6 Steps to Article Content Properly Formatted and Search Engine Optimized

As the founder and manager of a marketing group that utilizes article marketing, I've noticed that some writers don't know the proper formatting of an article. Along with this, there are even more who don't know how to use keywords and tags for search engine optimization.

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!

Related Articles:

Video for Promotion with Maggie Ball
Creating Content: 10 Online Repurposing Formats
How to Create an Ebook – 5 Simple Steps

Until next time,

Karen Cioffi
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)


Mayra Calvani said...

Thanks for the great article, Karen. I shared it on twitter and FB. :-)


Donna McDine said...

Hi Karen, Amazing article filled with essential and easy to use tips. Thanks. I've Google+, tweeted and FB.

Best regards,

Margaret Fieland said...

Karen, thanks for the great article, which I plan to read and save.

Shirley Corder said...

Thanks for a really good article Karen. I am especially impressed with the idea of links within the article.

Karen Cioffi said...

Mayra, Thanks so much for Sharing it!

Donna, It's true that once you know these article marketing techniques, they're easy to apply. Thanks so much for Sharing!

Karen Cioffi said...

Maggie, Glad you found it worth saving to read!

Shirl, Using hyperlinks for text within your post/article is a great SEO technique.

Anonymous said...

Excellent tips! Thanks.

Magdalena Ball said...

Good tips Karen. I especially like the "Related Articles" section - a good example of practising what you preach! I rarely do that in my articles, but I'm going to start now.

Mary Jo Guglielmo said...

Great Tips Karen. Sometimes when coming up with a title, I don't think about my keywords. I'll have to be more careful.


Anne Duguid Knol said...

I do add links where appropriate but never thought to add them to my own blog content lol. I also never thought to have a signature link t the end of my posts. Clever.

Debbie A Byrne said...

Great advice!

Anonymous said...

Great advice! I would also add that you should spread articles around to different directories. EzineArticles, Galoor.com, ArticleBase, Buzzle and GoArticles are all good directories.

Karen Cioffi said...

Maggie, I'm glad it gave you a reminder. It really does matter having visitors click on your other links.

Mary Jo, Yes, it's always good idea to check for keywords for your articles. It may take a few minutes more, but well worth it in regard to SEO.

Annie, it really is more work, but it all helps!

Debbie, glad you found the article helpful.

Galoor, You're right. Article marketing, using directories, definitely increases your marketing reach!

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