Search engines are making algorithm updates all the time. Even experienced digital marketing professionals who know the principles of what they need to get right, still have to pay attention to the latest updates and changes. Here we’ll share the guidance for search engine optimization (SEO) to help you reach more searchers and rank higher on Google.
What makes content SEO friendly?
There isn’t one clear answer to this question. SEO-friendly content takes into consideration a wide range of aspects to make sure that readers are getting high-value, quality content, and actionable information.
This means adding appropriate keywords, using headings for a logical structure, optimizing the language in your meta tags, images, and other media.
Let’s go deeper:
8 tips on how to write SEO friendly article
1. Research, research, research
Research is always the first step when you’re writing with a clear goal in mind. But what you need to research and the depth depends on where you are already in the content creation process and your specific aims. However, to write an SEO-friendly article, topic research and keyword research are usually fundamental.
They help you understand if you can rank for a topic or keyword and if it will connect with your audience.
Look into topics and keywords you don’t already cover. Once you discover your audience will be searching for a specific topic, you can look at the related keywords. Consider if you have the ability to rank for them. Do you have enough authority or other articles on the topic that you could actually complete with the articles on the first pages of Google?
If not, you want to build up your authority by writing articles on lower volume keywords. Using a tool like Similarweb can get accurate information about search volume and who else is ranking for these keywords.
Once you identify the keywords you want to cover, you can delve into the top-ranking articles on the first pages of Google and identify the structure, style, and strategies used. See what they are doing and research how you can do it better.
2. Create a logical structure
Draft an outline that will guide you or a freelancer on what should be in your next high-quality content piece. Don’t forget headers, main keywords, and bullets to break up the structure of the post and support a positive reader experience.
You can get ideas about potential structure from the blogs and articles that you read during your research step. Make sure the structure and headers are logical. For a refresher, there is one H1 tag per page. This is the page title. For this blog, the H1 tag is “How to Write an SEO Friendly Article in 8 Steps.” H2s are subheadings and always support the main point of the post (in the H1). H3 supports those H2s. In this post “2. Research, research, research,” is an H3 subheader.
Google is looking for a clear structure that is easy to follow for a positive user experience. If users find your structure confusing, or aren’t able to navigate and bounce, Google will take notice and won’t direct people to your post.
Something else to consider: keywords in your headers. If you can add them naturally, great, otherwise don’t stress too much.
Another consideration: blog length. Check the length of high-ranking articles for the same term to get an idea of the ideal length. Above all though, make sure you give complete information to answer the search query.
Pro tip: Tools like Clearscope or MarketMuse are a good place to check on the competition and build an outline with useful information to set yourself up for success in the drafting phase.
3. Optimize your meta title
A meta title is the title that appears on Google. This is one of the parameters Google uses to rank your post, so make sure you use your keyword and use it near the front. It should be approximately 60 characters, or else, it will get cut off.
In addition to the meta title, meta descriptions are also important, although not a ranking factor. This is the description below the title and is (approximately 150-160 characters) a summary of your article. Google search results page, helping searchers understand if your content answers their query or question. It’s important to optimize your meta tag by adding target keywords you’ve identified for the piece of content.
Readers unconsciously scan the meta description and their keywords are highlighted. It’s another opportunity to grab their attention (along with the attention of search engines). Google may change the meta description, but it’s useful to include and call-to-action at the end of the meta description in case it is displayed, it can push searchers to click and contribute to an improved ranking over time.
4. Add internal linking over the right words
Have other pieces of content or pages on your website that relate to the article or blog that you’re writing? You’ll want to link to them. Only link one time though, otherwise it can be problematic.
Make sure the links are helpful and over only a few words. Now that we are on the subject of words. The actual words that you add the link to are important. This anchor text is stronger in Google’s eyes if it is the same as the keywords promoted on the page you are linking to.
For example, if I am linking to Similarweb’s homepage, it’s better to link over “Similarweb” than the words “click here.”
You can develop a map to make sure your linking is supporting SEO, or even build it into your content management system. This type of linking helps bloggers and other websites improve their search engine results.
5. Include keywords – naturally
The key is to use keywords effectively, to show Google and search engines that you know what you’re talking about. This means adding in your keywords and other relevant terms multiple times throughout the text in a way that makes sense and isn’t forced. No keyword stuffing!
Readability is key here. When you’re done blogging about a certain topic, go back through and see if it makes sense and that you enjoy reading it. Maybe even try reading it out loud and optimizing as you go.
6. Make it visual
Adding imagery can help you convey the message or clarify your text. Images, videos, and other forms of media help boost your content and make it both SEO and user-focused.
Make sure you have the rights to use the images you include. Ideally, you have designers, but you can also purchase images when necessary, or find free resources like Creative Commons Licensing.
Pay attention to the look of the post. You don’t want the user to scroll and not come to any images. This can be well, overwhelming. Use images wisely.
7. Media tagging and optimization
When you use images and media, you need to be sure to optimize them and include alt text. This helps google rank the images for image search and it also helps users with limited sight abilities or different dis/abilities. Screen readers can read the alt text, to let the user know what is there, so they still get a complete experience.
That said, it’s important to keep this in mind and write clear alt text. You can also add the keyword if it makes sense.
8. Track your results
Once you publish your blog, you want to measure and track its performance. Start monitoring your targeted keyword ranking
- Use a rank tracker to track the keywords’ ranking performance over time: Leverage the rank tracker we’ve recently acquired to help you stay on track with all your keywords and pages. The rank tracking tool provides a plethora of data and metrics so you can quickly identify any issues. Immediately detect changes in the entire competitive ranking landscape for the keywords you track.
- Use the Similarweb tool to check your organic traffic, and keep tabs on how many people are reading your blog, if they’re coming back, and if they’re clicking on the links.
And if something isn’t working, change it. A blog should be tweaked constantly according to the market needs in order to stay relevant.
SEO friendly articles – bottom line
Writing SEO-friendly articles starts with research based on accurate data. Doing thorough keyword research with Similarweb, can give you information about your own strategy and competitors to give you a strategic advantage. Ready to delve into research? Try Similarweb now for free.
Wondering what Similarweb can do for you?
Here are two ways you can get started with Similarweb today!