Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can be complex. This is because there is a considerable body of knowledge associated with SEO. There is on-page SEO and off-page SEO. There are inbound links and outbound links. There is internal linking to consider and page ranking to weigh. Finally, there is the effort of keeping up with Google’s algorithmic changes. Yes, just when webmasters were beginning to feel that they had been able to deduce how Google was playing the SEO game, along came Panda and Penguin. These new animals in Google’s algorithm zoo, despite their cute names, were rather ferocious and shook off a lot of fruit from the tree of abundance.

As a result of so factors to consider when it comes to search engine optimization, many website owners become so overwhelmed that they assume the default position of not doing any SEO at all.

However, one way to get good at anything that is complex due to the number of variables to consider and possible ways to do it, it is to focus on something that is simple and doable. One way to simplify a complex task is to chunk it down into manageable parts or “lean into it.” Learning how to write and optimize articles is also an excellent way to begin learning all about SEO, web marketing, social media marketing, and Internet marketing.

The Many Benefits of Writing Articles

It’s a useful skill to learn how to SEO an article.

An article is a piece of content that can be used in multiple ways:

• It can be used to draw attention to a website by providing authoritative content.
• It can be used as a blog post to provide fresh, cutting-edge information.
• It can be used for article marketing by placing the article in an article directory
• It can be used to become a recognized expert in your field by offering articles for guest blogging.
• It can be re-purposed for additional content. One way to re-purpose content is to use a collection of articles from a blog to make an e-book. Another way is to convert the the unique ideas presented in an article into bullet-point for a slideshow in a video.

Two Ways to Get the Most out of an Article

An article should be attractive for both human readers and search engine crawlers.

First, write the article with the idea of giving people entertaining, educational, and practical value.

Second, add the elements of SEO to the article to attract the attention of search engine crawlers.

12 Ways to Improve Readability And SEO an Article

Here, then, are a dozen ways to optimize an article for maximum exposure:

1. Carefully select your keywords. Begin with keyword research. Find keywords that have a high search volume and low competition. There are numerous free and paid keyword research tools available, most of which have a highly intuitive interface and can be learned in just a few minutes.
2. Focus on getting two groups of keywords. The first group should be considered your primary keyword. The second group should be considered your secondary keywords. While you will strategically place your primary keyword in your article, freely sprinkle your secondary keywords for latent semantic indexing purposes.
3. Besides looking for keywords that have high search volume and low competition, your keywords should also be evaluated based on their relevance to your theme, the attention they attract to your products or service, and the value they offer your target audience.
4. Make sure your keywords flow with the content of your text. In other words, keywords should be placed so naturally that the human reader does not find them either repetitious or incongruous. Yet, at the same time, these keywords should offer the search engine crawlers plenty of clues about your article’s theme.
5. Insert your keywords into your headings and subheadings. While it is important to put your primary keyword in your headings, it’s fine to use your secondary keywords within your subheadings. This will create a natural flow to the article without making the article look like it was designed just to get the attention of search engine crawlers.
6. Place your primary keyword in your lead paragraph, in the middle of your article, and in the last paragraph. How often you use your primary keyword in the middle of your article depends on its length. A general rule of thumb to hit the right keyword density is to use the keywords once per 100 words.
7. Avoid keyword stuffing. It is generally advisable to have a 1% density of keywords. Some SEO experts claim that Google does not object to a density of 3%, but with the increasing sophistication of Google’s algorithms, it is better to lean on the safe side rather than be penalized for keyword spamming.
8. Use the same voice in your article. For example, stick to you the first person, second person, or third person voice as much as possible. While this is not a hard-and- fast rule, it makes it easier for readers to follow your ideas and for search engine crawlers to identify your theme.
9. Prefer active sentences over passive sentences. Active sentences use action verbs.
10. If the article is about a product review, don’t just write about the features, but also about the benefits.
11. If you wish to share several ideas with your readers, write several articles, each one focusing on one big idea and developing it fully.
12. Make your articles scannable. People read on the web in a different way than they read books and magazine articles. They appear to be more impatient, tending to skim, rather than read word-for-word. So, by making an article scannable, you will increase readership. You can make an article easy to scan by writing shorter paragraphs, with an average of five sentences each paragraph. You can also chunk your information down using literary devices like subheads, lists, bullets, and enumerated lists.

Final Thoughts

Writing articles are an excellent way to improve your SEO and to learn other Internet marketing skills, too. Well-optimized articles on your website will improve your on-page SEO and articles on other websites leading back to your website will increase your off-page SEO.

Research Sources

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Search_engine_optimization
http://www.seomoz.org/beginners-guide-to-seo/how-search-engines-operate

How to Write an SEO Article – Part 1

SEO Advice: Writing useful articles that readers will love