Tag-ulan Hits: Finding real joy this rainy season

You better have gone to the beach already or have enjoyed the sun in your many summer parties because it’s official: the rainy season is here. The sound of raindrops on the roof will now be your background music while the series of puddles on the road will be your obstacle course on the way to work.

But don’t let the gloomy weather rain on your parade. Here’s a list of things you can do to stay warm, cozy and cheerful during this cold and wet season.

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SEO writing: Tips to boost your story’s reach

If you’ve ever written for the online environment, chances are you have been asked these questions: How many clicks did your article get?  How did your piece rank in searches?

Many of us writers and content developers were taught to focus on the message and build on that core concept, hoping the beauty or usefulness of the idea will carry it through to the intended audience regardless of the clutter along the way. While that strategy surely has its share of success, in the online universe focusing on the message alone has ceased to be enough.

For your article to reach a larger audience and have a stronger impact, it has to rank high for a keyword or phrase search input. Studies have shown most Internet users do not browse past the first page of search results, so not showing up on the top of the list lowers your chances of getting new customers on-board or promoting your new products a bit more strongly.

This is where SEO comes in. SEO means search engine optimization, an approach to writing or developing content to improve a website’s rating on an Internet search and its page rank compared to related websites. Writing with SEO in mind, therefore, boosts a website’s visibility on major search engines such as Google and helps broaden your content’s reach.

But how exactly is this done?

Keywords and meta tags are two of the first things that come to mind upon hearing SEO. The first refers to the words or phrases Internet users are most likely to enter when they do a search online. Using keywords as part of SEO writing then means adding words or phrases that you think Internet users will type when they look up your topic or something related to it. These keywords or phrases can be added to the headline or subheads, the opening sentence and any other high-profile element of the article.

Meta tags provide a short description of the content. Done in HTML format, they do not appear on the page itself but are visible to search engines and so help in ranking a page. A caveat: Not all meta tags are useful. (When and when not to use meta tags can be the topic of another article! Watch out for that!)

But keywords and meta tags are not the only SEO tools at your disposal. Here are some more tips on how to write better SEO content:

Know your target audience

Be clear on who you’re writing for and write for that audience. Decide on the tone depending on your target reader. If you’re writing for a much younger audience, for example, try for a lighter piece. Use business English if you’re writing about international trade or business.

Regardless of the tone, engage your readers. Try opening with a question or something that will surprise or make the reader wonder. You can use statistics or direct quotes. If the topic of your article has been discussed many times, explore a new angle and stay with that anchor. But remember, avoid inundating your piece with heavy words or phrases that can only alienate your readers. In most cases, simple words and constructions are still the best way to go.

But this is SEO writing, so what about those keywords? Worry about adding keywords later. Do not write for search engines lest you end up with something mechanical and boring. You can focus on writing that first draft and add the keywords after.

Hook readers with a great headline

Make that first impression count. Some studies show headlines with numbers are a big draw.

You can also go with tested heads such as:

  • How to …,
  • Everything You Need to Know About …,
  • The World’s Best (or Worst)

Be sure also to use the active voice more than the passive.

The longer, the better

We have all read about Internet users having short attention spans. That is correct.

But studies also indicate longer articles rank better in search results. This is because such pieces provide richer content and more information.

But go for shorter paragraphs

This is where you cater to the short attention span. Extend your content all you want, but be sure to use short paragraphs to make them easily digestible.

Breaking the text into several shorter paragraphs also helps extend an article visually, making it appear long on a computer screen.

Use subheads

Subheads help your readers navigate through the article while also breaking the text. For those skimming through the article, subheads serve as markers for the core ideas.

Enrich your content

Improve the user experience by adding complementary elements. This can be in the form of images or videos.

Use images and videos that are clear and support the message of your article. Add a caption that can stand alone but can also generate interest to read the article.

Adding links to related content on your site – or even to external sites that may be useful – is another way to boost the user experience.

Use power words

Some words are more effective in eliciting emotion from your readers. In addition to making your reader feel something, power words can be used to cause your readers to act in some way.

So how exactly is this done? First, take the active tone of voice. Then, sprinkle your article with power words that complement your topic. For example, if your article seeks to build trust with your audience, appeal to their sense of security with words such as guaranteed, no-nonsense, research-proven, certified, endorsed by and similar others.

Keep your content timely and fresh.

Update, update and update some more. Offer fresh content as often as possible to keep your readers coming back. Search engines also value content that is new and relevant. Why? Because that’s the type of content readers want.

Communication Issues Take Center Stage at 26th National Public Relations Congress

Spurred by controversies brands and organizations across the globe face and the growing need to elevate the communication profession in the country, the Public Relations Society of the Philippines (PRSP), the country’s premier organization for public relations professionals, anchors this year’s National Public Relations Congress on current trends and issues in the industry to explore where to take it next.

Set for September 24 and 25, 2019 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City, the 26th National PR Congress has the theme Amplify, hoping to bring communication and industry issues that challenge many organizations out into the open. This year’s congress brings together local and international industry leaders to headline its roster of high-caliber speakers.

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SEA LIFE Malaysia officially opens at LEGOLAND® Malaysia Resort

Filipino families looking for a unique marine adventure can now experience one of the newest marine life attractions in Southeast Asia—SEA LIFE Malaysia at the LEGOLAND® Malaysia Resort.

The highly anticipated LEGO®-themed marine sanctuary is expected to draw in both local and international tourists and help further support ‘Visit Johor Year 2020’.

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MAXXIS NAsFOR 4×4 Cup concludes first half run, Rodriguez leads

Photo above shows Joseph Rodriguez (center) who currently leads the MAXXIS NAsFOR 4×4 Cup Extreme Off-Road Challenge with five podium places.

The first half of the MAXXIS NAsFOR 4×4 Cup Extreme Off-Road Challenge has come to a close, with the toughest off-roaders claiming their well-deserved podium places. Leading the pack of off-road athletes with five podium places—four of which are championships—is Joseph Rodriguez of 4Wheelers Davao. He is followed by Jherico Lara of the Aurora Racing Team with three podium places and fellow 4Wheelers Davao member Cesar Daquil, who won three as well.

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