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

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Book DescriptionPublication Date: May 6, 2010 | ISBN-10: 0137004206 | ISBN-13: 978-0137004201 | Edition: 1How much more effective would companies be if all the content they created for the Web reached its specifi...
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Book Description

Publication Date: May 6, 2010 | ISBN-10: 0137004206 | ISBN-13: 978-0137004201 | Edition: 1
How much more effective would companies be if all the content they created for the Web reached its specific target audience? In this book, three pioneering IBM content and search experts show how to get closer to this goal than ever before. Readers will discover how to write highly relevant content containing the keywords and long-tail phrases their targeted users actually use. By doing so, they will learn how to go beyond merely "maximising" traffic to actually delivering the right content to the right visitors at the right time. They will even learn how to prove the relevancy of their Web content. More than any other book, Audience, Relevance, and Search is relentlessly focused on the search and content optimisation problems that Web professionals face right now. Drawing on 45+ years of collective experience in Web publishing and search effectiveness, the authors share powerful insights into these and other crucial challenges: * What's the best way to optimize keywords and other content for Google's newest PageRank algorithm? * How can personally relevant content be developed for the widely diverse Web audiences that visit large sites? * How can users be steered to content that's relevant to them and away from content that isn't? * Can content be aligned to users' roles, or where they stand in the purchasing cycle? * How can analytical tools and dashboards be used to determine which content is relevant to their audiences, and how relevant it is?

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

James Mathewson has followed the Web since 1994, first as a contributing editor specializing in Web publishing and search for ComputerUser magazine, and later as the editor in chief of the magazine and its Web site. As the editor, he published more than 1000 articles, mostly related to Web technologies. He has also published in several other magazines and periodicals, including IBM Systems magazine.

     Since leaving ComputerUser in 2004, James has worked for IBM as a Web developer and Web content editor. In his current role as editor-in-chief of, James sets standards, and creates and delivers education to improve the effectiveness of IBM’s Web content. James has trained more than 1000 writers, editors, and content strategists on Web content quality and search engine optimization (SEO) within IBM. James leads all search effectiveness efforts for IBM’s Smarter Planet Web presence ( He is also the search strategy lead for IBM Marketing and Communications, a role that gives him influence over future Web and social media content efforts at IBM.


Frank Donatone is an Internet professional with over 20 years’ experience in the IT industry. His experience includes people management, project management, Web site design, usability, accessibility, search engine marketing with a SEMPO certification in advanced SEO, and social media optimization. Using his previous experience in addition to customer satisfaction survey analysis he provides tactical and strategic recommendations to IBM for Web site improvement. His position as a IBM Worldwide Web Effectiveness Lead has a strong focus on SEO and social media to improve IBM’s ranking on the Web for key terms, managing the brand’s reputation, identifying sales opportunities, and improving share of voice. Frank has also co-developed and taught several search engine optimization courses at IBM with his coauthors. Recently, he has participated in the design and presentation of education related to using social media for sales inclusive of Twitter, LinkedIn, and event promotion. In addition to his Web Effectiveness role Frank also serves as a social media lead for

     Prior to joining IBM, Frank was an IT consultant to IBM as well as a second-line manager for Keane Inc. accounts at three IBM sites, Reader’s Digest, and VSI Communications. His second-line management position encompassed the management of 4 first-line account managers and 50 consultants. His dual role as a consultant at IBM during this tenure was Lotus Notes help desk management, and Lotus Notes and Web application deployment quality assurance. He also holds a professional certification in Lotus Notes administration and development.


Cynthia Fishel is a Senior Interactive Marketing and Brand Specialist with over 24 years of global agency and corporate Fortune 500 experience in the IT Industry. She has a proven track record of building teams that build successful Web sites. She was among the original team that launched back in the early 90s and has continued to work on IBM’s Web site for the past 15 years. She produced the interactive and visual design standards in support of all worldwide Web development for consistent customer experiences across IBM Web sites. She drove IBM’s strategy for Web collaboration and developed the first Collaborative Branding Standards for co-marketed and co-branded Web sites.

    Cynthia has always been part of the IBM team that sets standards, and creates and delivers education to improve the effectiveness of IBM’s Web content. As a Search and Social Media Evangelist for IBM, Cynthia led the development of five Organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO) education modules for IBM internal use, IBM Business Partners, and interactive agencies, used to train over thousands of associates worldwide. 

    Cynthia has spearheaded initiatives and education in Corporate Identity & Design, Digital Branding, Rich Media, Accessibility and Privacy. Her recent position as the IT Consultant Specialist/Web Customer Satisfaction Team Lead for focused on Web content effectiveness and gave her the opportunity to be the single point of contact for IBM business units, helping them to more effectively attract, convert, and retain business through the Web.

Product Details

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent guidance, well organized and presented June 18, 2010
If you're looking for a guide that explains SEO in all its glory, READ THIS BOOK. I found it to be comprehensive in scope, very clearly written, and especially well organized. Everything from linguistic characteristics of keywords and how keywords work to site architecture ... and lots more. Great information about gaining page rank and using social media to create success. Tons of useful charts and graphs. There are many books out there that claim to give you this kind of information -- Do yourself a favor and start with this one.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Detailed and relevant advice for web writers and bloggers October 15, 2010
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, the authors 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 my blog, I actually tried to implement some of their ideas. Through the book, 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 blog 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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not theory along, actual actions anyone can understand August 18, 2011
Coming from a writers point of view, James provides linguistic logic that most content authors can immediate act upon. His concept of keyword research has become the foundation for all digital conversations at my firm. My 161 pages are tagged, highlighted and tattered. This is a must have reference.
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A Kid's Review
On the web audience behavior rules! Writing for the web and connecting with target audiences are integral to online success. What often eludes many writers, editors and content providers, is how to attract and engage with the right audience.

More than a guide to effective web writing, this book illuminates the facets of creating relevant web content, using search and social media. You'll be introduced to the search-first write methodology, for defining your audience and strategic tactics that are woven into an integrated approach. And, you'll take away knowledge of sustainable practices for responding to and engaging with diverse audiences.

As the authors point out, the web is a writers medium. I liken this book to having a personal trainer for writers, to step you through the exercises that will fine tune your skills and advance your expertise for delivering relevant and targeted web content.


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