One of the best ways to market your website is with article writing. It is an efficient way to drive traffic to your site by getting more of your content optimized for search engines. This type of writing differs from other writing in many ways including its purpose, structure, and content. For it to work properly, there are multiple factors to consider when writing articles for search engine optimization (SEO).
1. Select Topic Based on Keywords
Articles are more than words on virtual paper. They are the bridge between you and potential site visitors. Publishing slews of articles online simply will not do the trick. Your articles need to focus on specific keywords related to your website. That is how your readers will connect to your website. Yes, you will have to do some initial planning before you set down to write. You are not trying to be the next J.K. Rowling – you are attempting to attract visitors to your site so plan accordingly.
2. Research Search Trends
Incorporating current trending search topics into your article can be beneficial. This is accomplished by doing a little research. Search engines often list the most popular searches at any given time which they consider a trend. This information is available by keyword so you can easily see what type of information people are looking for – your job is then to provide it so your site gets more traffic. You can also combine keywords related to your site and those unrelated but topical in mass media. For example, if your website deals with a new approach to losing weight and a there has been a recent political debate that repeats a particular phrase such as “game changer”, incorporate that term into your article as well.
3. Grab Attention with Title
You have scant seconds to capture readers’ attention. You have even less time to keep it. A tantalizing title can be irresistible. This is true even if a reader was not actively looking for information on that subject. Internet users still spend a majority of their online time surfing so take advantage of this fact by trying to attract as many readers as possible with catchy titles.
4. Use Sub-Headings
Sub-headings provide natural breaks in the reading of text. They also make it easy for readers to scan the document to quickly get to the information that matters most to them. Write with the expectation that most readers will not actually read your article all the way through but will skim it. Sub-headings should be meaningful and clearly indicate what the reader should expect to see in the paragraphs following it. Some writers try trick readers by using sub-headings that do not relate to the content. This is misleading and will only hurt your attempt to attract future traffic. It can also get you banned from the site that posted your article.
5. Write to an Eighth Grader
Not literally! But keep the readability level of your article as basic as possible. There are specific recommendations to follow that can help improve your writing. This includes keeping your sentences short and clean. Do not overuse complex sentences or unusual words. Try to use words that are easily understood. Short words are better than multisyllabic words (now that’s a word you don’t see often!). Readers should not need a dictionary or thesaurus to get through your article.
6. Simplify Technical Writing
There is a time and place for technical details. Generally speaking, it is not in articles intended to be consumed by the average reader. Visitors will more likely scan your article and if it is complicated or loaded with technical jargon, eyes will glaze and readers will stop reading. Of course, if your niche is in a technical field, you will not be able to avoid this entirely. Still, do your best to simplify language as much as possible.
7. Connect Article Content to Website
Since the entire purpose of article writing is to market your website, you need to relate the article back to your site some way. This in no way is a suggestion to duplicate your site content. In fact, this will be a death trap for your SEO marketing plan. Think of everything you know about your niche and develop articles around that information. This way your articles have a natural tie-in with your website.
8. Keep it Informative
Content needs to be relevant if you plan to use it for optimization. Writing and publishing articles is not enough to be included on search engine results pages (SERPs). The article needs to be meaningful and the best way to make that happen is to provide information. People conduct online searches because they need instructions on how to do something, directions on where to find something, and guidance on best tips, etc. Provide this information and your article will be successful attracting traffic.
9. Tag the Article
Tags are the keywords or phrases you want the search engines to use for indexing purposes. Let’s use this blog article as an example. Weight loss is mentioned earlier in the article but is not the focus of it. Therefore, “weight loss” is not an appropriate tag for this content. However, article writing, search engine optimization, attract traffic, and online marketing are which is why they are listed in the tag section below. So when someone searches those words, this posting will be included in the search results.
10. Position Yourself as Expert
It is simple to position you or your business as experts in a particular field. A resource box following the article allows you toot your own horn. Even if you do not mention yourself or business in the article, you can use the resource box to establish your credibility with readers. Add statistics that support your expertise claims. Or provide a link to your website’s customer satisfaction page. Mention awards you have received that indicate your level of experience in your particular niche. Readers use this information to judge your credibility as an author. They also use it to decide whether or not to do business with you so be professional when establishing your online profile.
11. Decide Where to Submit Article
For it to be useful, you need to submit your article to an online source so it can be read. Multiple article directories exist specifically for this purpose. There are plenty of popular article submission sites. But to know if this is the best route for you, you need to know more about the process. Learn from these sites the amount of traffic they get as well as the type of visitors. While you want lots of traffic directed back to your site, if it is not quality traffic it does little to help your bottom line. Good traffic consists of visitors who are actually interested in what you are selling! You want them to stay awhile and only people most likely to become customers will do that.
12. Consider Back Links
Be aware that wherever you submit your article, a back link to your site will be created. This is exactly what you want but not all back links are good for you. If you submit your article to a site that has a poor online reputation or has been zinged for its content in some way, your site can be harmed as a result of that “relationship.” Back links can be one of the trickiest aspects of SEO for non-technical people. And what you don’t know can hurt you!
13. Remember the Search Engines
You are writing for the search engines as much as you are writing for customers. Keep this in mind during your writing process so you do not overuse keywords, duplicate content, or otherwise reduce your chances of being included in search results. You can learn more about what to expect in this regard by reading guidelines from each search engine.
14. Hire a Freelancer or Firm
Article writing can be time consuming. Same holds true for article submission. A freelancer involved. Freelance writers make their living writing and may resist adding other responsibilities to their already overloaded schedules. An SEO firm that specializes in article writing and submission might be the better option. They have more resources available to implement your SEO article marketing plan. With their expertise in SEO, they may be more knowledgeable and effective in the long run.
As with all things on the Web, article writing needs to be free of spelling and grammatical errors. Poorly written articles will be rejected by article directories and search engines alike. Take time to do a good job or your SEO plan will be short-lived. If you outsource your writing, review it before allowing it to be posted unless you have 100% trust in your writer.
Mistakes reflect on you and can cause you to lose hard won traffic which can be difficult to get back. Right or wrong, readers may equate sloppy writing with messy business practices. It only takes a few minutes of your time to protect your reputation. So use that time wisely and make sure the online articles you submit to effectively market your site are doing just that!