If you're a budding writer, Search Engine Optimisation (or SEO) is a term you need to familiarize yourself with. Understanding the basic optimisation techniques will give you a distinct advantage with the 3.5 BILLION potential readers using google for their daily search needs. Although it might seem like a complicated term, it's actually quite simple and straightforward - in fact, 'the more simple, the better' is the general rule of SEO. As a Creator, we want to help you tap into as many audiences as possible, so this chapter is intended to help you corner a whole new, incredibly active market as a writer in the digital age.
Why is SEO important?
As a writer, understanding how to optimise your articles for google search is one of the most fundamental building blocks for your career. One thing we know is that Facebook and other social platforms are unpredictable and heavily fluctuating sources of traffic. Google search, on the other hand - is a solid rock of consistent traffic potential, if you know how to speak to it.
So let's go through the most important steps to SEO success that you should be considering with each and every post.
Structure is very important to the Google bots - they scan through your articles and look for the structure they have found to be the most readable and relevant, based on bounce rates and feedback. Therefore, always make sure your article has a clear introduction of the topic, a body, and a conclusion (just like writing a paper - only FUN!). Most importantly - make sure you drop the main keyword within the first 100 words.
Google loves headings! Why? Because headings help provide structure to your article, and once again - Google loves structure. Headings help the bots identify the main points of your article and lead readers to the information they want to read. Try to use keywords in some of your headings as well, if possible.
One common mistake is that writers tend to start a new paragraph without beginning a new topic or line of thought. It's important not to start a new paragraph while still continuing the same main point. This is confusing to the reader, and therefore, to Google. A good paragraph should have one main subject, and all of the sentences within should work to support that subject or idea.
4. Including Links to Previous Articles
If you wrote an article on the same or similar topic or previously, link to it within your post. This is a win-win for everybody - the reader spends longer on the site, thus on your articles, and therefore - Google determines it to be a worthy post befitting all its traffic glory.
5. Post Length and Key Words
As a general rule, try to add the main keywords (movie title, for example) in around 1% of the total text. Key words are the most relevant search terms for your article to help drive readers to your content. So if you've written an article about Captain America: Civil War, the movie title along with some other key terms like 'Marvel' 'MCU' and 'Iron Man' would be keywords. If you have an article of 300 words, you should aim to mention the search terms at least once. We don't want to encourage 'keyword spamming' on the other hand, so don't repeatedly add the same keywords in order to try to attract attention to your piece. The article should flow smoothly throughout, using keywords only where appropriate.
Obviously, high quality images are much more effective than low quality. Just as with a social post, the more unique the image, the better. Everyone can search for an image via google search, but spending a little time looking for something more unique - via instagram or twitter, for example - will be totally worth it when your post stands out amongst the other articles with the same old Batman V Superman poster as its main image. Also - when you're saving an image, give it a descriptive name; instead of DSC456.jpg, rename it 'Batman Ben Affleck 2016', as anyone searching for those keywords in the images field of google are likely to come across your image, and therefore, sent to your article.
If you follow these rules, you're already 100 steps ahead of the rest when it comes to being loved by the all powerful Google. Keep in mind that Google is constantly evolving, and will from time to time alter what it considers to be relevant content. The good news is that we'll be here to share that information with you, so you always remain at the top of your game. Now go forth, spread Google glory and wait to see YOUR name appear at the top of the search field.
To demonstrate your understanding of a well-optimized SEO article, please submit an assignment piece using the tools and principles we've set out for you above.
- Does your article have a clear introduction, body and conclusion?
- Do you have a strong heading, including the most relevant key words relating to the subject of your article?
- Do you have one main point per paragraph?
- Have you linked to previous or related articles within your post?
- Have you included key words and phrases within your article?
- Have you chosen high quality, unique images?
Here are some great recent examples from our Creators you can check out for inspiration. Notice the perfect use of key words in the titles:
- 5 Questions We Have After Finishing 'Stranger Things'
- Where's Wolverine? 3 Reasons Why Hugh Jackman Isn't In The X-Men Apocalypse Trailer
- DC Announces New 'The Flash' Villain Named Godspeed: Here's What We Know