A good article needs to be interesting, engaging, accurate, truthful, and grammatically correct. Apart from understanding clearly what you are trying to convey, your visitors should also enjoy reading your text.
Search Engine Optimization
The requirements for good copywriting have changed since the advent of the Internet. In the past, journalists had to make sure that their texts were good enough for their editors to approve. This still happens today, however, a new phenomenon has entered the scene – SEO.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It involves trying to improve where your website appears in a search result. When people search for something online, they write phrases in Google, Yahoo, and other search engines. The first websites to appear in a search result have the best SEO.
How you write your articles can affect how good or bad your website’s or webpage’s SEO is.
In a Market Business News article, “What is SEO,” I wrote:
“SEO means trying to get a webpage to appear first when somebody searches on a search engine. Search engines give webpages and websites rankings. The higher your ranking, the nearer to the top your webpage will appear when somebody places a relevant search.”
“Therefore, we could also say that SEO means trying to improve a webpage’s ranking with search engines.”
Great content when writing articles
If your article has great content, readers are more likely to link to that webpage. However, keep in mind that it’s essential to have SEO-optimized content; this is where a guide to SEO writing can be very useful. Search engines notice it if a webpage has many backlinks. The more backlinks an article has, the more Google, Yahoo, and other search engines take note.
Search engines want to provide useful results when people are looking for something online. If many websites link to your article, that webpage will have a good search engine ranking.
So, remember, the more links there are pointing to your article, the more traffic it will get. Backlinks are good for SEO.
If you click on a hyperlink (link), it takes you to another part of the same web page, another part of the same website, or another website. A backlink is a hyperlink from another website that points to your webpage.
In a well-written article, paragraphs should not be too long. They should not be longer than 150 words. Yoast.com, an SEO plug-in for WordPress with over 5 million active installations, says the following regarding paragraph length:
“We advise you to keep the length of your paragraphs below 150 words to ensure maximum comprehension while reading. Long paragraphs tend to be hard to read and can make a text appear less attractive.”
Remember that in today’s world of search engine algorithms, paragraph length affects SEO.
If too many of your sentences are very long, your writing style could be damaging that article’s search engine optimization. If more than one quarter (25%) of your sentences contain more than twenty words, try to make some of them shorter.
For best SEO, your article should ideally have a maximum of 25% of all sentences with more than 20 words.
Search engines like Google have algorithms that check sentence length. Long sentences, especially when reading online on a smartphone, are more difficult to read because they are harder to process.
Yoast.com makes the following comment:
“A lot of people lose track of the meaning of a sentence when it’s very long. If a long sentence is followed by other long sentences the reader might fail to understand the meaning of a text completely.”
“That’s not the experience you’d like to give a visitor of your site and not an experience Google likes to give their users either!”
Use of the Passive Voice
No more than ten percent of your sentences should contain the passive voice. If you are not sure what the passive voice means, look at these two examples:
- I gave John an apple. (Active Voice)
- John was given an apple by me (Passive Voice)
Search engines believe that the passive voice is too wordy, i.e., longer than the active voice, more distant, and less clear.
If too much of a text contains the passive voice, it is harder to understand or process, again, especially online. Online reading tires people more rapidly than reading on printed paper.
Search engines have algorithms that measure passive voice content.
Bear in mind these points when writing your next article. However, do not become obsessed with them. In other words, do not become so overconcerned that your creativity suffers.
Video – What is SEO?