Article SEO Guidelines
The International Travel Herald
Rick Stoneking Sr. CEO
Please read these Article SEO Guidelines carefully. Why do I need them for an article? Isn’t SEO for websites? Good Article SEO Guidelines make your articles more likely to be indexed by Google.
Over the last forty-five years of writing I have learned a great deal about how to write. And yet, sometimes simple things like grammar and spelling elude me. Sentence structure is very important. Also, spelling is obviously very important. But these are editorial issues. Furthermore, one can use spelling and grammar checkers to make a good article better. Yet, in today’s digital world, that is not enough.
What We Expect
Consequently, we expect that you will submit well written, well edited stories that follow good Article SEO Guidelines. An added element we expect that has to do with structure. And it is not sentence structure, or grammatical structure. It is how you article is structured for a special kind of reader. This reader is a voracious reader that can make or break your website or your article. I am referring of course to search bots. Specifically, Google bots. As a result, you must follow good Article SEO Guidelines. SEO (Search Engine Optimization), can make or break a website or your article.
We expect our website to be super fast, mobile friendly, and fully web accessible. As a result, we go to great lengths to make sure that happens. How you write your articles also affects overall performance. Writing good copy is no longer good enough in the digital age. You compete with hundreds of billions of websites. You compete against trillions of articles on the Internet. So you must follow good Article SEO Guidelines. Also, you must write articles optimized for SEO. Doing so makes your article more likely to be found on the multitude of search engines though mainly Google. Also, it affects our site speed. Google’s search bots consider such things.
How do you write an article that is well structured for SEO
Almost everyone has heard by now that Google uses some sophisticated algorithms to determine what is good for their searchers – their customers. They like to call their algorithms by names like Penguin and Hummingbird. If you do not know how important these are, hire someone who does. It is doubtful you will stumble into success.
Google actually cares whether or not you write well. So it uses its algorithms to test your writing. That means we expect you to follow good Article SEO Guidelines. One of the best programs you can get (for us it is the best) is Yoast SEO.
Using Yoast SEO has been a blessing for us. Yoast, even their free version, is very helpful in making sure what you write is SEO friendly. Furthermore, it helps you to understand if your writing is actually readable. It tests your writing for two major components
- Proper Structure
- Readability – Table 2: examples of transition words
I wrote the text below for the sole purpose of generating errors. It is to show you how the Yoast SEO WordPress plugin can help you. I wrote it first as a single paragraph. I then repeated it eight times to make a paragraph that is too long.
“This is a ridiculous test post of exasperating introspective longevity designed with the intention of causing Yoast to be unintelligible about writing performance as it permeates the digital age of retrospection”
Yoast Free SEO Analysis
The Yoast SEO analysis provides a number of checks to determine the structural analysis and readability of your article.
Structural Content Analysis
- Focus keyword
- Meta description
- Word Count
- Internal links
- Outbound links
- SEO Title
- Paragraph Word Count
- Sentence Words
- Transition Words
- Same Start Words
- Passive Voice
Structural Elements You Should Consider
Structure is important to Google not only for the website itself, but also the articles appearing on that website. Google bots read through your article to see if it will be interesting to its readers. The checks listed above are based on the kinds of things Google looks for in a well structured article. Read more here about “Why text structure is important for SEO” in Marieke van de Rakt’s article Practical Tips To Set Up A Clear Text Structure.
Reading through these you will find some basic elements identified. These are based on Structure and Readability from an SEO perspective. Following good Article SEO Guidelines makes your article appealing to Google. Thus, it is more like to be found by your readers.
- Focus keyword – Since you can have more than one keyword, one of those should identify your primary focus.
- Meta description – also, it is true the search bots will deduce your description from the text. Yet that means it has to read the text before it can know what the whole article is about. As a result, it has to then formulate a small description. Hence, that means you are taking a speed hit.
- Images – Your images speak volumes. In todays mobile market Google considers being mobile friendly critical. Your images should be well described and especially contain “alt Attributes”. And they must be optimized as well. Since image format is important, .png is best to use for the web. Google wants to see images that are fast loading and well described. Also, Google expects your images to have “alt attributes” to ensure the image meets web accessibility guidelines.
- Word Count – Google considers anything under 300 words of lesser value to their readers. Follow this guideline for longer text. Content is king! So write it.
- Internal links – Structural components include how your article relates to other articles on a website. Especially if your article is part of a series. If a series, you absolutely want to link to each article in the series and do so on each article.
- Outbound links – Google bots use outbound links that appear in your page as a type of “authority” tester. It tells them you are bolstering your article with other resources. Of course, it will look at those links to make sure they are related.
- The SEO title – The SEO title is critical to search engine results and thus critical to your article. This is a definition of the title tag by Moz Pro:
- “A title tag is an HTML element that specifies the title of a web page. Title tags show up on search engine results pages (SERPs) as the clickable headline for a given result. And they are important for usability, SEO, and social sharing. The title tag of a web page is meant to be an accurate and concise description of a page’s content.” This link also includes a “Title Tag Preview Tool“
Use Yoast SEO and check the box to show your article is a cornerstone article. Especially for a series of articles or when directly related other articles. If yours is a single article, look through the other articles appearing under that topic, and link to them. Sharing the love is a good thing. Selfishness will get you penalized. Or, Google may consider your article of little value. Your article will not rank well, thereby affecting the rank of the website. That is why poor writers and selfish writers are not kept around.
Nerd Alert – Mobile Statistics
- Statistics on consumer mobile usage and adoption to inform your mobile marketing strategy mobile site design and app development
- Majority Of Digital Media Consumption Now Takes Place In Mobile Apps
Readability Elements You Should Consider
Since you may say, oh google doesn’t care about whether my article is readable, you could ignore this advice. Also, you may question how could they even know? Think about your purpose for writing. If that is your response, you may as well quit trying to write articles right now for online publications. You could not be more wrong. However, if you are willing to learn, here are some very basic concepts you should master. You must be concerned with “Readability” based on good Article SEO Guidelines.
First, Google bots can read. Furthermore, they read better than most humans. And they DO check to make sure your text follows good Article SEO Guidelines. Also, they make comparisons of your text to others. And, they sort through huge amounts of text in a short time. They are like super efficient speed readers. Therefore, here are some of the issues you must consider in following good Article SEO Guidelines.
Sample Issues for Article SEO Guidelines
Headings – The text does not contain any subheadings. Add at least one subheading.
Flesch-Kincaid – The copy scores 0 in the Flesch Reading Ease test, considered very difficult to read. Try to make shorter sentences, using less difficult words to improve readability.
Paragraph Word Count – 1 of the paragraphs contains more than the recommended maximum of 150 words. Are you sure all information is about the same topic, and therefore belongs in one single paragraph?
Sentence Words – 100% of the sentences contain more than 20 words, which is more than the recommended maximum of 25%. Try to shorten the sentences.
Transition Words – 0% of the sentences contain a transition word or phrase, which is less than the recommended minimum of 30%.
Same Start Words – The text contains 7 consecutive sentences starting with the same word. Try to mix things up!
Passive Voice – 14.3% of the sentences contain passive voice, which is more than the recommended maximum of 10%. Try to use their active counterparts.
Getting It All Together
Before you write make a plan based on good Article SEO Guidelines.
- Setup the structure of your article including headings and any subheadings.
- In addition, carefully think about how you want your article to flow. This will help you provide a structure that your readers will want to follow. Think of it like taking a river cruise where you have to chart attractions you want to see along the way. You would not want to see them out of order going back and forth. Nor, would your readers want to go up and down your page to find the logical order to your article.
- Follow good Article SEO Guidelines!
One last tip. Always run your SEO checks before you add a signature block so that you get the true SEO for the article itself.
Benefits of setting up a logical structure for your article based on good Article SEO Guidelines.
- Because this results in making your writing better.
- As a result, it will ensure better understanding by your readers.
- This will help them better understand the message you are trying to convey.
- Because your readers understand your message, they will be more likely to share it with others.
- Since this includes their social media channels you get widely promoted.
- And this increases your chances of being viewed as important to Google’s readers.
- Since using good Article SEO Guidelines your article ranks higher in searches.
- Since that helps the people you write for rank higher, this makes them happy.
- And that makes them more likely to want you to write for them again.
- Finally, if you are selling a product or service, you will be more likely to make the sale.
And they all wrote happily ever after!
Lastly, if you enjoyed this article, please leave a comment.
2 Your Success. ™
Be sure to visit our Small Business Board on Pinterest
About The Author
Rick Stoneking Sr, is a retired, disabled, veteran, minister and formal federal agent. He is now the Founder/Owner/CEO of International Publishing Group, LLC (IPG), and International Travel Reviews™ (ITR). Rick is also a Disability Advocate. As a result, he promotes Accessible Travel for everyone.
Rick has been writing in one form or another for over forty years. He is published in multiple genres in both Christian and secular circles. His writing ranges from police reports to Special Agent Reports, to a Christian eBook, to a year-long daily devotional series. Rick has published articles and columns in well-recognized state and international magazines.