RankFixer| First Paragraph

The First Paragraph

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There are two main reasons to pay a great deal of attention to the first paragraph on a webpage. First, when a human visitor shows up at the page they make a split second decision whether the page is the answer to what they were looking for. The first paragraph of text has to quickly BE that answer. It has to include the key words or terms that make it obvious the page relates exactly to what the page description foretold it would.

The Second reason the first paragraph should be carefully crafted is that Search Engines know the behavior of human web users. A search engine is only as valuable as the results it presents. If a human user gets frustrated because the search engine doesn't give relevant results to a query, that user will try a different search engine. (Think Yahoo)

With this in mind, search engines want results that do not disappoint users and place a higher value on a webpage that gets right to the point.

Best Practice

A website manager should present a clear concise message in the first paragraph that includes the key terms relevant to the subject of the website. In advertising this would be called "The Hook" because it should snag the attention of the visitor and incline them to spend long enough on the page to decide it really does have the answer they were looking for.

This is also the beginning of converting visitors to customers. Think about visiting a shopping mall. Stores at the mall go to a lot of trouble and expense on their presentation. An anchor store like Neiman Marcus, looks impressive even before a shopper walks in. It has wide aisles and is laid out intuitively so that people can easily find what they are looking for. The store is filled with helpful people to assist customers. Everything about the store gives the shopper a feeling of comfort and trust. A business website should do exactly the same thing.