Are you trying to grow your online business in 2021? If yes, then SEO is something that you must work upon. Publishing search-engine-optimized articles on your blog can increase your visibility to a great extent. It also gives you a chance to establish your authority over the domain and increase your credibility. These 10 tips will help you create SEO-optimised articles in 2021 without any trouble so that you can take your business to the next level.
#1 Find the right keywords
No matter how much people boast about conversational content and natural language processing. Keywords will remain an essential element in ranking your post on the search engines. Keywords are required to understand what exactly your audience is looking for, how people search for things (or ideas/topics) in your niche, and which topics are trending. So, make sure you do keyword research and base your articles accordingly.
#2 Optimise for featured snippets
Whenever people search for something on Google, a featured snippet is displayed before the other web pages. This featured snippet is probably the most correct, short, easy, and quick answer to their query. So, if you are optimizing your content for featured snippets, you can appear first on a search engine results page.
To ensure that, make sure you answer the questions correctly that your audience might be looking for. Answer multiple questions in one article to increase the chances of appearing in a featured snippet. Each featured snippet is between 40-50 words so make sure not to extend your paragraphs. Last, but not least, you may add a how-to section in your website where you can provide blog posts that answer the common questions of your readers.
#3 Do not write for search engines
If you are creating superficial content, stuffed with keywords and backlinks just to showcase how authentic your content is, think again before publishing. Your articles must be for your readers and not for Google bots. Here are a few ways to ensure that:
- Include anecdotes, stories or narratives to make your articles interesting to read.
- Relate with the audience. If you are giving a solution to their problem, empathize with them. Show them that you have been there and you crossed the obstacles.
- Connect with your audience on an emotional level. Motivate them, inspire them and make them feel that it is your product that they need to make their lives better.
#4 Include meta descriptions and tags
Tags describe what your article is about. You can include as many tags with your post but we recommend you add at least 3 to 10 tags only. Make sure the tags that you are using are not redundant. For example, if you are using ‘SEO strategy‘ as a tag then using ‘SEO strategies’ again as a tag does not make sense.
A meta tag is also a description of your webpage or article or a blog post but in a little elaborative form. Meta description generally appears below the title of your article in the search engine results. A meta description is generally up to 275 characters and must include a few keywords related to your webpage.
Including meta descriptions and tags can help the search engines understand your content better and hence they can rank you easily. So do not forget to include them while optimizing your article for SEO.
#5 Make your content readable
If you have included headers in your article such as H1, H2, H3 and so on, it becomes much easier for your readers as well as Google bots to understand what is in your article. Similarly, other elements like including lists, bullet points and short paragraphs enhance the presentation and readability of your content.
So, if a user opens your article and spends some time skimming through your content, it will increase the session time. On the other hand, if a user opens your article and bonus back immediately because you have written long paragraphs with no headings and formatting, the bounce rate of your website will increase.
#6 Add internal and external links
You need to show that your website produces content related to one niche. So, your articles must be interconnected. Whenever you create an article make sure you create a scope of linking your article with an article that you have published previously. Internal linking will make it easier for people to navigate through your site and move from one piece of content to another.
Adding internal links will showcase the search engine bots that you are producing content for the same niche. They will decide that it is the main focus of your blog and your content must be placed higher. The more focused your content is, the more authoritative your website will appear to the bots.
External linking is also important for great SEO. To establish yourself as a high-authority website, you must get links from other higher authority websites. It improves your credibility. By linking articles of related content, you can tell search engines what your blog is about. Moreover, it is fair to give credit to a site from which you have taken some information for your article. It is very beneficial if that site is a trustworthy source.
#7 Do not stuff keywords
Keywords are important for the search engine but too many keywords indicate that you are doing that on purpose and that purpose is to rank well. There could be four scenarios when you end up stuffing keywords in your article.
- Repeating the same keyword multiple times throughout the article
- Adding keywords that are not relevant to your article
- Inserting blocks of a keyword again and again in your article
- Using keywords just to rank higher (placing keywords out of context)
#8 Consider the length of your article
According to HubSpot, the length of an ideal blog post suitable for SEO is around 2,100-2,400 words. However, this does not mean that short articles are not appreciated by users. If you are willing to increase your leads, writing long posts is suggested as it increases the chances of a higher ranking of your article. HubSpot also suggests different lengths ideal for different kinds of posts:
- A pillar page should be around 4000 words as it has to cover a topic in-depth.
- Listicles should be around 2,300-2,600 words. The more examples you can discuss, the better.
- ‘How-to’ blog posts should be around 1,700 and 2,100 words.
- ‘What is’ blog posts should be around 1,300 and 1,700 words.
#9 Use transitions words
Transition words, as the name suggests, make it easier for the reader to navigate throughout your article and understand it better. Transition words also make it easier for the reader to move from one paragraph to the next, understanding the link between them. Some commonly used transition words include, however, firstly, first of all, moreover, second of all, lastly, similarly, etc. You may check how many times I have used a transition word in this post. Try reading the post without them and you will understand the difference.
#10 Keep your blog active
Adding content once a month would not do any good to your blog. You must keep telling the search engines that your website is alive so that their bots can crawl over your website more often. A good way to do this is by keeping an editorial calendar for your blog. This way you can keep up with a schedule and post articles on time.
It is also advised that you must republish your old articles that are not performing so well in the search engines. Such content would be the one that gets no traffic, has no page views, does not rank on Page 1 and so on. There might be certain articles on your site that have earned some traffic, rank well but fail to bring any leads or conversions. You need to update those articles and refresh them.
Creating SEO-optimized content is not rocket science. You just need to keep in mind that you are creating content for human readers and not for search engines. Find what your audience wants to read by doing keyword research. Optimize your content for featured snippets by providing the most correct, short, easy, and quick explanations to users’ queries. Connect with your audience on an emotional level. Include meta descriptions and tags so that users can understand what your article is about.
Make your content readable by including headers in your articles along with bullet points, transition words and short paragraphs. However, do not stuff keywords in the article. Include internal and external links in your posts. Consider the length of your article based on what kind of article you are writing. Lastly, keep your blog active by posting articles regularly and updating old content. Hope these tips will help you grow your blog and enhance your business in 2021 and beyond.