Growing an audience for your website can be challenging, even more so when search engines frequently change their rules and algorithms. There are specific ways to craft and publish an article to rank high in the search results: it’s all about SEO. Search Engine Optimization is the process of improving your site’s content to increase the amount of traffic it gets. Your posts’ quantity and quality are vital to your analytics, so here are 9 tips to writing SEO optimized articles to help you find success.

1. Use Effective Titles

You’ll need to come up with headlines that are unique compared to other blogs. Create a concise title that will catch someone’s attention. It should be clear and accurately represent what the article is about. Don’t use too many words because you don’t want the title to be cut off, and make sure it is different from other websites, or you’ll be overshadowed by them and fall in ranking.

The meta description is as important as your title because they are the first thing a reader sees on the search page. It needs to be strong and inviting enough to convince the reader to click on the page. For it to be effective, prioritize simplicity and clarity. Remember to include powerful keywords in both your title and meta description.

2. Research Your Keywords

This is an aspect in which many people struggle to figure out and successfully pull off. You need to include enough rich keywords in your article without overdoing it. Adding too many keywords in your post can be harmful to your blog, as reading a word repeated too often throughout the piece will turn-off viewers. On average, you should only be using keywords 1 to 2 times for every 500-words or so.

Include the keyword in the title, the introduction, and one of the first few headings, if you can. The keyword needs to fit naturally in the article — if it sounds odd and doesn’t flow, you shouldn’t be using it. It would help if you also focus on secondary keywords and longer phrases to pepper those throughout your post. To research your keywords, utilize software like Google’s Keyword Planner, Helium 10, or SEMrush. Create a spreadsheet using these sites to find words and phrases people in your niche are searching for.

3. Figure Out Your Audience

To write SEO optimized content, you need to know who you are trying to reach and market. If your audience is unclear, you might confuse your readers or even show up on their search results. Your posts should be related to your overall website’s theme and niche. Randomly posting an article on gardening when you usually discuss travel hacks can irritate your subscribers. They come to your site to view a particular topic, so they won’t read it if it doesn’t interest them. Be consistent; otherwise, you won’t increase your traffic.

4. Structure Your Post

The structure and appearance of your post can sometimes be just as important as its content. Even if your writing is phenomenal and informative, no one will want to read a single block of text. Break your post up into multiple small, easy-to-read paragraphs. Use headings to split them up and create variety with one-line paragraphs, quotes, and images. The layout of your article determines its readability – ensure that it is engaging and easy to digest.

5. Check Your Word Count

Your SEO ranking also depends on the length of your article. Don’t create a blog post just for one small 200-word paragraph–you can save those for your Twitter or Facebook posts. Search engines prioritize longer and more detailed articles. On average, 500-1000 words is a decent and acceptable length.

The highest-ranking articles are the in-depth posts of at least 1500-words. Longer content means you have more information to share with readers and therefore offer a higher value for the results page. It’s hard to make 2000-word posts for every topic, so utilize a variety of article lengths. Only go for the long ones if you can write that much–it’ll backfire if you’re just redundant.

6. Keep It Original

This should go without saying but keep all your work original. Plagiarizing is a big deal, especially in the writing world. You can receive inspiration from other bloggers and be influenced by them, but you still need to ensure that you organize every idea into your own words and thoughts.

While the original creator might not find out or be able to do anything about plagiarism, Google will. Google’s algorithm tracks for plagiarism and will flag your blog if it’s stolen. You’ll end up falling in ranks, and then no one will see your work. Check your work using plagiarism checkers from sites like Grammarly, which can also help your grammar and edit your writing to make it more reader-friendly.

7. Utilize Link Building

Google is constantly changing its rules to SEO, especially how links work. Currently, natural links are critical for optimization and their algorithm. Include links in your article to send readers to different posts on your site. This method helps generate traffic and engagement with your site–people click the link to take them to another topic of interest, keeping them on your webpage longer. Connect content that relates and is compelling to your viewers, so they interact more.

8. Build Your Social Media

Social media allows you more than one platform to draw in audiences and generate traffic. For every article you post on your site, you should also publish it on your social media pages. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are the most popular and influential platforms, enabling you to reach audiences that you usually wouldn’t through a search engine.

These posts should be just as captivating as your website. Use high-quality images and engaging descriptions to grab users’ attention. These sites offer you another method to utilize link building, so you should always include a link to every social media page and your website. Have a call to action, include a share button to get people involved, and answer comments.

9. Monitor Analytics

You can keep track of your website’s data using Google Analytics. This software can show you exactly how many clicks you’ve received, how long people were on your site, and which keywords were successful. This information is crucial in creating content that people like to see. It is essential to monitor your site if you want to improve your SEO and ranking.

Improving your analytics doesn’t have to be overly-confusing. Algorithms are regularly updating and changing, so remember to keep up with the current research and implement these tips to ensure you always have SEO optimized content.

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