Defining SEO Article Writing
Let us be honest. Writing is hard enough without having to worry about making sure every article you publish is SEO optimized. Or is it?
SEO is shorthand for Search Engine Optimization. Put the two words together and you have the definition of an article that is optimized for search engine visibility. When I first started writing, I learned everything there is to know about this subject by researching hundreds of articles, blog columns, books, and case studies. The recurring theme, repeated repeatedly, was that either the writer was 100% for it or he or she took a hard-line attitude against it because it cramped his or her writing style.
Seeing the world in black and white with a little bit of gray matter in between it is not such a bad thing. You can bet that once you learn how to optimize your content for seo purposes and you see the results, you will be hooked and never turn back. If you research this topic with an open mind, it will take you less than a few weeks to start optimizing your own writing style. You will not even be conscious of doing it. It will become second nature.
The hardliners against seo article writing often think "by educating others on the subject they might steal my coveted search engine listing." Alternatively, they might simply think, "Let's be honest here. Writing is hard enough for some of us without having to worry about making sure our articles are seo optimized." The second frame of mind is a prime example of being sluggishly complacent and doing just enough to get by as a writer.
As a writer, your main concern should be to get visibility of the content you write. Common sense says you can be a great writer but without the right exposure, you will never become popular. Optimizing your content to rank high within search engines will in fact get you the exposure you deserve. How is this accomplished?
Applying SEO Techniques
It all starts with keyword density. Keyword density is the percentage of times a word or phrase is found within a webpage in direct correlation to the total number of words on that page. The calculation goes like this:
Target Keyword Count/Total Word Count * 100 = Density %
The optimal density range is from 1% to 3%. The Content Authority takes a middle ground with a 2% keyword option on written content.
SEO article writing is not limited to keyword density though. In order to have a fully optimized article you have to conform to the World Wide Web Consortium (w3c) standards. These standards include properly filling in image alt attributes, using a variety of heading tags, and quoting your sources to name a few. Search engines look at the W3C standards and base parts of their algorithm on these areas of accessibility for the impaired.
Summarizing Keyword Density
When you begin to write your next masterpiece or even a simple blog post, I want you to reflect on what is most important to you as a writer. A little research, some work and application of the right seo techniques to your content can help you rank faster and higher than you have before. The idea behind keyword density stems directly from search engines wanting to present the most relevant and well-written content in their search engine result pages (serp) to the user. It is actually rather simple once you learn how—you might even find you already write with the 2% keyword rule and I hope to help you over the next few blog columns to do just that.
Shawn Manaher is the founder and CEO of The Content Authority. He's one part content manager, one part writing ninja organizer, and two parts leader of top content creators. You don't even want to know what he calls pancakes.