Friday, October 16, 2009

How to Write for the Web Series - SEO Article Writing Tips

If you want to wow your writing clients with your work on SEO articles, give them more than they bargained for.

SEO articles are written primarily to increase the client's ability to be found as a listed result when their target audience searches for a word in Google. While these articles are written mainly for this purpose, they can convert visitors to buyers as well.

When my writing clients send me a request with specific words to optimize their SEO content with, I do my best to deliver above their expectations.

Here are some of the things I do:

Search for those Keywords

The best way to help your writing clients rank for the keywords that they want to rank for is to look those words up in Google and see what the competition for top placement is like. You can tell by the keyword search about how many other sites rank for that word and see what those sites offer as well as what their shortcomings might be. This can help you write content that gets better results both from search engines and from the perspective of that piece of content converting surfers into customers.

Look for Additional SEO Keywords

When search engines read SEO articles, they look at many words on that page. Even if your client has only given you a primary word, consider the fact that there are other related words that will help the search engines be absolutely certain how to index that page in their results. Search engines look for relevancy and density.

A good example is the word "Apple". Add words like "computer, technology, Mac" and the search engines know what that article is about. Add words like "pie, orchard, seeds, fruit" and that's a whole different ballgame. Most of the time, your subject matter isn't going to have a scenario as unique as the Apple one but but using the right keywords can also help play to the customer's potential audience as well as narrow things down. Someone looking to buy something searches differently than someone looking to get information about something and you can add to your copy to bring your customer the right sort of visitor.

Want some help figuring out related keywords to add? I have a few tricks up my sleeve. One tool you can use is: You can also use Alexa.

Long tail keywords work really well, too. If your customer is selling computer parts and asks you to optimize his content for "used computer parts", adding the location or brand names to your text will help him target his own locale and shoppers looking for particular brand names.

Keyword Placement

Search engines don't just browse the text randomly. They are known for looking at specific attributes as well. This can include:
  • the title,
  • the meta tags,
  • the alt image tags,
  • the beginning few sentences,
  • the subheadings,
  • the last paragraph,
  • and the links on the page.
If you have control over uploading the content to your customer's site, keep these things in mind when formatting the content. If not, it's a good idea to help them by providing this detail when you hand in an article. It's a great idea to add meta tag information and optimize subheadings as well as a primary title. If you're not asked for a meta description, make sure your first paragraph can double as one for search engine listing summaries. When you write that first paragraph, consider the fact that you want to grab the interest from the reader who might be surfing in the search engines and comparing meta descriptions on the first page. (This is another reason why that keyword research and competitive analysis will help you do a better job.)

Whenever possible, I also break up the keyword phrases as well as use them in the text. I split them with punctuation (especially if they're awkward) and I also reverse the words at times as well.

Clients may have a list of guidelines they want you to follow when you write web content for them. But you can increase your value-add by giving them more than they bargained for.

Do you have any tips for providing value when doing SEO articles for your clients?

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