenge is connecting your good content with Internet users who want it.
This is where your second audience becomes very important. The audience I’m referring to consist sof computer programs often referred to as search engine “bots”, “robots”, or “crawlers”.
Search Engines use computer programs to examine content on a website and derive meaning from it. They are mathematical in nature and many times miss meaning that can be derived from elements that fall outside of written copy.
For years bloggers have tried to master the art of content optimization without wrecking the human experience. On a blogging platform such as WordPress this can be extremely challenging as you really have to post your content before you can utilize online tools to analyze it for content optimization. Unfortunately, hitting publish pings search engines and starts the process rolling.
That is were a new and powerful content optimization plugin for WordPress called Scribe brings pre-publication content analysis to your finger tips ensuring that authors can maximize the optimization of their content before publishing to the Internet.
Content Optimization Strategy
Before you optimize your content, you have to have strategy as to what you are targeting for keywords. The toughest part of this is being honest with yourself and the power of your blog. In order to illustrate this, I am going to take you through an actual blog post that I recently wrote.
On behalf of Orangecast, I had just been through the process of claiming a Twitter handle for a local company. At the end I had learned how to be successful in this process and wanted to share on How-To-Blog.TV.
Being realistic, I knew that I could not rank on a lot of keyword pairs related to Twitter as I was competing with every journalist and blogger in the world who had written about the micro-blogging site. However, my interaction with Twitter did give me a piece of information that had little to no representation on the Internet and is something that people look for.
What was it? Twitter’s fax number and their legal address.
Go read my post on Twitter Name Squatting. First, look at how I target my reader with well organized information that helps them to solve a problem. But then look at how I work the keyword’s “Twitter’s fax number” into the copy and feature it in my Title tag. In the end, my strategy worked! Though not a high volume keyword, it got my post in the mix for a dozen or so searches related to Twitter name squatting which was what I wanted. I wanted to connect my information in the post with others who were looking for it.
As a part of the content optimization process, the Scribe plugin provides insight as to the search volumes of your keywords which is helpful in creating a content optimization process. You can also use Google’s keyword ideas tool. Here are a couple of points to keep in mind when developing a content optimization strategy:
- Optimize on two or three word keyword groupings that actually have search volume. If you are the #1 hit for a keyword that no one searches on, you’ve defeated the purpose of basic content optimization.
- Look at advertiser competition and the number of pages already in Google’s index related to the words you have selected. Ask yourself whether you can compete. If you can’t, get creative like I did.
Content Optimization with the Scribe Plugin for WordPress
The first thing you’ll notice once you’ve installed the Scribe Content Optimizer is that your post editor screen will have a small widget on the right hand side. Before you can analyze a piece of content, you will need to have a title tag and description meta tag completed for the post. Once you have completed these steps and have copy in your post you can use Scribe to analyze your post.
Scribe’s analysis dashboard will produce a report that includes a full content optimization check list and feedback as to wether your post meets recommended parameters, primary and secondary keyword identification, keyword density and search volume information, a Search Engine Result Page (SERP) preview, and other helpful SEO information.
Scribe Plugin Requirements
Scribe requires that your WordPress installation have a SEO plugin such as All-In-One SEO Pack. The other alternative is if you are using Thesis for WordPress by DIY Themes which supports title and description meta-tags natively. You will also have to have an API key for the plugin as Ecordia’s content optimizer is not a free service.
The Reality of Content Optimization
Through the years I’ve always explained that search engines are looking for 3 things. The first is optimized content. The second is page rank which is a product of inbound links into your blog or the actual post. The third is social media buzz. These are complex topics that we will not be able to delve into in this post; however, I want to set expectations that just because the Scribe plugin gives your post a high score DOES NOT mean you will be on Google’s first page for your selected keywords. This is especially true if your blog is new. However, you can’t grow a blog’s presence in the search engines with poorly optimized content.
My mind is a bit twisted when it comes to content optimization as I am a professional consultant in this space. When I put my mind to it, I can generally write a piece of content that pretty much hits the mark. The problem is I’m a human. I can have lazy days or simply get distracted while working. You’ll see from the graphics in this post that my first edit produced a optimization score of 95%! If you watch the animated video and screencast that accompanies this post, you’ll see an example of some work I did that wasn’t so great in terms of content optimization.
What I’ve found that Scribe is that the plugin keeps me honest and saves me time. If I would have had the WordPress plugin installed when I wrote the 2.9 features and upgrade post featured in the video, I would have done much better in search.
In the end, How-To-Blog.TV is fairly new as the writing of this post and our page rank is good but not great. I share this with you as I want this post to be competitive for search traffic when this post goes live. Still, I know that some of the top bloggers in the world will be writing about this WordPress plugin. I do have a strategy in addition to my content optimization in order to be competitive. I’ll share this in a later post and let you know how I did. :)
Derick Schaefer is a social media consultant and founder of Orangecast Social Media based in Dallas, TX. In order to provide full disclosure to readers, Derick is a member of the advisory board of Ecordia and was an early beta tester of both the Ecordia Content Optimizer and Scribe for WordPress. Furthermore, How-To-Blog.TV’s links to both Scribe and DIY Themes are affiliate links. Orangecast does utilize both Scribe and Thesis on a number of internal and customer owned blogs.