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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Writing Articles for Search Engine Optimization

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimized. An SEO article is one that contains keywords that get picked up by the search engines and determines where it falls in the line of thousands of articles about the same topic. How those specific keywords are determined is a whole other topic and will be addressed in a separate article. For the purpose of this article, it is sufficient to know that the keywords are very specific and very important. There is no flexibility or creativity in the use of the SEO keywords.

An SEO article will be based on 2 – 3 predetermined keywords. Let’s say for example, that you are working with the following keywords: acai berry health benefits / health benefits of acai berry / health benefits of acai berries. The SEO article needs to contain at least one of these keywords in the title. Then in the first paragraph, all the keywords need to appear at least once. More than that is even better. The keywords need to continue to appear throughout the article including the conclusion. The more times the keywords (all of them appear) in the article, the higher chance the article has of showing up at the top of the list of search results produced by the search engine.

You completely blow the strategy if you try to get creative with the keywords. For example, if you exchange the words “acai berries” with “little black tropical berries” it doesn’t count. Words such as “acai fruit”, “healthy berries”, “health boost of acai berries”, etc. are some variation of the predetermined SEO keywords and will not get your article to the top of the list. This doesn’t mean you can’t use these variations; it just means that they don’t count in terms of your purpose.

The challenge is to create an interesting article that doesn’t sound elemental to the reader. When you use the same words over and over, it is difficult not to sound redundant. This challenge is where you get to exercise your creativity.

I tend to get bored writing SEO articles, so I have a formula and I play it like a game. I aim to use each keyword a minimum of five times in the article. Each one has to be used at least once (preferably twice) in the title and the first two sentences. Then I hear the keywords like a mantra in my head as I’m writing. Sometimes they fit, and sometimes I choose one of the variations. In the end, I have an interesting, informative article that also fits the requirements.

Write SEO articles quickly, but carefully. Only count your keywords at the end. As you are writing, imagine the keywords as helium-filled balloons that will send your article above all the rest – and remember that there are tens of thousands of articles starting out on the ground just like yours.

It’s like a race. Aim to excel.

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