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Writing for Robots: Search Engine Optimization of Technical Communication Business Web Sites

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Purpose: This article explores how businesses offering technical communication services used search engine optimization techniques to attract prospective clients to their business Web sites.

Method: The study draws on a survey of 240 principals of these businesses, brief interviews with half of them, analyses of their sites, and tallies of inbound links to their sites.

Results: The interviews and analyses reveal how businesses oriented their sites not only to a human audience of prospective clients but also to an audience of search engines. Businesses that reported search engines to be more helpful in directing traffic to their sites had sites that, in comparison with those of their less successful peers, featured longer home page titles and received more inbound links.

Conclusion: Though search engine optimization techniques can increase Web site traffic, technical communication businesses varied widely in how extensively and expertly they used such techniques.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2010

More about this publication?
  • Technical Communication, the Society's journal, publishes articles about the practical application of technical communication theory and serves as a common arena for discussion by practitioners. Technical Communication includes both quantitative and qualitative research while showcasing the work of some of the field's most noteworthy writers. Among its most popular features are the helpful book reviews. Technical Communication is published quarterly and is free with membership.
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