Articles are in-depth content pieces and a great tool to optimize a website for its niche.
For example, an insurance company — if it wants to dominate the search engine results pages for keywords like term life insurance, whole life insurance, car insurance quotes, home insurance, and the like — can create a series of articles on these topics and publish these as blog posts on its website.
Articles are also great link-building tools. You can get them published on content websites like magazines and newspapers, and they will carry a link or two back to your website. Your SEO service provider should be able to tell you more about this particular use of articles.
At the moment, your primary concern is learning how to optimize your articles. Doing so will help them rank high on search engine results pages, attract click-throughs or organic traffic to your website, and hopefully, gain you some leads or conversions.
Follow these strategies to optimize your articles for high SERP rankings.
- Optimize your article for one or two main keywords.
Every piece you publish online must have one or two main keywords. These will be the terms you will optimize your content for, and they are the terms from which you will derive the rest of the keywords you will use in your article.
Choosing Your Focus Keyword
Choose medium-tail keywords. These are keywords in the middle of the search demand curve, between the short-head keywords (the most popular terms) and the long-tail keywords (the least popular keywords).
In other words, medium-tail keywords may not have the greatest search volumes, but they have sufficient search volume to make them worth optimizing your content and your website for.
To illustrate, suppose you’re in the business of selling water purifiers. The obvious keyword is “water purifier.”
This is a short-head keyword with the greatest monthly search volume (28,000). However, it’s ambiguous and can bring in traffic you have no hope of converting into customers.
In this case, you’ll be better off optimizing your content for medium-tail keywords. Such keywords include “water purifier for sink” (2,500 monthly search volume), “water purifier pitcher” (1,800), and “water purifier for home” (1,000).
Choosing Your Supporting Keywords
After choosing your primary keyword or keywords, you can list down your supporting keywords. These can be variations of your focus keyword. For instance, if your main keyword is “water purifier for home,” variations can include “water purifier systems for home” and “which water purifier is best for home.”
Supporting keywords can also be semantically related or relevant terms. For instance, “water filtration system,” “water purification systems,” and “filtered water” are terms that are semantically relevant to “water purifier for home.”
Optimizing for Your Keyword
Armed with a list of keywords, you can begin writing your content. Be mindful of thoughtfully using your keywords where required and appropriate.
For instance, you must use your main keyword in these four places:
- Title tag
This is your page title, which will be your article’s clickable title on SERPs. Limit this to 55 characters so it doesn’t get cut off. You can use parentheses and brackets to make your title tag stand out in SERPs.
- Meta description
Google may use this in your search snippet on SERPs. The meta description is not a ranking factor, but keywords get highlighted in search snippets when they match the terms used in search engine queries.
The uniform resource locator is your article’s web address. Make sure to use the main keyword in the URL. You must also try to keep your URL short. Shorter URLs typically rank higher than longer URLs.
You should use your main keyword in your article headline. This ensures matching between your search snippet and article landing page, and this can reduce bounce-outs, which are negative Google ranking signals.
As for your supporting keywords, use them in the rest of your text. Use them in your section headings and subheadings. Use them in the body, too.
- Make it long.
The longer your article is, the better for its SERP rankings. According to Backlinko, 1,447 words is the average length of top-10 SERP results.
This may be correlated to backlinks. Longer-form content typically gets more backlinks than short content, and backlinks (particularly from authority websites) are major Google ranking factors.
Whether it is the length of the article itself or the better backlinks profile of longer pieces that leads to their dominance on SERPs, remember this. The longer your content, the better your chances of ranking higher in SERPs.
Long articles also give you more opportunities to use keywords without the risk of over-optimization or keyword stuffing.
- Include E-A-T signals.
E-A-T stands for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. The more expert, authoritative, and trustworthy Google deems you (the entity publishing the article) to be, the higher your E-A-T score. The higher your E-A-T score, the higher your article’s ranking on SERPs is likely to be.
How to Improve your E-A-T
Do the following to improve your expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.
Write high-quality articles.
Produce well-researched, well-written, in-depth articles. Write articles that provide readers with valuable information.
Include your sources.
Make sure you cite your information sources. In-text or in-context citation is best. In other words, link to your sources in the body of your article.
Highlight your credentials.
You can include a short snippet about you (or the author of the content) in the article body. You can also add a brief author biography to the end of the article. Both will show your (or the author’s) expertise and authoritativeness, enhancing the article’s trustworthiness.
Start Optimizing Your Articles for High SERP Rankings
Ranking high in SERPs means more organic traffic, leads, and conversion opportunities. Thus, make sure your articles can rank high in SERPs. To accomplish this, optimize your article for one or two suitable medium-tail keywords, write longer content, and communicate your expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.
There are lots more other strategies to improve your article ranking in SERPs, but you may need professional help for some of them.
So, don’t hesitate to contact that SEO company in Dubai for an audit of your existing articles and other website content.
Jinky Elizan is a content writer for SEO Sherpa. She has more than 15 years of experience in producing content for SEO, inbound marketing and link building as well as in creating copy for web pages and social media. She also develops WordPress websites.