To explain Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and how to best work with freelance writers, I wrote and submitted a series of ten articles to several ezines. Not only did this content help my clients understand what original content can do for them, but it also helped me make the transition from scriptwriter/video producer to business content writer. Links to other articles on this topic are at the bottom of the page.
By Jan Fishler
There are differences between articles written for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and those targeted for a more general audience. Here are some helpful guidelines for writing effectively when the goal is driving traffic to your website.
- Write articles that are informative and instructional
Articles written to attract visitors to your website are slightly different than those written for a general audience. SEO articles will usually be informative and instructional, or compare various products and services, while articles not written with keywords in mind might be inspirational or present a variety of opinions. SEO articles might also contain lists of product features, the benefits of working with your company, or the definitions of industry-specific terms.
- Use the proper tone and style
The tone and style of the articles should be conversational, rather than informal and some humor can be effective. Unless the author is a subject matter expert or has useful, first-hand experience to share, the first person perspective is rarely used; second person is acceptable. It’s not uncommon to see phrases like, You’ll want to…, or Let’s move on to how you… Remember, the goal is to capture the readers’ attention and get them to take action.
- Pay attention to headlines and subheadings
Headlines and subheadings are a very important component of SEO articles. It is desirable to begin your headline with a keyword, or at least have a keyword in the title and also in the subhead. If, for example, your keyword is “SEO Articles,” you might want to change the title, “How to Write SEO Articles,” to “SEO Articles – Guidelines for Effective Writing.” The headline also needs to grab the reader’s attention with tools like lists, secrets, tips, and questions.
- Help search engines do their job with summaries and anchor text
Search engines appear to like articles that have a one- or two-sentence summary. Summaries or teasers let the reader know what the article will be about and also provide an opportunity for keyword placement. Search engines also like anchor text, the hyperlinked words on a web page. These are the words you click on when you click a link. Anchor text can be used in links from other sites, links on your pages, navigation maps, and links on your main page.
- Include a resource box
At the bottom of the article, be sure to promote yourself, your website, and your product or service. Typically, the box is between three and six lines (although article directory guidelines do vary), and it contains all of the author details and website links. This resource box is the recommended place for promoting what you do.
Remember, the goal is to have people read what has been written. It needs to be relevant, current, and interesting — something your customers and prospects want to read.
For 25 years Jan Fishler was a corporate scriptwriter, copywriter, video producer, and trainer, who also dabbled in marketing and public relations, mostly in the non-profit arena. In 2009 she self-published an adoption memoir, Searching for Jane, Finding Myself (An Adoption Memoir), available at Amazon.com. Because Jan knows that everyone has a story to tell, she developed and presents a painless and inspiring method to help others write their story. Her Write Your Story workshops tap into the power of the subconscious so that stories come to life and practically write themselves. Jan is also the producer of The Path to Publication DVD series, available from Films for the Humanities and Sciences. Filmed at the Community of Writers Conference at Squaw Valley, the series contains advice from such well-known authors as Amy Tan, Anne Lamott, Janet Fitch, and Mark Childress.
To download other articles, click on the link.
Keywords – What Every Business Person Should Know
Article Submission – Why You Want To Do It
Blogging – 10 Reasons it Helps Your Business
Press Releases – How Newsworthy Stories Can Drive Traffic to Your Site
eBooks: Why You Need to Write One
Four Tips for Professional Writers – Based on The Four Agreements
Hiring a Freelance Writer — Three Qualities to Look For