When you post a web article or content, the search engines enter it in their databases and reference it. But that doesn’t mean people will see your publications as that depends on your content’s position in search results.

The challenge for web content writers is to place their contents and websites in the top positions in search results. The first page of Google search results displays only 10 websites, and it’s difficult for anyone to rank there due to rude competition. Most users don’t consult content beyond the first few pages, and your web content will face a serious problem of visibility if you don’t act to have it placed in the top positions. 

To make you web article visible to readers, it’s necessary that you understand how search engines work and that you know the levers of content visibility those search engines allow. Using those levers is what's called search engine optimization (SEO).

How to write an SEO article? Here we’ll walk you through major SEO techniques and tools that can help you write a blog article that’s visible online and that'll generate web traffic to your website.


What Is SEO?


When you enter a request on the Google search engine, you get a list of results. The top results displayed on that list are web content that’s been optimized for Google.

What does SEO mean more exactly? SEO is the abbreviation for 'Search Engine Optimization.' It’s the art of positioning a website, a web page or a web application in the first results of search engines. It’s sometimes called natural referencing. In practice, that consists on a set of techniques used to improve web content’s placement in search engine results. If you’re a web writer, it’s essential that you consider Google's guidelines on the matter. You need to know those directions to be able to achieve organically high SEO ranking among a multitude of other content that’s indexed in the search system’s database.

Search engine optimisation will improve the visibility of your article so it can make it to the readers. That’s the aim of any web content writer and one of their main responsibilities.


Optimizing Your Article for SEO


Now let's see how to write an SEO friendly blog article. Here’s how to optimize your blog posts for SEO.


SEO Content Writing


Do Some Research


As is the case with any article project, it’s important to do some SEO topic research and review previous literature about your topic once you choose one. That’s how you can lean about the subject of your SEO article. Your research should be as through as possible: consult material about your theme in specialized websites, competitors' websites, books and other textual and visual resources. The richer and more reliable your sources, the higher the quality your content will be. 

Doing research is also how you can learn about, and familiarize with, SEO language in circulation on the subject of your article project, including related SEO keywords (or meta keywords), SEO titles and meta titles.

It’s noteworthy that duplicate content is strongly sanctioned by search engines. That’s called duplicate content penalty. Google, for example, uses sophisticated tools to check and detect general and SEO plagiarism, including advanced SEO plagiarism checkers (also known as duplicate content checker). In all cases, always do your best to produce original and quality content that’s useful for readers and conveys a well-polished image of your brand.


Use Semantic SEO Practices and SEO Analysis Tools 


In SEO semantics refers to conveying meaning within a relatively limited lexical field. In natural referencing, the semantic field of a term designates the set of words and expressions that it can take in different contexts. Your blog article may have a better position on Search Engine Result Pages (SERP) if it is semantically rich. It’s important that you work with a semantic SEO strategy. 

To give your article all its chances, it’s recommended that you use a rich and nuanced terminology but which includes and revolves around high traffic keywords, with as low keyword difficulty as possible. That’s vital for the semantic wealth of your publication and its overall quality and makes it possible for search engines such as Google to index your content properly. It’s a job that requires a lot of rigor and discipline. To be duly referenced and ranked by google, a text has to include least 5% of recognizable terms (or Meta keywords) that are relevant to your subject matter. For a 1200 word content, it’s 60 words.

Hopefully SEO semantics analysis tools are now available. Effective tools of SEO, SEO competitor and SEO semantic analysis include Semji, Alyze, YourTextGuru, SEOQuantum, Visibilis, Textfocus and many more. As an SEO web content author you’re strongly advised to make the most of such technology to help your website rank organically in the Google top ten search results. You may also want to get informed on SEO semantics, web writing ideas, techniques and issues by taking a look at some of the numerous blog posts on the matter.


Make Your Article Readable


The Readability of your content depends on how far it’s interesting and useful but also on how clear and easy it is to read and understand. If your text is too complicated, readers will quickly leave your page. Suppose you are competent but the user does not understand your offer - they will certainly hesitate to contact you, and will very probably look elsewhere. 

Internet users need your encouragement to continue reading, stay on your page and website and take action (request for a quote, by your products and services, recommend you website, etc.). Producing reader-friendly content is the best you can do as a web writer in this respect. 

Making your texts readable means they’ll be easy to understand and the number of satisfied visitors of your page will certainly increase. Here’s how you can optimize the readability of your articles: 

  • Be relevant. Deal strictly with the subject of your article. (Don’t run out of topic).
  • Make an outline. Your outline should determine the overall structure of your article. It’s a list of the main and secondary ideas of your web article.
  • Respect paragraph unity. Each of your paragraphs should start with clear topic sentences. The role of the other sentences in the paragraph is to give detail about the content of the topic sentence.
  • Your paragraphs should collaborate to convey the principal idea of your article (the idea you state in your title).
  • Likewise, each sentence should deal with a single idea.
  • State the essential points at the start of each sentence and of each paragraph.
  • Prefer short paragraphs.
  • Write short and clear sentences. 20 to 25 words will do. Avoid complex style, structures and vocabulary.
  • Use logical connectors (or transition words) to link your paragraphs and sentences together.
  • Add some mages to enrich your text and facilitate its understanding.
  • Try to write a text that stays pertinent for years.

To check the readability of your articles you may want to use tools such as GhostWriter, Hemingway App, Yoast SEO, Scolarius, and Gunning Fog Index.


Choose the Right Meta Keywords 


Identify the Meta keywords able to generate conversions, using SEO tools. In SEO, keywords are the typical formulations of requests people use to search for a given content on the Web via search engines. A keyword can contain several words. Though there’s speculation about Google’s devaluation of keywords and even their removal from its algorithm, it’s obvious that the top search engine still gives great importance to keywords. When it comes to SEO writing, proper use of keywords is of strategic import.


keyword-search-for-seo- article
Search for SEO Keywords


Now how do you know if you got the right SEO keywords for your article blog post? How to choose the right keywords for SEO? Once you identify keywords for your SEO, it is necessary to study the interest of each keyword and decide which ones to highlight in your SEO article. Your keyword choices should be motivated 2 factors:

  • First, keyword search volume: a keyword’s worth is determined by its popularity. In SOE a keyword is worthwhile if it’s a web traffic generator, i.e. if it’s able to generate traffic to you article and website. In SEO experts refers to such terms as “high search volume keywords.” high search volume keywords are praised by all professional web writers. As an SEO blog content writer, the first thing you need to check, before you decide whether not to use a keyword or to prioritize it, is a keyword’s worth, that is, how often people use it in their search for content on the web.
  • Second, keyword difficulty: some keywords have a high search volume but they are too competitive. They are called “hard keywords” and “difficult keywords,” depending on the level of competition over them. It’s hard for any website to rank organically in the Google top 10 by using hard or difficult Keywords. The higher a keyword’s search volume, the greater websites’ completion over it, and the harder it is to achieve high rankings through it in the short run. Over the years, competition intensified on short keywords, because of their high search volumes. It’s therefore recommendable to find and use long and detailed keywords for your article’s and website’s SEO. In SEO language, they are called “low competition keywords” and “easy to rank keywords”.

Selecting the right keywords for SEO comes down to striking a balance between keywords’ ability to generate traffic and the technical usability (or reasonability of the use) of the keywords. While an important part of your job is to find and use strong SEO keywords likely to drive traffic to you webpage and website, it has to be qualified traffic. Tools you can use to find best keywords for SEO include Keyword Tool, KWFinder, Answer The Public, Yooda Insight, Semrush Keyword Research, Ubersuggest, Wordstream and Google Keyword Planner. 


Choose a Good Title Tag 


The title tag (a concise description or replica of the title of your wen article) is not apparent on your article's webpage. It’s the blue clickable title displayed on the Google search results page following a request. Title tags are a crucial part of an SEO strategy plan.

Here are useful tips for title tag optimization:

• The ideal title tag is clear and precise.

• Use your best keywords in your title tag. Avoid inserting weak SEO words and useless words (as the numbers of characters allowed is drastically limited).

• Try to place your keywords at the start of the sentence. If you intend to mention the name of your brand or company place it at the end of your title.

• Formulate your title tag as a question. Titles tags that include a question have a 14.1% higher click-through rate than those that don't.

• A the title tag must not exceed 60 characters (including spaces) for the blue title to appear correctly on the search results page. That’s about 10 words maximum.

• The title tag should be different from the main title of your article (called H1 tag).


Write an SEO Meta Description Tag 


A Meta Description Tag is a brief description of your website blog article. It’s the short text which appears under the title tags (the blue titles) of search engine results. The Meta description is a summary or synthesis of your blog article. Its role is to describe the content of your article so that Internet users can quickly see if that’s what they are looking for. It must therefore be compelling. The length of a Meta description tag is 200 characters maximum including spaces, which is why it has to include the most relevant keywords likely to encourage readers to go to your article page.


Fix Your Hn Structure and Supply It with Your Best SEO Keywords


The length of a blog article should be reasonable. The shorter your SEO blog article, the harder it’ll be for you to challenge competition on certain queries. Internet users are not generally keen on very long articles, so your blog post should not be too long either. The ideal SEO article is 1500 to 2000 words long. To make you article easy to read (increase its readability), but also maximize its SEO chances, you should divide it into parts, each with its own title, sub-titles and even sub-sub-titles if appropriate. 

When it comes to SEO titles and sub-titles, there are six HTML tags that correspond to them: In SEO terminology, they are referred to as H1, H2, H3, H4, H5 and H6. The number corresponds to their importance. From an SEO perspective, The H1 tag is more important than H2 tag, the H2 tag more than the H1 tag and so on. 

These titles and subtitles play a crucial role in SEO writing since they provide an opportunity to place and highlight your high traffic volume keywords in and your best semantically speaking. So always pay particular attention to this Hn aspect of your work. Writing compelling titles of 4 to 10 words or less is best.

The H1 tag ‘shows’ Google where the title of your page is and allows the search engine to identify the article’s topic. It’s thus vital that your main title (H1) contain the most important keywords. To respect W3C standards, it is equally important to strictly respect the Hn tags hierarchy (don’t skip levels). Commit to using an H2 tag after an H1 tag, an H3 tag after an H2 tag and son on. 

A web article with a sound structure makes it both reader-friendly and SEO friendly. It makes it readable for Internet users and understandable for search engines’ algorithms. The better your article is structured, the better it’d be referenced, and the better its SEO scores and performance will be. 


Use the Strong Tag Function to Highlight Keywords


HTML semantics, a strong tag indicates that some bit of your article is particularly important. Like in ordinary text formatting, strong-tagging is displayed in bold. It’s used instead of the “B” tag in ordinary edition systems. However, abuse of this facility is counterproductive: a strong tag every four to five lines will be more than enough.


Tag Your Images for SEO


The images are some of the first search engine web page results. You’ll certainly get additional visibility if you properly tag your images for SEO. It’s thus advisable to add images to the content of your article with moderation. Again that’s much appreciated by readers and better for Google’s and other search engines’ algorithms. In fact, 62% of ‘Generation Z’ Internet users prefer image search to other search techniques (Source: ViSenze).


Tag Your Images for SEO


At the moment, search engines are not able to detect the content of your images directly, and so it is essential to give them a short description of each image. Such description is known as The ALT tag and the image file title attribute. The function of the Alt Tag is to improve the accessibility of the web pages via their images. Even when an image is not displayed correctly the Alt Tag shows and you can access its corresponding image by clicking it.  

However, only images relevant to the content of the page are concerned by this facility. Images that are used for strictly graphic purposes or do not add meaning to your articles may not be referenced by the search engines. Put otherwise, they may have what’s called an empty ALT.

Here’s how you can add SEO images correctly:

• Add royalty-free images

• Name of your image files adequately, using your best keywords. 

• Take care of the Alt Tagging for SEO. Select well the related Meta Keywords.

• Edit Alt tag and image file title correctly.

• Pay attention to image caption.

• Use quality, high resolution images. 

• Adjust the size of your images to the rest of your content.

• Create suitable URL links to your images.


Tag Your URL for SEO


What is an URL? It’s an abbreviation that stands for 'Uniform Resource Locator.' This is a unique electronic address of a given Internet resource, commonly known as a web address. Take care of the URL of your article for SEO. 

It is noteworthy that Search engine algorithms tend to prefer short URLs. If the URL of your web article is too complicated, it’d be too ‘slow,’ and Internet users will have difficulty finding it. So choose a simple, short and relevant URL for your web pages and contents. Ideally our URL should not exceed 60 characters, just the necessary length to include your domain name followed by your main keywords, all in lowercase characters separated by dashes. Avoid using special characters and spaces as these are not recognized by the relevant algorithms. 

A well-constructed URL clearly indicates the way to the article as simply and as efficiently as possible.


URL Structure


Also avoid changing the URL of your article (for example to add new keywords). Try to use the right keywords from the start to keep a “stable URL.” Making changes to your post URL can create broken links and cause more harm than good to your web contents.


Use Quality Backlinks


The article on your web page addresses a subject of interest to your readers. As part of your treatment of that subject you can refer your reader to other relevant pages to read more about certain secondary but still important points. To that end, you need to use backlinks, also called hyperlinks, hypertext links, outgoing links and outbound links. 

Backlinks should be part of any SEO strategy. The links can be internal or external to your website. SEO Internal backlinks are used to create internal traffic, but for search engines they are evidence that your website is consistent. For example, Google uses them to assess the relevance of your content and the relationship between the different pages of your website. As for external backlinks, they point outwards to external pages and websites. 

In either case, use hyperlinks intelligently and with moderation. Using quality outbound links is an indicator of the quality your web article and the strength of your website. They are also a way to optimize your article’s ranking in Google search results and your website’s SEO scores.


Writing for the Web: What You Need to Keep in Mind


In web writing you should above all care for the quality of your content. That’s what really matters in the end. In the long run content is what makes the difference between quality traffic and sterile traffic. Your web contents should always effectively meet the needs and expectations of your target audience. What’s at stake here is no less than your reputation as an enterprise. 

Focus on optimizing title tag, Meta description tags, Hn structure, and language tagging for SEO at the expense of content is a big mistake. What’s best is to strike a balance between the two so that to produce an excellent web article which is at the same time well positioned in web search results. As a rule, successful SEO writing is producing articles that appeal to both search engines and internet users.

More generally, the challenge for any website should be the building of an effective SEO strategy that makes it possible for it to rank high on search engines, particularly Google, without having to truncate the quality of its contents. What really matters in the medium and long-term run is to convince Internet users and win their loyalty. As a digital marketing professional or agency what you need is to make your visitors of your website come back deliberately and regularly. For that you need to offer interesting, reliable, quality and regularly updated content and services.

If you still need help on how to write blog articles, feel free to contact us. We’d be more than happy to give you a hand.

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Article published by Mahdi AZZOUZ

Mahdi Azzouz has a PhD degree in Management Sciences at Picardie Jules Verne University. He is also the Editor in Chief of Izeelogo, a logo design platform, and the co-founder of KSM-IT Consulting, a digital services company based in Amiens (France).