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ServiceScape Incorporated
ServiceScape Incorporated
2009

Writing Articles for SEO

PrecisionEdit

Writing for publication on the Internet requires a slightly different approach than writing for print media. As Internet marketing and e-commerce continue to grow, businesses are discovering the opportunity to compete in a global market; all that is needed are the right designers and writers to make that happen. Such demand has created a new category in freelance writing, in which writers specialize in writing for publication on the Internet. In addition to understanding Internet trends and e-commerce marketing tactics, writers who publish online must be aware of one of the most common buzzwords in Web development and website administration: SEO, or Search Engine Optimization.

The success of a website heavily depends on its visibility to the Internet's major search engines, and oftentimes, the site's content is the primary factor that makes such visibility possible. Consequently, site developers incorporate content in the form of articles that are created using specific keywords. When an Internet user enters a keyword, or keyword phrase, into a search engine, that search engine uses "crawlers" to find relevant websites containing those words. The mission, then, of an SEO writer is to create content that can be easily found by a search engine's crawlers. It is technical writing at its best, and has proven to be one of the more effective methods of increasing traffic, and therefore more revenue, to a website.

Article writers, whose primary purpose is for creating SEO content, find themselves in a unique position of balancing the craft of writing with a formulaic approach. Writing effective SEO articles entails an ability to determine the fine line between keeping the reader engaged and distributing keywords both frequently and subtly. Take for example the following passage:

"If you are seeking for online college degree program options, there are a variety of choices available to meet your specific goals. Many students are happy to discover that earning an online degree causes little to no interruption in their already hectic lives, and tend to benefit greatly from the career advancement a college degree offers. Earning your degree online has never been easier! Call us today to set up an appointment with one of our degree program counselors."

The above paragraph is considered keyword heavy, with variations of a commonly used keyword phrase: "online college degree program." The author incorporates some part of the phrase in each sentence without being too obvious about it, keeping the voice of the article as conversational and natural as possible. An average reader searching online for information about online college degree programs would find the article helpful, without necessarily realizing that it was written with the primary purpose of drawing Internet traffic to a particular website. That website might be one that serves as a portal for online schools offering degrees to nontraditional students, and this segment from an article listed on their site would help to attract a lot of business.

In addition to frequently including the primary keyword, or keyword phrase, writing an effective SEO articles includes brainstorming similar keywords to match the original one(s). To do this, it is important to consider the possible Internet search queries of your intended audience. Continuing the above example, if a potential student is searching for schools in which he or she could earn an online college degree, other possible searches might include "online degree programs," "online universities," "online colleges," and "degrees from home." The SEO article writer would then incorporate these keyword phrases into the article to maximize the potential for more site traffic. Webmasters use such content-specific writing to attract particular audiences to their site; by doing so, they assure effective leads from Internet users who are looking for precisely what their site or business has to offer.

After an author assures that keyword variation and frequency is abundant, the next consideration that an SEO article writer must have is concerning the length of the article. As a standard of practice, SEO articles are between 300 and 500 words in length. This number factors in the typical attention span of most Internet users, while allowing for enough keyword distribution to attract the attention of the search engine crawlers.

Another consideration, although not the most important one, would be regarding format. SEO articles should contain short paragraphs—preferably two to four sentences in length. Most people tend to skim over material when they are surfing the Internet, and shortened paragraphs make it easier on the eye to do this. Extended-length paragraphs are not as easily read, and therefore are often avoided by the average Internet user. Although research provides multiple possibilities for this fact, some of the more commonly accepted explanations include the stress on the eye involved with reading a computer screen and the "entertainment" element associated with surfing the Internet.

The final factor in creating SEO articles is to assure that each article is impeccably edited. In Internet commerce, as with any business, presentation and first impressions are key in attracting and maintaining clients. If an SEO article is poorly written, or contains multiple grammar and spelling errors, the website containing that article could be easily passed over as being unprofessional and amateur—two descriptors most Web designers would like to avoid. Many websites offer excellent pay and a steady flow of commissioned assignments to SEO article writers who can deliver quality content, while helping to build a company's online image and brand. With a knowledgeable and conscientious writer, the resulting SEO article can work to draw traffic and leads to a website for many years to come.

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