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What is SEO?
SEO is short for Search Engine Optimization. It’s the process of optimizing your website and webpages to get free and organic traffic from search engines such as Google.
Take a local second-hand bike shop website for example:
I am looking for a good quality but inexpensive second-hand bike, and I want to find some inspiration from the vast information poll of Google. I would type into the search bar ‘quality second-hand bike Geneva’. If any bike shop in the Geneva area paid close attention to their website design and the content conforming to the SEO rules, the website would appear high on the search results page.
Why is SEO important?
People search for information on various search engines all the time. It is extremely valuable for a website to get these specific, high-intent traffic. For any website that has a lot of articles from different writers, the content writers need to keep in mind that if the website appears high in the search results, their content would be read more, shared more, and in turn, have a better reputation. It gives them more opportunities to connect with people and help answer their questions, solve their problems, and become a trusted resource for them.
Easy SEO tips while writing an article
SEO is not limited to online content creation, but the best practices outlined below will help position the website and the content within to rank higher in various search engines, one of the most important among them being Google.
1. Pay attention to keywords
You can prepare a keyword spreadsheet within your line of expertise that includes the top keywords and phrases that people are searching for. You need to understand your target readers and the words and phrases they are searching for. To know that, you can ask yourself some questions such as:
- What are their interests?
- How do I solve their problems?
- What are their preferred languages, the devices they use, etc…?
- Who are your competitors? (Similar website, similar writers, etc.)
There are many tools online to help you check for appropriate keywords: Uber Suggest, WordStream’s Keyword tool, Google Trends, and SEM Rush.
2. Make sure to include the keywords in the article
Remember to include your keywords in the title, the introduction, meta description, the slug, and the first H1 or H2 headings. The set of important keywords is also called keyphrase.
Search engines learn the topic of the article/page by finding the recurrent keyphrase in it. Therefore a good density of the keyphrase helps with the SEO. This means you should include your keyphrase naturally into your writing. The suggested keyphrase density is between 0.5% – 3%.
As things should be in a good balance, an easy tip is to keep the keyphrase at just the right amount in your article. Too few hurts the ranking; too many appear spammy and might be punished by search engines.
3. Write high-quality content
While deliberating what you are going to write, ask yourself these questions: what can I offer that no one else can? What unique service can I provide? What knowledge can I share?
The types of content that are shareable:
- Something that solves the reader’s problems
- Find out what is trendy and new in your professional area, and add some of your insights or opinions
- Make other people look good. Interview someone who’s deemed an expert and share the content. That person is more likely to share and promote the article
4. Make the content long enough to count
Search engines prefer longer articles in general. 600 words are not bad, but if you can achieve 1000 words or more, even better. With longer content, you give more value to your readers, as well as keeping them on the website longer.
5. Optimal image title and size
Search engines need to ‘read’ an image through the title and rank it accordingly. Make sure to include the keyphrase in the image title. It boosts the rank of the image when internet users search for an image using a related keyword or phrase.
A simple example:
- How people usually name images: “pic 3”, “Flowers 5”, etc.
- How your image titles should be: “five-tips-for-search-engine-optimization” or “the-best-practices-for-SEO-in-2020″…
The ideal image size is below 70kb. If your image is bigger, try using online image compression sites such as TinyPNG, TinyJPG, Image optimizer, WeCompress, EzGif to make it smaller. Smaller images take less time to load, thus enhance the user browsing experience.
6. Prefer high-quality links
The quantity and quality of links (to other websites) on your page are also part of the search engine algorithm calculations. Search engines prefer more trusted sites such as BBC.com rather than a link from an unknown blog. An article with trusted sources would be considered much better in quality.
7. Refine your writing
Read more high-quality articles from reputable websites and train your eyes for a pleasing writing style. Try using short and concise paragraphs and sentences. Find someone good at writing to proofread and edit your article.
8. Be your own advocate and promote your article
Finishing writing and publishing should not be the end of your attention to your article. Make sure to share it with your friends, former colleagues, and anyone who you think would be interested in it. Post it on your social media and try to engage with your audience.
Last but not least, not everyone is an expert in writing online, much less in SEO. You can always come back and look through these easy tips while preparing for each one of your articles. Just take it easy and have fun writing away!
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Photo credit : https://diggitymarketing.com/keyword-cannibalization/
Thanks for the insightful guide as always! Really appreciate it as it is always helping my business immensely
According to the study conducted by Moz, Google’s display titles max out (currently) at 600 pixels: https://moz.com/learn/seo/title-tag
A majority of the meta titles and meta descriptions that SEOs write get truncated due to the lack of understanding about how Google SERP works. Even the SEO experts tend to make this mistake, which stemmed from an age-old belief that Google considers 70 and 160 as the character limit for the title and description, respectively.
If you want to see what Google will show for your article, use a tool like Google SERP Simulator https://www.serpure.com to preview them and keep them under the limit.
Keep up the great work!
Great article easy reading and comprehension.
Excellent article, very clear and easy to understand for those of us who are writers, being important to link in our day to day these practical and simple recommendations. Writing for the public should always be light and easy and with a sequence that allows to focus the overall idea, but that the main idea is clear! Thank you!
This blog is very informative.
great tips for writing an article for my website.
Thank you for the guide. I appreciate the information offered.
A suggestion: darken the gray text on your website. Make it high contrast and easy to read for those who aren’t eagle-eyed.
Thank you for the article. It was helpful for me and my website.