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How to Clarify Your Subject Themes for Better Search Engine Results

To get the best search engine optimization (SEO) results for your Web site, the first thing you need to figure out is your site’s theme. The theme is the main thing that your site is about. It’s the central concept of whatever your site is doing on the Web.

It seems simple enough, but it’s very important to know exactly what it is that you’re about. If you have a Web site that specializes in selling customized classic cars, you need to figure exactly what that means, narrowing down the kinds of cars you consider to be classic, the types of customization you do, and so forth.

Also consider where it is that you’ll be going with this Web site. Think about whether you only want to handle classic cars, or if you might also want to broaden your scope and include newer models. Think about whether there’s a broad enough market out there for customized classic cars, and decide whether you might include both domestic and foreign cars, newer cars, and so on.

You also need to think about your service area. Are you a local-only business, or could you take things to a national or international level? Try to break it down in very specific terms.

Write down the things that you feel your Web site is about, and all of the things that it is not about. So, if you’re creating a site about customized classic cars, you would write things like

  • We work on only classic cars built from 1950 to 1970

  • The cars we work on are American-made; no foreign vehicles

  • Customization means we do paint, chrome, and upholstery

  • We do engine work or can install an entirely new engine if necessary

  • We do not install “banging” stereos; that’s the guy down the road

  • We are a local business, but are willing to accept clients from out-of-town and out-of-state.

There are many ways to establish a clear theme: Begin by visualizing the primary and secondary categories that you would prefer for your site. If you don't have a clear idea of what the primary theme of your Web site is, search engines and users are going to be confused as well. You can start figuring out your primary theme by creating a simple outline. Think of this chart like a business's organization chart, except for themes. Define the major theme or primary subject that you want to become relevant for and create an organization chart or linear outline to cement your ideas in place. Often, it's not until you actually put pen to paper that major subject complications or contradictions surface. Look at the below figure and note how one main topic is supported by several smaller subtopics.

A main topic supported by subtopics
A main topic supported by subtopics

Or you can use a simple bulleted list, like this:

  • Major theme

  • Subtopic 1

  • Subtopic 2

  • Subtopic 3

  • Subtopic 4

Creating an organization flow chart is a third way to visually lay out your subject themes. The Organization Chart is an easily accessible tool that you can find within Microsoft Visio, or you can use another organization chart-creation software program. Using one of these visual representations of your themes and subtopics (outline, bulleted list, or organization chart) provides the opportunity to visually explain to others involved in the Web site what the focus of the Web site should be and what subjects actually serve to distract the search engines from the main subjects.

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