What Is an SEO Article? Why Should You Write One? And How?
You just wrote an article. And you think it’s pretty good. But is it fit to compete with the millions of other articles in Google’s index on the same topic? In this post, I’ll explain how to push your articles to be the most relevant to a person’s search on the topic. Read to learn:
An SEO article is a piece of written content, such as a blog post, that appears on your website as a page with a unique URL. An SEO article educates, informs, and/or entertains your target audience with experience and quality. An SEO article is also optimized for search engines, so it has a better chance of showing up on page 1 of search results.
Why should you write an SEO article?
Here are six reasons why you should write an article on SEO.
1. Web content is the reason Google exists.
Web pages, including articles, are what search engines like Google store in their index. When someone performs a search, the engine analyzes their query and matches it to the most relevant indexed elements. Without these web pages, Google would have nothing to show users in their search results.
2. Google’s algorithm is getting smarter, but it still needs help.
An SEO article is optimized for search so that you can help search engines better understand what your topic is about (see Google’s Webmaster Guidelines for more information). This increases the chances that it will be considered relevant to a query and appear on page 1 of the search results.
Search engine optimization is about helping search engines understand and present content.
-Google Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Getting Started Guide
3. Being found for a search can affect your income.
The organic search channel generates more than 50 percent of traffic to a website on average (and up to 64 percent for B2B). Organic search is also responsible for up to 59 percent of revenue on other channels.
4. You can establish your expertise and authority on a topic.
Google places more value on websites with great experience and authority, and a well-written article is one of the key ways to show this.
High-quality pages and websites need enough experience to be licensed
and trustworthy in its subject.
- Google, Search Quality Rater Guidelines
5. Delight your target audience.
SEO articles can result in things like repeat visits to your site, more time on your site viewing other content, and conversions.
Creating engaging and useful content will likely influence your website more than any of the other factors discussed here. Users know good content when they see it, and they probably want to direct other users to it. This could be through blog posts, social media services, email, forums, or other means. Organic word of mouth or word of mouth is what helps build your site’s reputation among users and Google, and it rarely comes without quality content.
- Google Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Getting Started Guide
6. Beat your competition in search results.
A search-optimized article uses data to improve it. Find out what the top-ranked content is doing on the same topic. Then you can either reach it or surpass it.
How do you write an SEO article?
To write an SEO article, you need at least these two things:
Professional writer and expert in the field.
SEO tools that can provide the data you need to optimize your content.
Here are eight key steps to writing an SEO article.
Step 1. Define the document specifications.
First, specify the basic data of the article, such as the subject, the target keywords, the meta title, the meta description, and the URL. At the top of your document, create a table that contains the key details of the new content. This table helps you organize all the details of a well-optimized article before you start writing.
Step 2. Create content written by experts.
Google wants the search results on page one to have an experience element. That’s because Google wants its users to be satisfied with its results. Quality content also keeps your audience happy.
With that said, before writing an article, make sure you have at least one of the following:
Subject matter expertise or subject matter expert you can interview
Writing skills or a professional writer.
An expert editor
For example, if you are an expert in the field but are not confident in your ability to write, hire a copywriter or ghost editor. If you’re a writer, make sure you have access to a subject matter expert (or really great research skills) to help you put together your piece.
From Google’s SEO Starter Guide, here are two wise tips:
The experience and authority of a site increase its quality. Make sure the content on your site is created or edited by people with experience in the field. For example, providing expert or experienced sources can help users understand the experience of articles. Representing a well-established consensus on science pages is good practice if such a consensus exists.
Users enjoy well-written and easy-to-follow content.
– Careless writing of texts with many spelling and grammatical errors.
– Uncomfortable or poorly written content. …
Step 3. Use SEO tools.
Many writers are not SEO trained, so mastering an SEO article can be intimidating. Good news: SEO tools exist that can help writers easily optimize their content.
For example, Bruce Clay’s WordPress SEO Plugin helps content creators get SEO data before, during, and after the writing process. Therefore, articles are optimized with best practices for a specific search query (not general best practices that are not as useful).
Step 4. Research your keywords (also known as search queries).
What does your audience type in the Google search bar when they search for the information you have on your website?
In its SEO Starter Guide, Google explains the basics of keyword research:
Think of the words that a user might search to find a part of your content. Users who know a lot about the topic may use different keywords in their search queries than someone who is new to the topic. For example, a long-time soccer fan might search for [fifa], an acronym for the Fédération Internationale de Football Association, while a new fan might use a more general query like [soccer playoffs]. Anticipating these differences in search behavior and taking them into account when writing your content (using a good mix of keyword phrases) could yield positive results.
You want to have at least one main search term that you optimize your article against and up to two secondary keyword phrases. Does that mean you have to use more than one? No. But it may be an advanced strategy for some.
At this point, it’s worth noting that an article will naturally optimize when you write it. This is because if you write enough (quality) words on a topic, the words you use will describe the content well.
So why optimize? To help your great content better compete in search results. When you use specific keyword queries in your content, you can tell Google that your content is more relevant to the search engine query than other similar content.
For more information, check out our article on-page content optimization and try our free keyword suggestion tool to get started.
Step 5. Identify and analyze the competition.
Did you know that your online competition consists of the highest-ranked pages for your keywords? These are the web pages you are competing on for attention in search results.
Once you have your keywords, you can start a competitive analysis. With the right SEO tools, you can find out which pages rank high on Google for your search query.
This is where things get good. Armed with that information, you are not blindly following general SEO best practices (“It must be 1,000 words!”) For your article. You are specifically optimizing to match, or even exceed, the best results for that keyword.
For example, Bruce Clay’s WordPress SEO plugin examines its competition and presents data such as:
Total count of words to aspiring to
The title tag and the length of the meta description
The number of times a keyword is used.
Your article’s SEO readability score compared to top-ranked web pages.
(And this is all in real-time before or during the writing process, not after.)
Step 6. Optimize the content of your article for SEO.
At this point, you should have both the well-written article and your keywords. Now is the time to optimize.
You want your keywords to show up naturally in your content. So the first step is to identify where you could change some words or phrases with your key terms.
Rule No. 1: Always make sure it reads well. Slapping your keywords in any old place without regard for grammar can make your article appear spammy to Google and annoy readers.
Optimize content for your users, not search engines … Designing your site around the needs of your visitors while ensuring that your site is easily accessible to search engines generally produces positive results.
– Insert numerous unnecessary keywords intended for search engines but which are annoying or meaningless to users. …
- Google Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Getting Started Guide
In general, you want your keywords to be evenly spread across all content from top to bottom. To learn more about this, check out our in-depth article on how to use keywords in content and check out our handy and printable.
Step 7. Review the content.
Depending on the size of your organization or the circumstances, you will also need an editorial and SEO review before the article is published. This can ensure that the article is well written, without errors, and in accordance with Google guidelines.
Please note that if you accept guest posts, you must hold that content to the same standards as the content you produce in-house. Failure to do so can have serious implications for the quality of your site.
For example, poorly done guest posts can get a site hit with a manual penalty from Google.
8. Track content performance
Writing an SEO article is not a set it and forget it approach. You’ll want to track the performance of that item and learn from the data.
With Google Analytics or an SEO tool like our WordPress SEO plugin, you can see the performance of an SEO article in search. You will want to see things like:
The number of visits to the page
Average time on page
What queries are driving search traffic to that SEO article?
Google Analytics and Google Search Console data is displayed in Bruce Clay SEO WP plugin
With this data, you can:
Learn what works and what doesn’t compared to your other SEO articles
Update content with new, more relevant keywords.
Compete better in search results with optimized articles
An SEO article is a search-optimized quality article written for both readers and search engines. These articles are more likely to appear on page 1 of search results.
There are several reasons why you would like to write an optimized article, including getting more traffic to your site from organic search results.
With the right process and tools, like those mentioned in this article, you’ll be on your way to winning over both your readers and the search engines.
If you use WordPress, grab our plugin for a 7-day free trial here: Bruce Clay SEO for WP
Bruce Clay is the founder and president of Bruce Clay, Inc., a global digital marketing firm that offers search engine optimization, pay-per-click, social media marketing, SEO-friendly web architecture, and SEO tools and education. Connect with him on LinkedIn and other social media from Bruce’s author page.