How to Write an Article for the Web
There is a whole science in writing articles for the web. Below you will find useful recommendations about how to write an article for the web. These are the best practices for choosing the right keywords (the title and subheadings of your article), structuring your content, writing the text and publishing your article on the Web.
Once published you can also take advantage of the different social media channels to spread the word. This way your article will be visited more times and will be fully read. At the end of the day we write so that people read our message. We want to answer their questions, give solutions to their problems and share knowledge. So we need to write for the reader and to write in the way people like to read online.
Every article we write should support the goals of our site and “feed” it with more valuable content.
We get ideas for blogpost keywords (the topics of our articles) during our extensive keyword research. Blogpost keywords should be related to our main site keywords, our category and tag keywords, and our product keywords.
Have a good schedule plan and be consistent – 1 time a month, once in two weeks, 1 new article per week… We should build our plan according to our capability and follow it for the next 1 year if we want to see optimum results.
Choose the right keywords!
Remember: Keywords are people’s questions or people’s problems and could be 1 or 2 words, a phrase or even a short sentence.
The first 10 organic search results Google displays – these are the best and most relevant answers to people’s questions. And we want to become one of the first 10, better one of the first 2-3.
- a) Keyword demand
The demand of a keyword – this means the average number of Google searches of this particular keyword per month for the last 1 year.
We check this in Google Adwords and in Google Search Console. In order to see exact numbers we have to create Google Adwords campaign and pay for it (like 10 Euro investment). Once the campaign is active and charging, then the exact numbers start to appear. Otherwise we can see only a scope of searches (1-100, 100 – 1000…), which makes planning more difficult.
Low demanded blog keywords: 10 – 20 searches per month for the last 1 year.
Higher demanded blog keywords: up to 200 searches per month for the last 1 year
- b) Publishing plan
We start with 4-5 articles with low demanded keywords.
Then we add 1 article with higher demanded keyword.
Then we publish 3-4 more articles with low demanded keywords.
- c) Use long tail keywords
Long tail keywords are long phrases, which are very specific.
For example: human rights of indigenous peoples
It is advisory to work mostly with long tail keywords, which can basically be the titles of our articles.
- d) Check keyword context
For example I would like to write an article about how to develop a digital marketing strategy.
For keyword digital marketing Google Search shows results of digital marketing agencies.
Is this what my article will be about? No!
So, I should choose the keywords wisely. ‘How to develop a digital marketing strategy’ would be a better target keyword for this article.
- e) Check the competition
Once you choose your keyword, check the first results on Google search coming with your keyword.
Try to understand why they come at first positions. See if there is anything you can improve on your article, so you can offer better content than them and appear before them with your article.
- f) Check related keywords
Very useful is to check in Google Adwords the related keywords to your main blogpost keyword.
- h) Usage of keywords
Never optimise two different articles with the same keyword! Use 1 keyword for 1 article or page only!
Keywords might be very very similar, but if Google lists them as separate units, then you are OK.
For example: conscious living and living consciously are two different keywords.
Structuring your article
- Title – (the main blogpost keyword)
- Lead – the summary of your article.
- H2 – subheading (related keyword)
- H2 – subheading
- H2 – subheading
General recommendations for online articles:
- We put the essence in the beginning of the article (in the so called lead, or the summary) and the whole remaining text explains that essence with more details.
- The lead should convince the reader that the article is fully relevant to the title.
- The lead should include the title in the text (meaning the main blogpost keyword), preferably in the first paragraph.
- We put the essence, the most important message of a paragraph, in its first sentence. So every paragraph should start with the essence of it.
- We divide the article in as many short paragraphs as it makes sense. Each parapgaph should be able to stand by its own.
- We write short sentences. However, we use transitional words to connect the different sentences and paragraphs (example: Thus, Then, That’s why, However, Therefore, Consequently…)
- We use bullet points and numbered lists wherever possible
- We use subheadings (h2) for different sections of the article, if it is appropriate. For longer articles we might need h3 subheadings for subsections.
- We use synonyms in the text.
- Article should be minimum 300 words long, generally up to 600 words.
- For very long articles we might better split the content in two individual articles.
- Google likes long articles, for example 1000 words, but if it is written very well and gives true value to the user.
- People will read long articles, if they are very valuable deep scientific research on the topic.
- Do not forget to add a conclusion in the end.
- Avoid brackets (example) whenever possible. Better use commas , or dashes –
- Consider your audience – who are you writing for? What style of expression will suit them the most?
- Your main blogpost keyword should appear maximum 2% in your text, including the subheadings, picture descriptions, etc. This means maximum 2 times in 100 words. You can check this in WordPress admin page if you have Yoast SEO plugin installed.
Optimising your article
- We add minimum 1 picture to the article. Image size should be max 100kb. This picture file should be called with the same name as the title of the article. Alt text should be added to the picture. Alt text describes the image. Best is if the Alt text is different from the picture name.
- You can embed a youtube video – ideally the video should be with the same title as the article. The description of the video on Youtube page should also be optimised to contain the main blogpost keyword and link to the article.
- You can add internal links – links to other articles or pages on your website. It is better if these links are added in the first half of your article.
- You can add advertisements within the text – this means that you add a sentence with a link to your product page. You visually separate the advertisement with separation lines or / and different text color. Your product page could be a donation page, a subscription page, a signing a declaration page…
- Use Yoast WordPress plugin and add meta tags for your article:
- Meta title – by default it will be the title of your article. If your title is optimised then it will contain your main blogpost keyword.
- Focus keyword – here insert your main blogpost keyword
- Meta description – it should be maximum 130 characters (letters with spacing) This means you have 130 characters to convince the reader that your article will answer their question. Here you “sell” your article. It should be inspiring and catchy to check it out. It should also include the main blogpost keyword.
- Do not over optimise your articles. And do not optimise all your articles. In 8 articles 1 may not be optimised. And from all recommendations for optimisation, some recommendations may be discarded. For example Yoast plugin may tell you that your title is very long, or very short, but if it makes sense to you and is good for the reader, then leave it as it is.
Sharing your article
The most popular and important Social Media channels: Youtube, Google +, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest!
Very important to develop Pinterest, because it is still not so powerful, but growing very fast and if we have good positions on it now, we will be very well positioned when it becomes fully developed. In Pinterest we create boards and publish pictures. Most likable are nice pictures with quotes on them. The boards created should be keywords that support our goals. Pinterest has keyword search by itself – the search of the site. Use it to define the titles of the boards.
Google + is not very developed, but it helps your website SEO – search engine optimisation.
Google and Facebook are like enemies. Google does not improve your direct ranking if you publish your content directly on Facebook. We share our website articles on Facebook. We do not forget to write a short custom message for the article, when we share it. The share article brings Facebook users to our site. This is considered a no-follow link, meaning Google does not count the number of visits to the site from Facebook. But our popularity in Facebook increases our Social Media Footprint and it benefits the site indirectly.
The same thing with videos. We do not publish videos directly on Facebook – unless we are live streaming on Facebook 🙂 We publish videos – with optimised titles and descriptions – on Youtube and then share the videos on Facebook.
There is a whole science how to write an article for the web. And to be excellent, it takes time, research and practice. We need to consider how to choose our topics, how to structure the content, how to write the texts, how to publish and share the articles, and last but not least, how to optimize them in order to rank better in Google search.