By Veselina Yaneva
The following five powerful writing tips will help you to optimize your online articles for search engines.
Writing for the web requires the consideration of two audiences – human readers and search engines. These two audiences are interrelated: to make your content visible and accessible to the former, you need to ‘impress’ the latter. Therefore, achieving some level of SEO proficiency is a requisite for success.
Incorporate keywords effectively
To optimize your post, you need to use keywords (the words people type into the search boxes for ‘spiders’ to find relevant content). Cramming your text with keywords, however, is not recommended. In fact, a website can get penalised for keyword-stuffing.
- Your main keywords should appear in the places that serve as strong relevancy signals for the search engines:
- your headline and subheadings
- the webpage URL
- the title tags
- the meta tags
- your opening paragraphs
- H1, H2 and H3 header tags
- the photo captions
- the pull-out quotes
- the body copy
- the alt text
- the anchor text
2. Use long-tail keywords
Keyword phrases, also known as long-tail keywords, provide readers with more details than short-tail keywords. For example, the short-tail primary keyword ‘yoga’ is quite broad and generic. In contrast, the specificity of the long-tail keyword ‘yoga classes for beginners in London’ will improve your chances of attracting your desired audience.
3. Use keyword tools
You can find relevant terms by using keyword tools such as:
Build links to other pages and websites
Adding informative one-way hyperlinks, also known as ‘backlinks’, not only makes your text more educational, but also improves search engine visibility. These backlinks can be external (i.e. to content on other websites) or internal links to other interesting pages on the same website.
According to the reputable SEO community, Moz.com, backlinks are also regarded as ‘votes’ for your content. Therefore, encouraging other people to backlink to your page can help you increase your popularity, credibility and authority. You can achieve this by networking with respectable bloggers who would find your text relatable.
Create fascinating content
To improve your chances of getting people to link to your post, you have to create content that appeals to them. And this is not all; an article that is valuable and entertaining will keep readers engaged for a long time. By captivating the readers, you will optimize your piece, because search engines gauge success on the web by tracking the time visitors spend on a particular page.
Increase stickiness of your writing
Try various ways to keep visitors on your page.
- Create a piece with an impeccable design.
- Make your text scannable by disseminating information in bite-sized chunks.
- Use bullet points, subheadings and numbered lists to make the text easy to skim.
- Make your creation aesthetically pleasing by including beautiful photos and interesting videos.
Most importantly, although web readers have shorter attention spans, you can avoid high bounce rates by including what your specific audience finds interesting.
Create a strong hook
A hook is not only a literary technique to grab the readers’ attention, but also a powerful SEO strategy for creating share-worthy content.
According to Brian Dean (founder of Backlinko) a statistic, a case study example, a unique strategy, a rare interview, a tool or widget or even a visualization can inspire bloggers and journalists to link to your content.
Use a tailored approach. Will your audience prefer a good read or a funny video? What would tempt them to share your post?
In conclusion, some SEO knowledge is essential for web authors who have to write ‘with the search engine algorithms in mind’, as Alex Cattoni, copywriter and founder of the Copy Posse, has stated. Following these five tips can help make your piece trackable – and found – online.
About the Author
Veselina Yaneva is a freelance journalist with a Master’s degree in English literature from Canterbury Christ Church University, UK. Her interest in writing inspired her to embark on the Freelance Journalism for Magazines and Webzines Course at the UK Writers College. After completing this course with distinction, she’s been relishing the opportunity to immerse herself in the inspiring world of website publication as a journalism intern at The Writers College Times. Veselina’s education, voracious appetite for travel and genuine love for reading, bring a range of perspectives and ideas to her work.
You can connect with Veselina via: www.linkedin.com/in/veselina-yaneva-83213b210