Anyone can write an article, but an SEO-optimized article is a whole different ballgame. EVERYONE wants that #1 spot in Google's search engine pages, especially for those high-traffic keywords. If that's the case, then you need to master writing SEO-optimized content, wherein you optimize each post or page with specific keywords. With these precious keywords strategically highlighted in your articles, search engines will conveniently notice your efforts and rank your pages better than others.
If no one visits your page, even if you're writing the best articles, then what you're doing is a pointless endeavor. Making sure that your content is SEO-friendly is beyond doubt a TOP priority if you aspire for growth in your website or business.
What is SEO?
Why is everyone concerned about SEO? SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the practice of increasing the number and quality of visitors to your website by improving rankings in the algorithmic search engine results.
Research and studies show that websites on the first page of Google receive almost 95% of clicks. Increased click-through rate (CTR) equates to more traffic.
What's in it for you? Well, more visitors mean potential clients that would translate into increased conversion rates and revenues.
How does SEO work?
Google and Bing score their search results based on the relevancy and authority of the web pages they have crawled and included in their web index.
SEO also involves making sure that your website is accessible and technically sound. It also checks how your site is using words that people search and type into search engines. The content on your website has to be useful and provide high-quality content that helps answer the user’s query.
How to do SEO?
SEO involves technical and creative activities. Usually, Onsite SEO and Offsite SEO are the two main categories of SEO work.
Although these activities often require the skills to optimize your website, these can be learned, even if you are a newbie. The other option is to hire a professional SEO agency or SEO consultant to help with your SEO needs.
Onsite SEO means updating your website to increase organic visibility. Activities such as analyzing and using the words frequently being searched by visitors, making sure that your website can be indexed, and ensuring that the content shows trust and authority are among the ways to improve search engine ranking. We have listed the latest SEO tools that will help you handle this.
Offsite SEO involves external activities, such as increasing reputable links from other websites, writing for other external publications, and reaching out to influencers and blogger to promote your website.
Writing SEO-optimized articles
The main objective of search engine optimization (SEO) is to have your content be discoverable and relatable for users via search engines such as Google and Bing.
To accomplish this, learning how to write SEO-friendly content is critical. Writing SEO-friendly content includes:
- Knowing and understanding your audience – Before you begin writing your content, some of the key terms that relate to the topic you wish to write about must be considered. This step usually starts with a question like, “What is my audience searching for?”.
- Selecting your content topics carefully – Users and their experiences should come first when writing content while SEO considerations are incorporated naturally within the content. This mindset will guarantee that your content aligns with the ultimate objective of content development: providing helpful information to your current and future audience.
- Creating high-quality content for your audience – not for the search engines – Quality content is about creating a great user experience for your audience and answering their question. High-quality content is proven helpful in garnering backlinks or external links from other sites, which is also among the top factors.
Start with Research
Of course, you want to begin with research about which keywords to target, length, and type of your article, analyzing existing content to establish outlines and questions that people may ask.
SEO tools such as SEMRush or Ahrefs help you with doing better research and in proper keyword optimization. If you want to make sure you're targeting the right keywords, you definitely should have these tools.
Type of Content
If you want to see what kind of articles are currently ranking, just put your target keyword in the Google search. This is part of the research, and this helps you understand what kind of article you should write.
You may notice some kind of pattern in the search results. For example, Google may display listicles or a form of writing in a list format. If you search for the best SEO tools for WordPress, you may find that the search results display listicles.
Length of the article
If you want to know the typical length of articles that rank your target keyword, you can use a free tool called SEO Rambler.
If the first-page average word count is 2,445 and the top 3 average word count is 3,576, you have to make sure that the article that you're going to write is more than this word count. You can write content that's at least more than 3,600 words.
Now, you need to create an outline of your content. You can get an idea by analyzing the top 10 results of the target keyword.
People also ask
If you search for your target keyword in Google search, you will notice the “People also ask” section. You may want to select the questions that are most relevant to your article and answer these questions in your article.
If you click on one of these questions, you will notice that more items will display on the list, which means you can find more questions that you can answer in your article and this is one smart way of optimizing it.
Now, go ahead and write that article. And, once you've written the content, here are a few more tips to enhance your article's SEO:
1. Post title and meta title
The post title is how your readers see the title of the post on your website. The meta title is how search engines will show your post in the search results.
It's vital that you add your target keywords in the meta title because if not, search engines will treat your post title the same as the meta title.
Post titles should be less than 66 characters.
2. Post meta description
Adding meta descriptions is as valuable as adding meta titles on your post as this serves as a sales copy for your post. You need to create a meta description that's about 156 characters and enticing enough for the visitors to click on it.
So, if you have not done any meta description, better do so now and make sure that every post you write has the potential of driving maximum traffic to your website.
3. Image Alt Attribute
We, as human beings, find it more relatable when we see visuals. That is why providing images to your content is so important.
They increase audience engagement and are another contextual element that can be optimized for organic search. Search engines “read” the alt attributes (“alt text”) and image file names.
If an image is appropriately named and optimized, it’s more likely to show up in image searches for relevant queries.
Most content management system (CMS) platforms have an image alt text field that can be optimized. Image alt text should be a short, descriptive phrase of the image. Image file names should be saved before uploading photos and should also be a short, descriptive phrase separated by hyphens.
One more item to consider when optimizing images is specifying the size and saving for web (via Photoshop). Pictures can often be massive resources and cause a page to load slowly. Saving for web (70 to 80 percent of original is typically OK for high-resolution photos) and sizing pixels appropriately can significantly improve page speed.
4. Interlink and anchor text
When you write a new post, you can link it back to your old posts so that your readers can read on and stay longer on your site, and search engines can re-crawl your past posts.
Interlinking helps to navigate your site, as well as reduce the bounce rate, which is another crucial factor for increasing your SEO ranking.
Anchor text technique is used for interlinking. It's merely putting links to your blog post to take your readers to other parts of your website.
5. Remove ‘STOP' words from permalink
Words such as “a”, “an”, “am”, “and,” “the,” and many other common words are ignored by search engines. So, make sure that your permalink does not have stop words.
For example, your post title is “The Best Ways to Make Money,” the permalink by default would be yourdomain.com/the-best-ways-to-make-money.html.
The words “the” and “to” are ‘stop' words so you should update your permalink to make it yourdomain.com/best-ways-make-money.html.
Make sure that you do this before publishing your post.
6. Correct use of headings
One of the most critical factors for increasing SEO ranking is the proper use of H1, H2, and H3 heading tags.
Post titles by default use H1 heading tags. So, for the next sub-heading in your post, you can use H2, and then H3 for the next sub-heading and so on.
It's also a best practice if you use your target keywords in H1, H2, and H3 tags.
As I've mentioned, anyone can write an article, but if you want to rank higher in search engine results, you need to learn how to write SEO-friendly content.
Of course, you don't want to waste time and effort writing articles and not being read by your target audience, right?
So, give our tips a try and write that optimized article to make your pages hit that Page 1 of the search engine results.