“How To” Advice You Can Use
Answers, Not Questions, for Things You Want To Know
“How To” advice is a frequent goal of queries on Google and other search services. Answers, not questions, are what most people want. In the spirit of wanting to answer questions, here’s a guide to the “How To” articles on ArtChester.net.
This is the How To Cornerstone or Hub Page. It’s a quick guide to all the Cornerstone or Hub Pages on ArtChester.net. It also describes the role How To articles play in this science-based website.
I look at things with the eyes of a scientist, and science is all about asking questions. Those questions can lead to answers, sometimes with 99% certainty. However, to the scientist, there’s always that morsel of uncertainty, the chance that some new discovery will change things completely!
Two Types of How To Articles on ArtChester.net
Nevertheless, science has answers and so does this website. I can offer two types of “how to” answers for you. In each case the How To article summarizes the information from a large number of blog posts and gives links to those sources.
How-To Advice Based on Data & Experience
In these areas the blogs that serve as source material derive from personal experience, or from broad knowledge based on many research sources:
How-To Advice Based on Guided Intuition
These “how to” articles answer difficult, complex questions.
The questions lead to controversial answers, on which reasonable people may disagree. My approach is designed to lead you the reader to the solution that is right for you. In other words, each of these is a how-to guide to your best answer.
Each of these posts defines the internal and external constraints that relate to the question. The blogs linked present scientific data and expert opinions that surround and define the issue. This information can guide your intuition to an answer to the question. This way of proceeding uses a logical approach associated with psychoanalyst Carl Jung.
Those are the six ArtChester.net “How To” articles thus far published.
The rest of this web page describes the background for these How To articles and why I chose to gather them together this way.
How To Get Google to Find Your Website
This website is built on open source software from WordPress.org. Independent developers have built “plugins” (apps) to extend its functionality. There are currently over 55,000 plugins for website developers to choose from.
Online businesses need customers to find them. However, a even noncommercial website like this one wants to be discoverable. After all, I’m a writer, and writers want to have readers.
Both customers and readers generally find their way using Google and other search engines. Therefore, one of the important functions for WordPress plugins is SEO, Search Engine Optimization. There are over 3,000 SEO plugins. The one I like to use is supplied by Yoast, a firm based in the Netherlands. (They recently celebrated King’s Day, a Dutch holiday.)
Talkin’ ’bout SEO (“Ess-Eee-Oh”)
The SEO plugin assesses every blog and post from the perspective of a search engine. It provides detailed advice on how to improve the post and gives it a red-yellow-green score for SEO quality and for Readability. Naturally, “green-green” is the result to be desired, to help the post be searchable.
Each year the criteria get tighter as Google continues to evolve its search algorithms. For that reason, when I update one of my older blogs I have to edit it, sometimes extensively, to have it score well by the current standards.
What kinds of tests does the SEO plugin run? I’ll mention just a few, to give you the idea:
- The user specifies a keyword phrase. It should not have been used before, and should appear as 0.5% to 2% of the total word count.
- There should be no more than 150 words in a paragraph, and 300 words between headings.
- No more than 10% of the sentences should use passive voice.
- No more than 20% of the sentences should have more than 20 words.
- At least 30% of the sentences should begin with a transition word or phrase.
- The Flesch Reading Ease of the post should match the reading ability of the intended readers.
- And lots more…
Authors Want Readers; or, How To Give Google a Roadmap
The SEO folks say that if you want people to find you in searches, your website needs to be friendly to the search engines. The last time I checked, ArtChester.net had 275 posts and pages, 811 images and 5,414 internet links. This is complicated enough that Google and other search engines need a map to make sure they are indexing the entire website.
The principal map that search engines use is a Sitemap written in XML (Extensible Markup Language). Such a sitemap gives a list of website pages that is computer-readable and also human-readable. This allows Google to find all the pages in your website.
How To Use Cornerstone or Hub Pages To Guide Google
However, the sitemap does not help Google decide which pages are most important, and therefore should be given a more prominent position in searches.
This is where Cornerstone or Hub content comes in. A Cornerstone defines a related group of articles that satisfy these rules:
- The articles are durable. They don’t rapidly go out of date, however, they are kept up to date.
- The articles are a comprehensive guide to a specific topic.
- They give links to more detailed articles on the same topic.
- Those articles also link back to the cornerstone or hub article.
I have chosen to use the Cornerstone label on ArtChester.net for the How To Articles described on this page. And as noted above, there are two types of cornerstone “How To” articles:
- Each cornerstone must be based on broad data & experience. Or,
- To tackle difficult, complex questions, the article must guide the reader’s intuition to find an answer that suits the individual.
These two alternatives describe two types of how-to guide: advice from an expert; or guidance to help you find your own pathway.
Together, the How To articles link to only 40% of the blogs on ArtChester.net. The other 60% of blogs deal with areas of science that are still so “unknown” that they cannot yet be assembled into how-to advice!
I hope you enjoy this guide to the How To Advice on ArtChester.net. And I hope you’ll sign up to learn about new posts as soon as they appear!
– Adapted from Magic ball by BenBois on openclipart.org.
– Arrows-box-business by Pixabay on pexels.com.