Not sure how to write an SEO article? Well, now’s a great time to learn.
In this post-COVID world, pushing a trolley mindlessly around Morrisons shouting “eggs! EGGS!” as you go, and hauling your gelatinous body around the block is about as good at it gets. You could argue that getting drunk in front of reruns of Question of Sport is another worthwhile pursuit. Aside from that though, there’s not an awful lot to do.
So, why not take this once in a lifetime pause in play to learn a useful skill. If you have a website or blog, knowing how to write an SEO article is vital. It will allow you to compete with the millions of other articles that are indexed by Google on the same topic. In this post, we’ll show you how to write an SEO article that features prominently in the search engine rankings and brings traffic to your site.
What is SEO article writing?
First off, let’s get the basics covered.
SEO article writing is a form of writing that helps the blogs, how-tos, reports, whitepapers and other articles you write become more visible to the major search engines. There are a few simple rules you can follow to increase the ranking of your articles for the topics you cover. Follow those rules and when internet browsers search for those topics, there’s a much greater chance they’ll click on your article.
A lot of the SEO article writing advice out there can be contradictory and overcomplicated, but we’re going to keep it simple. The good news is that the search engines are quite smart. If you focus on making your content as relevant and worthwhile to your target market as possible, then that’s most of the work done.
How to write an SEO article in 4 simple steps
1. Choose the right keywords
Keywords are the search queries people enter on Google to find information related to the products and services you sell. Some keywords are extremely competitive and can be difficult to rank for even if you nail your SEO, while others are a little less competitive but still generate plenty of traffic.
To find the keywords your target market is searching for, there are several free keyword research tools you can use. You just enter the topic you want to cover, so in this case, ‘SEO article writing’, and it will tell what keywords and phrases are related to that topic and how many searches they’re receiving.
Here are a few free keyword research tools you can use:
- Google Ads: Keyword Planner
- RankTracker – you’ll have to sign up for a 10-day free trial to use this one
When writing SEO articles, you’ll be better served by targeting longer and more specific keywords (known as longtail keywords). They tend to be less competitive, which makes it easier for your article to generate clicks for relevant searches.
As a guide, we recommend making a varied list of keywords you can use for your articles that receive between 20 and 50 hits a month. That’s a good starting point.
2. Use the keywords correctly
Now you’ve found some good keywords, it’s important to use them correctly. You should use no more than two keywords or phrases per article if you want to stand any chance of ranking for either. Trying to use too many will also affect the readability of your article.
There’s a lot of conflicting information out there about how many times your keyword should feature in your article. Something around 1% is probably about right, so 5 times in a 500-word article, but the best advice is to write naturally and try not to crowbar your keywords in. As long as the content of your SEO article is relevant to the keyword(s) you have chosen, then you won’t have a problem.
Your chosen keyword should also feature in the title of your article, the first paragraph and at least one of your subheadings. It should also be used in the meta description. Our good friends at Yoast have provided some excellent pointers to help you get it right.
3. Write something of value
Think of the internet as a landfill site. Most of the stuff out there is absolute garbage, the HTTP equivalent of rotting cauliflowers, burst tennis balls and used nappies. You want to produce the rare gem amongst all that rubbish, the discarded antique or winning lottery ticket, and create something that’s of some use to someone.
Take this article as an example. It’s not going to win me the Nobel Prize for Literature or make me rich, but it might help someone, somewhere, to write an SEO article that someone else, somewhere else, will actually click on.
When you do your keyword research, you’ll probably notice that a lot of the longtail keywords you’ll uncover are questions. That’s because there are things customers in your target market want to know. Use your SEO articles to answer those questions and you’ll be heading in the right direction.
As an example, any of these articles could provide some value to someone:
- ‘What plants will thrive in sandy soil?’
- ‘What running shoes will suit my running style?’
- ‘What are the best second-hand cars for less than £5,000?’
Understanding your target market will help you to pitch the article at the right level and provide the information they are looking for in a way that they can understand.
4. Get the word count right
Google wants to show its users content that is relevant to their search and genuinely helpful. Rightly or wrongly, it has decided that content which is quite short – around the 300-word mark – isn’t that helpful because there’s not an awful lot of it there. So, it tends to favour longer SEO articles in its search results, with the top-ranking articles usually containing at least 500 words.
Therefore, when it comes to writing your SEO articles, a word count of 500 words or more is a target worth aiming for. However, waffle will not be rewarded, either by the search engines or your readers. So, if you have a topic that you can cover in 400 words, don’t spin it out to 800 words just for the sake of it. Most websites and blogs that rank well mix up their content length, so write as many words as is necessary to cover the topic properly and demonstrate your industry knowledge.
There’s no upper limit on the word count for your SEO articles, but bear in mind that the more time you spend writing, the less time you’ll be able to spend wandering around Morrisons looking for eggs.
Still not sure how to write an SEO article?
Oh for pity’s sake. You should probably get in touch then. It’s high time I did some work anyway. There’s only so much Question of Sport you can watch.