SEO, or search engine optimization, is a technique used by online writers and publishers that makes content far easier to be searched by engines like Google, Yahoo!, or Bing.
Getting your content searched by search engines in general means an increase the visibility of your post and the traffic to your website. However the art of SEO involves not only good writing skills but also strategic thinking.
Here are some SEO article writing tips designed to help you achieve this:
SEO Tip #1: Keywords
Most newbie writers believe that the more keywords you stuff into your text, the better. However, it’s not the number of keywords that define your high SEO rank but rather a combination of well-written and flowing text. Your text needs to sound organic rather than simply stuffed with your targeted keywords.
If you feel like the keywords are standing out and the general meaning of the article is lost, you’re doing it wrong.
Also, be sure to include the keywords in your title or subtitles. Choose the most relevant one – usually the one that will generate more searches – and place it in strategic places: your title, the beginning of your text, the middle and in the final paragraph.
SEO Tip #2: Pictures
The internet era has created readers that can scroll through thousands of links and skim through hundreds of articles a day. To make your article stand out you need to have at least one of two things:
- An eye-catching, emotional headline that draws in your readers (similar to the classic BuzzFeed article headlines and Upworthy headlines that are everywhere you look these days)
- An image. Yep, it’s that simple.
Another cool thing about including an image in your article is that it will also ensure that your text shows up in the image searches. Placing a couple of images (good resolution, please!) will also break the paragraphs nicely and will make your article not only search engine optimized, but also a great candidate for viral content – particularly if your image is humorous or emotional.
But what this also means is that you need to ensure that your picture is relevant! And assign some alt-text to your picture too when you do your SEO in the back end. Here’s a nice little definition of alt-text to help get you on your way.
Tip #3 – Enhancements
I’ve covered the content in your article (focus on relevant and exact keywords and make the copy flow so that your readers actually get what they wanted from your post); the images in your article (again we’re going for relevance, but also some tech smarts in terms of ensuring you have alternative text); and now I’ve left the most important till last – how to enhance your content and your images.
To ensure that your article is search engine ready is one thing, but to promote your article is another. Consider this: Why would a reader chose to read your content over someone else’s? What makes you the authority in this content? How does the reader know this? How is your content going to stand out above the rest?
One way to promote your authority in an area is to enhance your content so that when it is displayed in search engine results it is prominent. You can do this by enhancing your content with snippets provided by Google Webmaster Tools, who says that snippets—the few lines of text that appear under every search result—are designed to give users a sense for what’s on the page and why it’s relevant to their query.
There are an abundance of tools available to help all blogging beginners who are looking to promote their content or website through the use of SEO. The most notable are provided by Google themselves – think, Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics (these help with key word research) – and there are others that come as plugins to websites – think, SEO Yoast for WordPress.
I will say that making your content optimised for search engines doesn’t take too long when you know what you’re looking for and you know how to implement it, but seeing those results filter through to real-time searches can take anywhere up to six months.
SEO is a patience game, but if you’ve got the time, then you’re most definitely onto a winner.
Over to you
So what about you, kind reader, how do you manage your content for SEO purposes?