Most money making guru's would have named this article "SEO writing" or "Making your articles SEO proof". SEO means Search Engine Optimization and put simple, it means optimizing your site to rank well in Google. So why am I naming this article "How to write articles for your website"? Because your articles are not written for Google, your articles are written for visitors. They need to like your work, be able to scan your texts quickly as well as read your entire texts conveniently.
Writing for a website
As I have mentioned earlier, people browsing the internet are lazy and impatient. After arriving at this article, you have probably scanned the titles and read part of the introduction, before deciding to continue reading. Why? Because it is easy to hit the 'back' button and open another page if you feel this page is not exactly what you were looking for. So how do you write for the internet?
Adding the right title
Research shows that the title is the single most important factor for visitors in deciding to go to your site. This decision is made both before they land on your site (as the title is shown on search results in Google) as well as after landing on your site (is this indeed what I am looking for, or should I go back to Google and check another page?). A good title interests your potential visitors and should cover the content of your article well.
Scanning vs reading
Your articles should be written to suit two very different types of readers: those who actually read your entire text and those who quickly scan your article and read only one paragraph with information they were specifically looking for. Even those who read your entire article most likely first scan through it to see if this is indeed what they are looking for. So, your article needs to be scan-proof. How? By adding clear structure in your article.
The importance of structure
Structuring your articles is important as it helps your visitors to scan your text, decide quickly if you offer what they are looking for, let's them read easily through your text and to help them remember your main points. Articles can be structured by adding clear hierarchy in terms of titles and subtitles, adding graphics, adding bullet and numbered points, adding quotes and varying typography. But structure also means that you discuss a topic in a logical order, with an introduction, your main points and a concluding text. Before you write an article, think about the structure first!
Tone and style
Choosing the right tone and style of writing for the internet most often means that you need to be personal and upbeat. Only very few websites use a strictly formal tone, think about large corporate websites and other 'serious content'. Keep your audience in mind and adept accordingly.
Make it graphical
A picture is worth a thousand words, and a movie is worth a thousand pictures. Such a cliche, I know, but so true! It depends a little bit on your topic, but you can be sure that adding graphics, images, flowcharts, drawings, infographics and movies will greatly improve your article. Especially those scanning your article will focus on the graphics you have added.
I explain a lot of techniques on my website, so over the years I have been adding more and more photos, graphics and movies. I found out this dramatically increased traffic to my pages as well as the average time spend on those pages. Graphics matter!Oscar, bonsaiempire.com
Writing SEO (Search Engine Optimized texts)
In the introduction I made it clear you should write keeping your readers in mind, not Google. Absolutely true, but... Would it hurt to at least keep Google in mind a little bit? Not at all. So what does writing a SEO text mean?
In the previous two articles (keyword analysis, understanding your visitors and from keywords to content) I used the example of Italian Food recipes as topic of my site. Let's apply this example once again.
I analyzed my keywords and found out that one of my most important sub-topics was "Pizza".
Looking at my keywords list I found terms with a lot of search volume like "Salami pizza", "The best salami sausage for Pizza" and "What ingredients go well with Salami on Pizza".Oscar, starttomonetize.com
I was already planning to write an article on "Salami Pizza", but I just found out that people are apparently interested in which Salami sausage should be used and what ingredients can be used on a Salami Pizza. In my article on "Salami Pizza" perhaps I can add a paragraph on what Salami sausages are recommended, as well as adding a paragraph on ingredients that go well with salami.
I do this for two reasons; I know people are interested in these topics, but I also know there is a lot of search volume for this, so I better write about it right? Not only will I write about it, I will make sure to include the keyword "The best salami sausage for Pizza" in my subtitle. For my visitor (who is interested in this paragraph and needs to find it while scanning my text) and for Google (so that Google knows I offer information about this).
Check the subtitles of the article you are reading right now; noticed I added "Writing SEO" in this text as a subtitle? Exactly!
Example of a well structured article
Ah, you made it this far? Then think about it; did you read this article entirely? Or just parts? Or did you only scan it?
Instead of giving you an example of a structured article, try it yourself. Go to the main menu of this website and in new tabs, open 5 random articles. Scan through them and spend 10 seconds per page. Which article do you like most? Why?
Probably you have selected an article that is not too long, has graphics, has many titles and subtitles and probably some bullet points as well as a quote. The richer the content, the better.
What I usually do when writing new articles is to create a structure first (I add my title and subtitles, add an empty quote box and add empty bullet points) and than start writing. This way I force myself to create well structured articles that can be easily scanned.Oscar, starttomonetize.com
I know how to write now.
Well done, and good luck with the actual writing.
When you're done, proceed with adding creative content.