Tuesday, May 1, 2012
6 Steps to Article Content Properly Formatted and Search Engine Optimized
It's important for any writer writing articles to increase visibility, expert status, and readership to know how to use their content effectively. That's where this article comes in.
Creating article content is an essential marketing strategy. It establishes you as an authority in your niche or on a particular topic, increases your visibility and readership, and brings traffic to your site. It also broadens your marketing reach, which helps bring more traffic to your site.
Bringing traffic to your site to sign up for your mailing list is the real goal to any marketing strategy, even more so than selling a product. The reason for this is that a person on your mailing list gives you the opportunity to build a relationship and promote various products and services – it provides the basis for multiple sales. A non-subscriber, a one-time visitor/buyer is just that: a one-time deal.
In fact, Jeff Herring (Article Marketing Guy) says, “Article Marketing, when done correctly, is one of the most powerful forces online.”
If you notice, Herring says, “when done correctly.” Part of doing it ‘correctly’ is to have your article content properly formatted.
If you’re taking the time to use article marketing, whether posting to your blog, guest blogging, or submitting to article directories, you should create quality content and have it formatted properly. Any content you publish or share is a reflection of your writing skills – make those skills shine.
Six Steps to Properly Format Your Article Content and Have it SEO Ready
1. Article Titles and Subtitles
According to EzineArticles.com, “Better Titles = Additional Article Views = More Resource Box Clicks = Higher Website Traffic.”
Your title should be reflective of the article content and the first letter of each word should be capitalized.
Not Effective or Correct: Article marketing: formatting your content
Effective and Correct: Article Marketing With Properly Formatted Content
The normal rule for words such as “a,” “an,” “to,” and “the” is it’s not necessary to capitalize them. And, if at all possible leave out punctuation that can break-up the article’s url. Notice above that the ‘effective title’ eliminated the ‘colon.’
Titles should also be keyword effective. Try to include the keyword at the beginning of the title, not at the end. EzineArticles also notes that “longer titles maximize your ability to attract readers with a specific promise that is highly relevant to your niche.”
The same rules hold true for your subtitle.
2. Include Keywords in the Body of Your Article
Unless you don’t care if the search engines pick up your article, or if it gets more distribution in the article directories, you need to include keywords throughout your article. But, don’t overdo it. It’s important for your keyword to be in your topic headings (if applicable), the first and last paragraphs, and in a couple of other paragraphs.
3. Spacing Your Article Content
Every paragraph in your article should have an extra line between it and the next one. If the formatting calls for it, the beginning of each paragraph should be indented.
You should also keep your paragraphs relatively short. Readers like plenty of ‘white space.” This ‘white space’ allows for easier and quicker reading.
Notice my formatting in this article.
In addition, it’s necessary to use proper grammar and punctuation.
4. Include Your Bio
You’d think every writer would make sure they receive credit for their article content, but if you read some blogs, even those with multiple contributing authors, there are some with no byline. Even if it’s your own blog, at least end the post with your name.
For article directories, each service has its own resource box instructions. For guest blogging you don’t want your byline to be too long – make it short and effective. You can include your name with a couple of sentences letting the reader know why he should click on your link.
5. Article Content Marketing Tags
Including keywords or tags where allowed is essential to article marketing and its SEO effectiveness. Most hosting services and article directories provide specific areas at the bottom of the article for keywords or tags. Take advantage of this SEO tool.
These tags should be relevant to the content and will allow the search engines to categorize and index your content. This in turn will allow your article to be found by people searching for your topic.
So far, five article content formatting and SEO ready tips to get your articles doing what they should be doing: getting read, going viral, and bringing traffic to your site.
6. Link to More Article Content
This step is simple. In any article you publish on your own blog or submit for a guest post link to other articles or a landing page on your site. You can do this within your article content, just hyperlink a relevant word or phrase to a relevant article on your site.
You can also include a “Related Articles” section at the end of your article and list a couple of titles with hyperlinks to the actual articles on your site. Or, after a bit of information within the article add, “For more information on this check out” and add the link.
This allows you to get even more ‘juice’ out of your articles. You may not be able to do this with article directories, but for your blog posts, it will keep visitors on your own site longer and draw them further into your pages, and will bring visitors to your guest posts back to your site. Search engines like this marketing technique.
One final tip: Don’t forget to proof and edit your article content before you submit or publish it.
Happy Article Marketing!
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Until next time,
Multi-award Winning Author, Freelance/Ghostwriter, Editor, Marketer
Find Karen’s eBooks on writing and marketing at:
Karen Cioffi Writing and Marketing
http://KarenCioffi.com (children’s author site)