Most small businesses have a limited budget for advertising, and that includes website design and search engine optimization. If you can’t afford to hire a professional, your only option is to learn to do it yourself. That’s why so many business owners are the CEO, accountant, service provider, cashier, and delivery driver all rolled into one. If you decide to do your own search engine optimization, you’ll need to learn how to write an article for SEO. That’s what this article is all about.
Pick the Right Keyword Phrase First
Did I pick a good keyword phrase for this article? Maybe, maybe not. It should be really easy to rank for, but there aren’t many people searching for it—less than 10 per month. While I don’t recommend that you go out of your way to pick keywords with no traffic, one of my best keywords ever had almost no traffic, so I don’t completely discount these keywords. It turns out that you’ll often get traffic from similar keywords too, so it all works out.
You do want to give yourself the best possible chance, though, so you need to learn how to pick keyword phrases that are more likely to be easy to rank and bring in some traffic. If you’re selling something, you also want to look for buying keywords. If someone is looking for a sale price or a review of your product, they may be getting ready to place an order, and that’s the best time to catch them.
Use Keyword Project Manager for Keyword Research
Right now, my favorite keyword research tool is Keyword Project Manager. Keyword Project Manager (affiliate link) is the keyword research tool recommended by The Keyword Academy (affiliate link), which I have been a member of for years.
I’m not going to walk you through how to use Keyword Project Manager, but I will tell you why I like it so much. It looks up the PageRank of the top four sites ranking in Google for the keywords you check and color codes them so you can see at a glance whether the keyword will be easy to rank for or not. 0 (easy) is green and 6 and above are red. In the middle are some oranges and chartreuse.
See how those keywords are all red? It’s the green ones you want to go after, preferably those that get at least 100 searches per month. If you check enough keywords, you’ll find them, but here’s a hint: Try filtering your keywords so that you see only those with at least 4 or 5 words and check those first. It takes a long time to analyze all of the keywords if you have a lot of them, and you are much more likely to find good keywords among the longtails. Analyze those first and you’ll save yourself some time.
Writing Your SEO Article
Now that you’ve picked a keyword, you’re ready to write. Make sure the keyword is in the title, URL, meta title, content, and meta description. Need help remembering that? If you’re using WordPress, install the free WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin to help you out.
As you can see, the plugin makes it easy to get all of the SEO stuff right when you’re writing your article. Don’t stress about using your keyword a certain number of times; Google is talking about cracking down on over-optimization. Just use it at least once or twice in the content and you’re good.
As far as the content goes, you might be wondering how long it needs to be. The answer is that it needs to be long enough to give the searcher what they’re looking for. You’re looking for information on how to write an SEO article, and I’m giving it to you. Now look at that last sentence. See how I almost used the keyword phrase but not quite? Once you’ve used your keyword once or twice, if the phrase comes up again, try to change it up a little. This makes it more likely that your article will rank for more than just your primary keyword.
The Quality of Your SEO Article
It should go without saying that the quality needs to be excellent, but a lot of people like to cut corners. Don’t do that. Write an outstanding article. If you can’t write an outstanding article, hire someone who can.
According to SEO by the Sea, Google has recently purchased patents from Xerox that will help it score document quality. The algorithms are getting more and more sophisticated, and the only way to ensure that you won’t be hit in the next update is to give the search engines what they’re looking for: good, quality content that answers the question the searcher is asking.
So how did I do? Did I tell you what you needed to know? Is there anything I missed that you need to know when writing an SEO article? Please feel free to add to the conversation in the comments.
Update: This article originally recommended Niche Refinery for keyword research. The Keyword Academy used to own Niche Refinery, but sold it to someone else, who changed the name to Keyword Project Manager. It’s still the same tool.