How to write search engine optimization articles

Matt Cutts says that “content is king.” For SEO, truer words were never spoken. It is important for every website to have plenty of well written search engine optimization articles. With that in mind, I have written this howto document of sorts that outlines (almost) everything you need to know about writing good SEO articles for websites.

I generally feel that to be successful, a website needs:
  100 pages of well written SEO content,
  over 10 articles added each month, and
  all top pages should be updated every month to keep the content fresh. 

As you read this, I’m sure that you’re realizing that generating search engine optimization articles can be close to a full time job. It is, and we suggest letting us do it for you. We can write all the content that you need, and we’ll even upload them to your website for you. This service is included with all our Search engine optimization packages.

What does Matt Cutts say?

When in doubt, I generally see if Matt Cutts has said anything relevant to what I’m trying to figure out. Here’s what Matt has said about search engine optimization articles.
    The meta-issues I’d mention would be:
  1. The utility of an article is paramount. If you write 2000 words about mortgage loans and never discuss the industry landscape or impart some useful, concrete knowledge to your reader, that should set off a warning flag in your head. So use this advice only for good (high-quality articles), not for evil.
  2. Be sure to study your niche. I just spent 10-15 minutes to tackle the “default printer in Linux/Firefox/Mozilla” space. Is that niche worth writing an article about? Well, it was for me, because I was looking for this information myself. In general, any time you look for an answer or some information and can’t find it, that should strike you as an opportunity.
But the larger point is that if you put in time and research to produce or to synthesize original content, think hard about what niches to target. My advice is not to start with an article about porn/pills/casinos/mortgages–it’s better to start with a smaller niche. If you become known as an expert on (say) configuring Linux or hacking gadgets, you could build that out with things like forums to create even more useful content. Look for a progression of niches so that you start out small or very specific, but you can build your way up to a big, important area over time.


His advice seems to be “pick a niche, understand the niche, and write a really good article to answer all the questions that people might have about said niche." I can imagine you thinking, “Yeah, that makes sense, but that doesn’t apply to me.” Well dear reader, I suggest you re-consider that notion. In ever market, there are niches. For instance, you might be tempted to think that “SEO” is a general market, without a niche. I did a quick search, and we have well over 1,000 phrases that bring traffic to bergstrom-seo.com.

Each of these phrases might not represent a niche, but a surprising number do. So, don’t write search engine optimization articles about “SEO”. Maybe write about “free search engine optimization tips”, or better yet "SEO for law firms". I’m sure you get the idea. Every article you write should be about some sort of niche. For large niches, write 10-15 articles about the niche. For small niches, one article is probably enough.

OK, on to the guidelines of actually writing the content.
 

Guidelines

Search engines reward content-rich sites written according to SEO copywriting best standards with higher positioning. The primary goals of the articles are threefold:
      - be on target,
      - be interesting to read, and
      - answer all questions that the reader had.

From an SEO standpoint, the idea situation is:
      - the reader comes from Google,
      - spends 10+ min. reading articles,
      - exists and doesn't click on any on other of Google’s search results.

When an internal marketing staff understands search marketing theories and processes, you can translate this knowledge into higher search positions. The end result is highly optimized text that's skillfully written in-house. Here are some guidelines.


  1. Write easy-to-read text - Users enjoy content that is well written and easy to follow.
Avoid:
   
  a. writing sloppy text with many spelling and grammatical mistakes
  b. embedding text in images for textual content (users may want to copy and paste the text and search engines can't read it)
  2. Stay organized around the topic - It's always beneficial to organize your content so that visitors have a good sense of where one content topic begins and another ends. Breaking your content up into logical chunks or divisions helps users find the content they want faster.
Avoid:
   
  a. dumping large amounts of text on varying topics onto a page without paragraph, subheading, or layout separation
  3. Use relevant language – It’s always a good idea think about words that a user might search for to find a piece of your content. Users who know a lot about the topic might use different keywords in their search queries than someone who is new to the topic. People type in all different phrases when they search for subjects. For instance, one of our online dating websites gets traffic from well over 1,000 unique search phrases each day. People are going to come to your website from lots of long tail searches. Take the time to figure out what search phrases you should write about. Otherwise, your content won’t find its way into search engine results pages.
  4. Include key phrases throughout the entire text. Spidering search engines zoom through your entire Web page, indexing every word of your wondrous prose. The goal is to strategically scatter your key phrases throughout your entire search engine optimization article. Some copywriters feel constrained by "having" to include certain words within their text. They feel that the flow will be ruined by key phrases, or forcing the use of certain words detracts from their creative freedom. However, the key phrase-insertion opportunities are plentiful and almost fun. You have the freedom to insert phrases where they fit. You can include a key phrase as word one or word 350. 
  5. Create fresh, unique content - New search engine optimization articles will not only keep your existing visitor base coming back, but it will also bring in new visitors. Most importantly, search engines seem to prefer websites that have fresh content.
Avoid:
   
  a. rehashing or copying existing content. Copying content will probably get you penalized. Google doesn’t really like plagiarism. The reason is mostly pragmatic. They don’t want to see the same content showing up many times in their search engines results pages. Showing 10 additional pages all with the same content in their SERPs will add little extra value to users. So, they just ignore everything but the original version.
  b. having duplicate or near-duplicate versions of your content across your site. The rationale for this is the same as above.
  6. Offer exclusive content or services - Consider creating a new, useful service that no other site offers. You could also write an original piece of research, break an exciting news story, or leverage your unique user base. Other sites may lack the resources or expertise to do these things. Personally, I think that this is easier said then done. Still, it’d worth mentioning.
  7. Create content primarily for your users, not search engines - Designing your site around your visitors' needs while making sure your site is easily accessible to search engines usually produces positive results.
Avoid:
   
  a. inserting numerous unnecessary keywords aimed at search engines but are annoying or nonsensical to users
  b. having blocks of text like "frequent misspellings used to reach this page" that add little value for users
  8. The overall key phrases density in the article should be around 2-3% (not including meta-tags, filenames, styles, etc). There is speculation that Google sees pages with a keyword density of greater than 7+% as spam. This page can give keyword density: http://www.seochat.com/seo-tools/keyword-density/
  9. Emphasize your key phrases in headlines and sub headlines. Emphasized text, like headlines, sub headlines and boldface, are considered important coding properties for search engines. Key phrases appearing as emphasized text stand out to search engine spiders.
  10. Include 300 – 350 words per article.
  11. The key phrases should be in the article Title

That’s it! Good luck writing. Don’t forget to think about us as you write more and more search engine optimization articles. We can help you write. We’re fast, affordable, and dependable.

 

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