Thursday, August 26, 2010

Book Review: Audience, Relevance, and Search

Audience, Relevance, and Search: Targeting Web Audiences with Relevant Content

How can you get more traffic to your website or blog? And how can you make sure the content you write is relevant to the people who visit? In Audience, Relevance, and Search: Targeting Web Audiences with Relevant Content, James Mathewson, Frank Donatone and Cynthia Fishel show you how to ensure your site is giving your visitors what they want.

The authors give an excellent overview of how writing for the web is different than writing for print. The main point they make is that to be successful on the web, you need to write for search engines, especially Google. You need to use the right keywords to help the right people find your site. And you need to focus on linking strategies that ensure your audience can find you from other places, and that sites like Google consider your site important.

I have attended search engine optimization educational sessions run by the authors, so when I started this blog, I actually tried to implement some of their ideas. For example, I always include the keywords "book review" in the title of my book review posts, and I always include the name of the book I'm reviewing. I know that when I search on Google for book reviews, I type the name of the book and "review" in the search field, so I figure others do the same. I have found many of my visitors from Google do indeed find me through similar searches.

I learned a great deal more about how to analyze keywords that my audience uses and where to include them within my pages. I also learned about how Google's PageRank works. And I got a lot out of the chapter on Capturing Social Media Opportunities, which includes a section on specific ways to optimize your blog for search.

Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone who is responsible for web writing. Most of the examples are from IBM, and it's more focused on websites rather than blogs. But I also found a lot that I can apply to my blog. So if you're looking for ways to improve your visitors' experience and increase your ranking on Google, check it out! And if your other job involves writing for a website, as mine does, I'm sure you'll find a great deal of valuable information as well.

My Rating: 4/5

This review was written based on a copy of Audience, Relevance, and Search that I received from the authors, who are also my colleagues, for use in my day job. Despite the fact that I work with the authors, I have written an honest review of this book.


  1. Wow, this sounds really interesting. When I first developed my writing websites and my blogs, I was looking for a book like this and didn't have much luck. Thanks for the review!


  2. I didn't know there were whole books on this topic! Thanks for this great review.


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