How to Write Articles for SEO

By Chelsea Martin |

  | Apr 7, 2017  /  Solutions |

If you’re writing articles on the Internet, you’re not just writing for writing’s sake; your number-one priority is for people to read your articles, which ultimately drives more visitors to your website.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) helps people find your articles by making sure they appear high on a list of search engine results. 

In turn, high ranking promotes your website as a credible source to users as well as search engines.

Fortunately, you don’t have to be a wizard to write articles for SEO; with these SEO strategies, you can easily increase your articles’ readership.

Choose strong keywords.

Keywords are important for SEO because they help search engines “read” an article’s content, which is crucial to ranking.

When choosing strong keywords, ask yourself, “What is the main point of this article?” An article can have multiple keywords as long as they are pertinent to the topic.

Longer articles will tend to have more keywords than shorter articles.

Once you’ve chosen your keywords, determine whether they’re too broad or too specific, and adjust them accordingly. 

For example, using just “festival” or “Fragaria ananassa” (the scientific name for “strawberry”) as keywords would not be conducive to search for the Florida Strawberry Festival.

Also, use geo-specific keywords like places, districts, and cities whenever possible because location plays a major role in SEO. In the previous example, you would use geo-specific keywords including Plant City and the Florida Strawberry Festival Grounds, where the festival is held.

There are a couple of things you can do to make sure that your keywords are strong enough for SEO.

  • You can pretend that you’re searching for your article and note which words you use in the search engine.
  • If you use Google, you can also type in one of your keywords and see what other words Google auto-complete adds.

Both strategies can provide insight into your keywords and help you consider your choices from a potential reader’s perspective.

Use keywords in titles, URLs, and metadata.

Including keywords in the title is crucial to SEO as it helps the search engine determine an article’s topic as well as its relevancy.

Keywords should be at the beginning of a title so the search engine can find them quicker.

However, as long as your title is less than 60 characters, which is the cutoff for title tags (the title’s display on a list of search engine results), then it’s ok if not all the keywords are at the beginning.

One of the most overlooked aspects of how to write articles for SEO is including keywords in URLs. 

Although URLs are no longer strong ranking signals, which help search engines rank content, your article’s URL should contain the same keywords as the title because SEO-friendly URLs are still ranking signals and it's good practice to include keywords in all aspects of an article. 

Moreover, keywords in URLs just look better; if someone shares a link to your article, the receiver can see the URL and automatically know the topic of your article.

Keywords should also be mentioned in metadata, the brief description of your article that appears under the title tag. If they contain all of your keywords, the first and/or second sentence of your article can also serve as your metadata description.

Use canonical URLs.

Sometimes multiple URLs link to the same content, which confuses search engines and, therefore, lowers ranking. Avoid duplicate content issues in your articles by setting your website’s domain name via Google and indicating your preferred URL with the “canonical” link element.

If you're not computer-savvy, here's a guide on how to use canonical URLs.

Use keywords in body and headings.

Use keywords throughout an article, but make sure to mention them early; keywords should be in the first sentence or two, or at least the first 100 words.

As a general rule, 1-2% of your text should include your keywords as this ideal for an article’s keyword density. 

For example, in 300-word article, keywords should be mentioned three to six times. However, as long you’re using keywords naturally and not stuffing them into every sentence, a red flag to search engines known as “keyword stuffing,” then using keywords numerous times will not adversely affect SEO.

If you have a longer article, use can also use keywords in headings to help the search engine grasp your article’s main concepts.

Use links in text.

Emphasize keywords by turning them into clickable links, particularly at the beginning and end of an article where keywords are mostly located.

Using links is also good for SEO because search engines such as Google prioritizes articles with hyperlinks. Link to other articles and pages on your website because internal links increase SEO for your article and website.

However, don’t forget to link to other websites and their content occasionally because using only internal links looks bad to search engines.

Whether you’re linking to your own website or another, make sure that all links work in your article because broken links negatively impact ranking.

Use keywords in images.

Images can also help improve SEO if you use keywords in the image title, alt tag, and description.

Depending on your website’s content management system, you may not be able to access all three components, but you should at least be able to use keywords in alt tags, also known as “alternative text.”

AMP up your web page.

In addition to using keywords and links, the speed of your article’s web page can also impact SEO as search engines prioritize web pages that load quickly.

Google found that 40% of users will leave any website that takes longer than three seconds to load, so it’s no wonder that search engine algorithms rank slower web pages lower than faster ones.

Relatively new to the game, this form of structured data markup is especially important for mobile websites, so Google has developed the Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Project to help people make their web pages load faster for SEO purposes. You can learn how to make your web pages load faster by following the tutorials on Ampproject.org.

During your website development, make sure that loading speed is a top priority. 

Share articles on social media.

To help your articles gain traction, which improves SEO, share articles on social media and websites you actively use. Not only will others read and share your articles, but having other websites link to your article will also boost your article’s ranking.

You can also ask other websites to link to your articles by sending an admin a link to your article with a personalized email explaining why your article would be beneficial to their visitors and website.

Offering to share their website and content is a nice gesture that can also improve their ranking. When seeking external links, look for other websites that are similar to or complement yours.

Adapting this marketing strategy can easily improve your articles' ranking. 

Do you need articles for SEO?

If SEO is new to you, you can write your article first and then implement these strategies while you edit. Over time, you will find yourself automatically using these SEO strategies during the writing process.

Being able to write articles for SEO is important for your business and website. If you find that your articles are not getting much traffic, you may want to consider hiring a content marketing firm so writers skilled in SEO can help boost the number of people who read your articles and visit your website.

MyArea Network has a large network of writers who specialize in quality content writing, so contact us today to see how we can help you fill your website with articles that attract both readers and search engines.

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