While there are very many criteria for an article to be well ranked by search engines, we have picked ten simple, but essential rules to follow!
1.Search for keywords using free SEO tools
There are a number of free tools available to help you find keywords and, more importantly, keywords frequently used in online searches. I recommend the following:
- Google Keyword Planner : This tool produced by Google provides keyword lists, with monthly search volumes, offering a guide as to which terms to choose. In order to use it, you simply need an active Adwords account to see exact volumes. Otherwise, the tool only provides estimations.
- Google Trends : As its name suggests, this tool, also from Google, allows you to see search trends for a given keyword. It offers the advantage of being able to compare trends for several keywords.
- Suggestion Keyword Finder : This third tool provides keyword ideas, but without related volumes. You can use its three-level system to get many variations based on the target keyword.
- Soovle : Soovle provides ideas for keywords to use and lets you save them in lists.
2.Insert the keyword in the "Google title" (aka HTML title)
Once you have selected your keyword, you can start to create content.
The HTML title of a page plays an essential role in its optimisation (and, therefore, its ranking). Ideally, the HTML title should be the same as the title of your article and must contain the keyword.
You should also try to keep titles short (70 characters maximum), so make them succinct!
3.Insert the keyword in the lead
The lead is the article's introductory paragraph. It should, by definition, be shorter than the body of the text and mention the target keyword at least once. In terms of length, the lead should ideally contain at least 160 characters.
You may use synonyms of the keyword(s) to avoid repeating terms too often and make the article more pleasant to read. Google has introduced a system that automatically includes synonyms in search results. For example, 'film' and 'movie' describe the same concept.
Try to make sure that the result is natural.
5. Add subheadings
Well-ranked content is structured using subheadings. These should be informative and enable readers, and Google, to rapidly scan the page. Insert your target keyword in at least one of the subheadings.
6. Aim for at least 1200 characters or 250 words
Google only considers articles of at least 1200 characters (around 250 words) to be relevant. It rarely highlights short articles.
Be careful, however, with long articles: I would recommend dividing these into several pages to improve engagement. For example, if the length exceeds 1000 words.
Ideally, use the target keyword two or three times in the article. There is no ideal number of repetitions for the keyword, but avoid repeating it too often.
7.Include internal links
In order to further improve the visibility of your article, remember to include at least one link to a related article on your website. If the target keyword is in the text containing the URL, all the better.
8.Include external links (with caution)
Use of external sources is also recommended. This is one of the basics of SEO. However, they should be selected with caution: avoid inserting an active link to a page on a direct competitor's website. Otherwise, you will increase the competitor's standing in search results.
I would advise inserting a link to a page on the website of an indirect competitor, such as Wikipedia, an institution or a local authority.
The final step before publication: tagging. Tags allow your article to be listed according to the subject covered, making it easier for search engines to find and, therefore, for Internet users to read. Use three at the most and check whether they exist already.
Also, tags must be in the form of a complete name. For example, write 'Harry Kane' instead of just 'Kane', and 'United Kingdom' instead of 'UK'. The singular form should also be preferred (for example: "economic crisis").
10.Share your article on social networks
Now it's time to promote your article! A link on Twitter, Facebook or other social networks can speed up indexation of your article and, therefore, boost its presence on Google (Google News in particular).
These ten golden SEO rules for publishing online are simple to follow and do not require advanced SEO knowledge. They are accessible for all web writers, so start writing!