What Are SEO Articles? 4 Writing Tips
What are SEO articles, as opposed to other types of written content? While there is crossover with other types of article, SEO articles are written primarily to gain increased visibility on Google for your business for important keywords. There are certain rules to adopt when writing SEO content that can help increase your chances of a better ranking. However, a lot of the advice about writing SEO articles is like reading a recipe of spells from Macbeth. There is a tendency to overcomplicate things, and a lot of the advice is contradictory or unproven.
Our suggestion is to follow these four tips and not to worry too much. Google is pretty smart, so the best thing to do is to focus on making your content as relevant as possible to your target market.
1) Research The Right Keywords
When writing an SEO article, the place to start is with some decent keyword research. Find out what phrases and search queries people are using on Google and take a note of the number of times this is used on a monthly basis. This lets you know how competitive a keyword is. Keywords with hundreds or thousands of monthly searches are extremely competitive. You’ll be faced with a stiff challenge getting your content on page one for these terms. Longer or more specific (long tail) keywords, on the other hand, usually have fewer searches and are less competitive. They are also likely to be more specific to your business, and therefore to attract a more relevant readership. Make a varied list of relevant keywords that you want to use for articles, with monthly searches of between 10 and 50 hits. This is a good place to start.
2) Use Your Keywords Correctly
You can worry too much about keyword placement in SEO articles. Some people say you need to use the keyword exactly, X number of times. Others say it should constitute 2% to 3% of the total word count of your article.
There is no evidence to suggest this actually makes a difference. What is important is that your keyword is featured in the title of your article, then at some point in the first and final paragraph, but even this isn’t a hard and fast rule. In some articles you may use the keyword half a dozen times, and in another only twice. Be organic and don’t force the issue.
Even more important is that the content of your SEO article is relevant to the keyword you have chosen. If you are going to use the keyword spring planting ideas for sandy soil, then make sure your article is actually about this. Don’t write general content and try and sneak a keyword in by stealth, as this will not work. Even if you manage to trick Google, which is unlikely, you are very unlikely to attract a relevant readership.
Also, make sure your keywords read organically. A lot of search terms are not suitable for direct replication in sentences. It’s fine to mix it around a bit so that it is reasonable. Remember, it isn’t the Google search bots who will ultimately keep your business afloat; it’s the customers you will attract to your content, so keep user-friendliness at the foremost of your considerations when writing.
3) Write Something Of Value
This is by far the most important of our four tips. The Internet is so full of junk that you really do have to write something of real value for it to stand out on Google.
The Internet is primarily a means of communicating information. When you did your keyword research, you will have noticed that many of your long tail keywords are questions - implicitly or explicitly. These are the actual queries your target customers type into Google when searching for info. They will either be looking for a local service or for information about a problem.
Your articles give you a chance to answer these questions in a way that makes your customer’s lives easier. You are the expert in your own field of business, so use this knowledge to create some valuable content.
“How to” articles are a great place to start, as these provide helpful information and are easy to read in a short amount of time. Taking one of your keywords, look for a way to turn it into an interesting and relevant topic.
For example, the keyword online marketing for dentists could be used as the theme for any one of the following articles:
Top 10 Online Marketing Tips For Dentists
Your Ultimate Guide To Online Marketing For Dentists
3 Ways Online Marketing For Dentists Fails (And How You Can Get Better Results)
Knowing the approach to take, the level of detail to use and the right subjects to adopt will depend on the customers you are trying to attract. This will involve some knowledge of your target market and the kind of person who will be reading your blogs. Try to speak to their direct needs and give them the information they are looking for. For instance, content written for an engineer will be different to that written for a purchasing manager. You should also consider where in the purchase decision process your target reader is. Don’t jump the gun by expecting every reader to be immediately ready to hand over their money.
Here too, the keywords will provide a clue. Purely information seeking keywords suggest a reader who is lower down the sales funnel than one who is actively seeking services or products.
Using these keywords as examples:
Design ideas for children’s bedrooms: This search query is purely about information. In the article, provide a few helpful tips based on your expertise, and generally suggest how a service or product such as your own can help. You are planting the seed of an idea, not doing a sales pitch.
Interior design services in Wrexham: This query suggests a reader who is far closer to making a purchase decision. They are actively looking for businesses in a service area and will be open to sales proposition. This doesn’t mean you should launch into a full on sales pitch. Instead, make your content far more service focused, explaining the USP’s of your business and the reasons customers choose your service.
4) Make It The Right Length
SEO professionals have spilled a lot of ink about how long an SEO article should be. As no one outside of Google really knows how their search algorithm works, this necessarily involves some guesswork based on what works and what doesn’t – and this changes over time. It used to be that shorter blogs were considered better – around the 350 to 400 word mark – but this is no longer the case. Google values authoritative content, so the most highly indexed articles are normally at least 600 words in length.
But the most important guideline is to make your article the appropriate length for the subject you have chosen. There is no point trying to spin out an article to 800 words that could be better covered in 400. Waffle is extremely off putting to both search engines and customers. Most blogs publish a variety of content, with some 700 to 800 word blogs, and longer, 1,000 to 1,500 word blogs mixed in.
Shorter blogs are also acceptable as part of a balanced mix of content, as not everybody will have the time or inclination to trawl through a long blog article, especially in some sectors. But don’t depend on short pieces to get you high rankings in Google. You need to demonstrate your industry knowledge in order to do this.
Take a look at some successful blogs in your industry and get a feeling for what works and what doesn’t.
Content is still king when it comes to lead generation and SEO. To find out more about developing the right content marketing and blogging strategy for your business, give us a call today. At JDR we offer a flexible range of marketing services to meet the needs of all types of business.