Search Engine Optimization is everything you do to make your site more visible to Google. It’s The only real way to get to the top of the search results for topics you want to be found under. Sure, you can pay for ads to put your name first — but the second you stop paying, your name disappears.

SEO articles are pieces of written content designed to help your site’s SEO rankings. They can come in many forms — editorials, lists, how-tos, etc. In fact, any article can be an SEO article. You just need to include certain elements to make the article contribute effectively to your SEO strategy.

Here are 5 tips for turning your articles into SEO articles.

SEO articles need relevant SEO keywords

Keywords are the basic elements of an SEO article. These are the words and phrases that Google will actually scan your article for, to check to see if the content is relevant to a search query.

There are many tricks for finding keywords. Entire programs and training courses are dedicated to finding the right ones for you. Since we don’t have enough time to cover them all in-depth in this article, we’ll go over the top tips:

  • Find what keywords people are searching for. There’s no sense trying to optimize your website for a particular keyword if no-one is actually looking for it.
  • Compile keywords into a spreadsheet. You want to track a few key points for each keyword, such as how many people search for them and what kind of competition there is.
  • Narrow your keyword selection to those that are not only relevant but which you can compete within. Some keywords are oversaturated and you’re unlikely to break into the top rankings any time soon. Others are common, but with less competition.
  • Develop SEO articles around these keywords. People are looking for answers; give them those answers through your SEO articles.

Use those SEO keywords effectively

It’s been a long, long time (in the digital age, at least) since you could just throw keywords into an article and have it be useful.

Over-saturating your article with your keyword(s) in this day in age ranks anywhere from “ineffectual” to “actively detrimental to your SEO ranking.” The keyword needs to be present, but it also can’t interfere with the readability of the text. If you’re going out of your way to force the keyword into your article, then you need to take a step back and rethink your approach.

  • Include the keyword in the heading, first paragraph, and first or second header in the article. After that, use it when it’s natural to do so, but don’t stress. Our keyword here is, unsurprisingly, “SEO article”. It’s definitely in all of the places mentioned, plus a few more, but I haven’t crammed it in where it feels awkward to read it.
  • Once you’ve hit those targets, try to use variations or secondary keywords. This will expand the reach of your article into different search terms.

Write content people care about.

You’ve got your keyword, you’ve thought of an article — it’s time to start writing, right?

Not quite. Ask yourself one very simple questions:

Who cares?

It’s all well and good if a keyword matches your goals and your article contains your keyword. But are you actually writing about something people care about? Will people want to finish your article once they start it?

This is a crucial step because here’s the thing a lot of people don’t realize about SEO articles:

People have to read them. If not all of it, then most of it.

See, one of the things that Google will track when ranking you is how long people stay on a page. If you write a lengthy article, but people click away very quickly — then your article isn’t working. People aren’t finding it interesting or relevant. The article won’t help, and may even hurt your ranking.

So you need to write something people will actually want to read. This will help in another way, too: if people like the article, they’re more likely to share it. This, in turn, will create backlinks, which will help with SEO.

For example, if you’re a marketer, you could write an article about SEO articles. But if your article is “A Painstaking Examination of the Definition of an SEO Article”, people probably aren’t going to read it. If it’s giving people advice to help improve their work, however, they might just stick around.

Make it substantial

The conventional wisdom of today is that nobody has any attention span and everything needs to be bite-sized to work.

The conventional wisdom is wrong.

Turns out people really are interested in the substantial content. Long-form content like podcasts is very popular. It’s being found that longer articles that cover topics in-depth are performing better than flash-in-the-pan 100-word updates.

When thinking about your article, try to provide as much value as possible. Don’t skimp on the word count. 300 is a minimum for Google to care, but what value are you providing in that space? Why cram 2000 words of content into 300 just because you think people will get bored?

Substantial content provides many benefits in an SEO strategy. The biggest benefits are keeping people on a page longer, and being more likely to be shared. Sharing creates backlinks, which creates authority on Google — and helps to advertise you and your site.

Learn about technical SEO

Outside of adding keywords, making it readable, and making it valuable — you should learn how Google is actually scanning your web pages and determining link authority.

This will help you build content strategies that maximize the effectiveness of your SEO articles. Linking between SEO articles, for example, can mean that a backlink to any one article in a series will provide a more substantial boost. That’s because that article will, in turn, link to others on the site — the better these link connections, the better the SEO rankings.