Writing articles for your website or blog is a great way to share your knowledge, expertise and opinions with your audience. However, writing articles is not enough if you want to reach more people and grow your online presence. You also need to optimize your articles for search engines and readers, so that they can find, read and enjoy your content.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the visibility and relevance of your website or web pages in the organic search results of search engines like Google or Bing. SEO helps you attract more traffic, leads and conversions to your website or blog.
Reader optimization is the process of improving the readability and engagement of your content for your target audience. Reader optimization helps you retain more visitors, increase dwell time and reduce bounce rate on your website or blog.
So how can you optimize your articles for search engines and readers? Here are some tips and best practices to follow:
Tip 1: Do keyword research
Keywords are the words or phrases that users type into search engines to find what they are looking for. Keywords are also the words or phrases that search engines use to understand what your content is about and match it with relevant queries. Therefore, doing keyword research is the first step to optimize your articles for search engines and readers.
Keyword research involves finding and analyzing the keywords that your target audience uses to search for topics related to your niche or industry. You can use tools like Google Keyword Planner, Ubersuggest or SEMrush to find keyword ideas, volume, difficulty and competition. You can also use tools like AnswerThePublic or Google Trends to find popular questions and trends related to your keywords.
The goal of keyword research is to find the best keywords that match your content’s intent, topic, and audience. You should aim for keywords that have high search volume, low competition and high relevance. You should also consider using long-tail keywords, which are more specific and less competitive than short-tail keywords.
Tip 2: Use Keywords Strategically
Once you have a list of keywords that you want to target, you need to use them strategically in your articles. Using keywords strategically means placing them in the right places, in the right frequency and in the right way. This helps search engines and readers understand what your content is about and rank it accordingly.
Some places where you should use keywords are:
- The title: The title is the most important element of your article, as it tells search engines and readers what your content is about. You should use your main keyword in the title, preferably at the beginning or close to it. You should also make your title catchy, concise and clear.
- The URL: The URL is the web address of your article, which appears in the search results and browser bar. You should use your main keyword in the URL, separated by hyphens. You should also make your URL short, simple and descriptive.
- The meta description: The meta description summarizes your article, which appears below the title and URL in the search results. You should use your main keyword in the meta description, along with a call to action or a benefit statement. You should also make your meta description interesting, informative and relevant.
- The headings: The headings are the subheadings that divide your article into sections, which help search engines and readers scan and navigate your content. You should use your main keyword and related keywords in the headings, especially in the H1 (main heading) and H2 (subheading) tags. You should also make your headings descriptive, logical, and consistent.
- The body: The body is the main text of your article, which provides the information, arguments and examples that support your topic. You should use your main keyword and related keywords in the body, but not too much or too little. A good rule of thumb is to use one keyword per 100 words. You should also make sure that you use keywords naturally, without stuffing or forcing them.
Tip 3: Write for Humans
While using keywords is important for SEO, you should not forget that you are writing for humans, not robots. Writing for humans means creating content that is readable, engaging, and valuable, for your target audience. Writing for humans helps you build trust, loyalty and authority with your readers.
Some ways to write for humans are:
- Use simple and clear language: Avoid using jargon, slang or complex words that may confuse or alienate your readers. Use simple and clear language that conveys your message effectively and efficiently.
- Use short sentences and paragraphs: Avoid using long sentences or paragraphs that may bore or overwhelm your readers. Use short sentences and paragraphs that are easy to read and understand.
- Use active voice: Avoid using passive voice that may sound vague or weak. Use active voice that sounds direct and confident.
- Use transitions: Avoid using abrupt or disjointed sentences or paragraphs that may disrupt the flow of your content. Use transitions that connect your sentences or paragraphs smoothly and logically.
- Use examples: Avoid using abstract or general statements that may lack credibility or clarity. Use examples that illustrate or support your points concretely and convincingly.
- Use formatting: Avoid using plain or dense text that may look unappealing or intimidating. Use formatting such as bolding, italicizing, bullet points, lists, tables, images, etc., that make your content more attractive and scannable.
Optimizing your articles for search engines and readers is not a difficult task if you follow these tips and best practices. By doing so, you will create content that not only ranks well but also resonates well with your audience.