How to write a good article and optimize it for SEO
Maybe you write for a living, or maybe you don’t, but you want to write an article that a lot of people will read. Well, the content might be riveting, and the subject might be sensational, but without SEO your article will not be read by more than one person, yourself.
This is not a review on how to write articles, its a review on how to write articles for SEO, and this requires you follow some basic rules. Let’s look at these rules and then get into actual article writing for professionals.
SEO writing has nothing to do with professional content, its all about how to make the content visible to search engines. So you can essentially write a “shit load” of rubbish and have it read by every search engine online due to the basic rules, and that Ph.D. dissertation on time travel that works will not be seen for the next thousand years, by which time it will be to collect for you to get your Nobel Prize, unless you happen to jump forwards and collect it then.
Now, back to SEO, and what the rules are:
You will notice that there are “headings” in various programs such as Word and WordPress. These are not there for great looking design, which is what they do anyway. They are there for SEO engines to read headings which are categorized as categorical pointers. Heading number 1 is the title, heading number 2 is for chapters, and 3 is for experts, etc…rather then use bold and font size, use headings, it helps search engine to recognize structure in your page.
Word count is important, and the type of article to be read has to be over 500 words long, and if you want it to be truly valued, it should be over 1,000 words. For researched informative articles, they should be anywhere from 2,000 up to 6,000 words.
Now for titles, make them short and concise. The big mistake many amateurs make is providing long wordy titles; these do not attract search engines. A short brief description is best.
Alt Text Photos
Use the Alt Text feature in your photos, this helps categorize photos even more and makes them more attractive to search engines.
This is a very finely balanced construct. Overdo it, and you end up with gibberish, underdo it, and you get passed over for other articles. Keywords are the words that associate your article with the title and the subject matter. Key phrases are strings of words associated with the keywords and are just as important. Adding negative keys is as important too, so do some research on your subject area and create a list of keywords, strings, and negatives. You can do this easily in Google, just type in a subject and look at the added suggestions that Google offers.
Use your keywords a few times in each article, but don’t overdo it. You do not want to make the article look like a string of keywords and not an article. Also, SEO algorithms already check for this and don’t bother with these articles. There is a fine boundary between overdoing it and being precise. 2-3 times per large chapter including in the heading is enough. Overdoing this is called stuffing.
Linking articles content to sites is highly attractive to SEO, and Google will read these articles in preference to non-citing/linking articles.
This is actually a major deal, and the hardest one to do since you don’t control it unless you deal in stealth marketing. Basically, a backlink is a link to your article. The more other sites link to your article, the higher it will appear in a search.
A permalink is the address of your article, the shorter and more concise it is the better the performance of your site and the easier it is read by SEO engines. This means use only the keywords in the permalink and removes the fillers. Fillers are “a,” “is,” “the” etc.
Prepping for SEO articles
There are a number of formats to write with, I have found that creating standard formats for different articles is the winning way to assure performance. This means, have a structured approach for each article type.
News Articles should be structured with a title, a synopsis, content, and closing statement or remark and should contain photos.
Review articles of products should have a title, an introduction, then reviews of items, where each item has a title, a link to the product site, an opening statement or review, features, specifications and pros and cons, conclusions are also a great way to close each item.
Review articles with a guide are a more comprehensive approach to displaying products, and these should include everything in the review article, but with an additional FAQ and a lot of explanatory details such as a guide to buying, tips to buying, etc.
Blogs, these are personal articles and should be at least 1,500 words long, but no longer than 2,000 words. A blog is a personal account and is not structured like news or reviews, but it must have structure. A good blog will have a title, an introduction, the main content, and a closing statement.
Tools for Perfection
Now you might be a Ph.D. in English Lit., but you still need to check your article before you publish it, and these are the best tools on the market for this. Take heed, don’t rely on the tools, always proofread once a final time before publishing.
Grammarly this is a comprehensive grammar, spell checker and much more. The cost is around $10 a month and is well worth the investment for anyone that writes for a living. If you just want a quick check for infrequent writing, then they have a free version that provides a very basic check.
Copyscape this is a plagiarism checker. This means that you can check if any part of your content appears in other pages on the web. When writing new content about specific subjects, such as car engines, you will find details that appear on other sites; this is fine. This is not plagiarism since specifications, and car performance is standard. However, when you describe a vehicle, such as the way it looks and feels, this is descriptive and is not standard. If you copy someone else’s texts its called plagiarism and not only is it unethical and sometimes illegal, it is overlooked by SEO. Copy scape will help you by focusing the copied texts, and you can decide to change or retain the values.
Article writing for SE optimization is a science; it’s becoming more and more exact as algorithms advance and language adapts online. The use of non-native English speaker’s to create cheap content has led to a lot of “shit” content on the market, so make sure you do not post “shit,” if you are not a native English speaker, use Grammarly, it will also check your sentence structure too.
DO NOT use software that re-writes articles; they do not work, it has been tested the end product is a jumble of rubbish that really detracts from any site and will eventually cause people to shun your articles.