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AC Nuggets: Writing SEO Articles Fit For Human Consumption

In AC Nuggets, Writing Tips on January 23, 2008 at 7:00 am

Many AC writers struggle with writing SEO articles that can capture the reader’s attention just like a ‘normal’ article. If search engine optimization and keyword dense articles aren’t part of your vocabulary, you’re missing an important element of web writing. And one that’s probably costing you.

With thousands of AC writers frantically trying to ‘promote’ articles, sending off links to innocent souls, joining social networks to share their work, it’s hard to determine what’s actually working. Most are quickly disappointed when that page view counter just won’t budge.

Promoting your articles via Yahoo! Answers, Facebook, and yes, even MySpace, are great for building readership and staying in touch with fans and other writers. However, they offer only a limited amount of page views that will make a difference to your bottom line.

If you find yourself dropping links and chit-chatting away for hours in hopes of generating page views for just one article, it’s time to get back to the basics.

Writing a quality article designed for the search engines.

Writing for search engines doesn’t mean you have to spit out non-sensical paragraphs, keyword strings, or write copy that’s screams manipulation.

There’s an art and science of writing SEO articles that are fit for human consumption. Here’s what you need to know:

1. Choose keywords with less competition. No matter how popular the terms ‘diet’, ‘Chicago restaurants’, and ‘Google’ may be, you need to create content and headlines with a twist. For example,’ South Beach Diet Plans for Diabetics’, ‘Top Ten Low Carb Chicago Restaurants’, and ‘Google Hacks for Improved Productivity’ are all much better titles and keyword phrases that can make your article more unique, focused on a specific topic, and most importantly, rank higher on the search engines.

2. Use your keyword or phrase within the first sentence. This requires a little extra creativity, especially when you’re determined to get that strong lead to your article. Still, it can be done.

3. Focus on the power of 3. You want to aim for at least 3 keywords per 100 words (a 3% density). This can be a challenge and make your article sound repetitive if you’re not careful. The best way to manage this is by writing your article ‘naturally’ during your first draft, then going back and inserting the keywords accordingly.

‘Keyword stuffing’ is soon to become obsolete, however.  With Google fine-tuning its efforts by indexing only high quality sites and articles, you’ll  need to take an extra step to make your article work: use synonyms, relevant phrases, and alternate keywords throughout your piece.

4. Stay relevant. Even if you’ve used keyword tracker software and Google’s own keyword search tool to find out which niche topics to write about, pick out only one or two relevant keywords and fly with them. Stuffing an article with 5-6 different keywords is not only hard to read, but will also make the article much harder to write.

5. Set a limit on length. A high quality SEO article is no shorter than 300 words (AC only accepts articles of 400 words and above), and no longer than 500-600 words. This means you might have to pare it down to size for the strongest impact. This is also the perfect length for the average reader on the internet.

6. Use links in your first two paragraphs. If you’re going to add links to your articles, make sure they’re included in at least the first two paragraphs. Avoid linking to anything in the introduction, and keep the intro itself short, concise, and written with at least 2 keywords.

7. Include a keyword in your closing statement. Your article’s conclusion needs to include the keyword or keyphrase at least once.

These are just seven of the most important elements of writing SEO articles that work.

Here are some insights and tips from fellow CPs:

SEO: Writing For Search Engines by Lea Barton

How to Write SEO Articles in Four Easy Steps by Yuwanda Black

SEO 101: What Kind of Web Site Content is Google Looking For? by Rob Mead

Have more tips or suggestions? Please do share!

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