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How to Format Articles for SEO

By Edited May 11, 2016 2 3

Writing online is a hard way to earn extra cash, and even when users become successful, the pressures become more and more. Written articles must meet certain guidelines to gain a large target audience, and yet more guidelines if the articles in question stand to garner mass traffic for the author.

SEO is a basic component of any written content on the Internet, and while it is fairly simple to learn, it does take time to master, and can be frustrating for beginning writers. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and when writers talk about SEO value, they talk about how easily search engine traffic can reach the article, based on target keywords used in the article. This is extremely important because if an article has a high SEO value with target keywords that are commonly searched, like "weight loss" or "Microsoft", then it can gain massive traffic daily with little or no effort from the author.

In order to improve an article's SEO value, writers must have a few target keywords already selected, and make sure to use them as much as possible in the article. The keywords must flow naturally with the article, however, or else search engines will consider it spam and won't crawl it. The SEO effectiveness of the article is determined through keyword density, which is a percentage that shows how often the keyword shows up in the article. For example, in a 200 word article about weight loss, the keyword "nutrition" was used ten times, given the article a keyword density of 5%. While writers have never agreed on the best percentage to aim for, a good amount is between 4-7%.

Article SEO value is also determined by back links to the article, or links on other sites that lead to the article. Linking to an article on social bookmarking sites, like Stumble or Digg, is a great way to get traffic and links, because many people will share content they find on sites like these. Getting links to articles is very hard to do, and the best way to make sure the article becomes popular and back linked is to make it extremely well written about a popular or specialized topic, and keep out the fluff so that the article is only helpful and informative.

One last thing that SEO value is effected by is the title of the article. Placing a keyword that has a high keyword density in the body of the article in the title will make the article rank better in search engines, and also convince readers to click on the article itself, encouraging more traffic. Titles should contain phrases that could be typed into search engines. For example, an article titled "Does the Acai Berry Diet Work?" would get more views than if the very same article was entitled "Acai Berry Diet: Truth, or Brazen Lie?" because no one would look up "brazen lie" or include a colon in their search.

These three components, keyword density, targeting titles, and back linking, are all the steps that need to be taken for a writer to have success with his article and earn a decent amount of traffic, and therefore money, with their writing.



Jun 28, 2010 12:36am
excellent article with lots of great info. You have a nice writing style by the way.
Aug 22, 2010 7:24pm
Good topic, good suggestions, thanks-
Sep 27, 2010 2:00am
Actually keyword density depends on the keyword phrase used. It is impossible to achieve 4% keyword density with long-tailed keyword phrase.
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