Optimizing your website for search engines, Google, Bing, Ecosia, and others, is essential for good positioning and optimal visibility on the internet. Effective SEO can make your website a tool for generating additional customers and income. Let’s start with a checklist for creating an SEO-optimized article.
Checklist for an SEO article
- The article contains 800 words
- The content is built around the targeted keywords
- Catchy title
- Well structured in paragraphs and sections
- Use of H2, H3, H4 subtitles
- Use of images
- ALT tag filled for all images
- Meta tags are provided
- The title tag is 45-65 characters in length, contains the target keyword
- The meta tag is 130-155 characters in length, describes the content, and contains a call to action
- At least two internal links are used
A web page that has little content will struggle to rank well on Google. Good brand awareness and quality content will allow you to gain a good position in search engine results. To appeal to Google and other search engines, your page content should be long enough. The page texts on many websites are often too short.
Google’s minimum quality algorithm is around 300 words per page or the equivalent of 1,500 characters (including spaces). But if you want to rank high in Google search results and improve your website’s SEO, your article should be over 500 words. It is also necessary to target the keywords, defined in your SEO strategy, research base, and keyword analysis.
The title is crucial when writing a news/blog post. When the headline is catchy, the article will generate more clicks. Your title should contain the top keywords that people type in when they search Google. The more your title matches users’ expectations, the more relevant Google will find the article and display it higher in the SERPs.
The first paragraph optimized
The first paragraph, which comes at the top of the page right after the title, is crucial for the success of your article. It should make users want to read the rest of the page. The first paragraph should therefore summarize the content of the article. Its main purpose is to explain what it is and how it is useful to the reader. If you have something important to say, do it in the first paragraph. Don’t wait until the end.
Subtitles and a hierarchical structure
Google likes well-structured pages. This means that it should be divided into small paragraphs and include subheadings of different levels. This structure is “SEO-friendly”. This will make your pages more readable by search engine robots.
An article structure optimized for SEO should contain closed captions progressively from H2 to H5. After the H1 title (by default, the title of your article), the first subtitle should be an H2, the first subtitle that comes in the text. The next one, which is less important for the content, has to be an H3. Between two H2s, you can insert two H3s, but not an H3 or an H4 for example. Gradually you go to H4.
How to use the H2 – H5 tags?
Header tags (h2 to h5) are the ones you use to structure your post to create an optimized post. The order of your header tags indicates the importance level of each section. The hierarchy of your topics will allow search engines to better understand your content. A 700-word article should be divided into two sections, each of which has an H2 title. Each section can be divided a 2-3 small sections with an H3. Avoid having too long paragraphs and sections longer than 5 paragraphs.
Formatting your content is very important not only for readers but also to get higher rankings on Google. Search engines love lists and paragraphs. Readers too. This provides a better presentation of your article. Another tip is to use pictures and graphics. This makes the web page more attractive and creates more space.
Enrich your article with quality images
If you want to make your web page more attractive, add some good-quality images that will enhance your story. The images you use should be good-looking, good quality to attract users. And, of course, they must correspond to the subject of the article.
Alt text for images
Remember to fill in the ALT tag for all images. The IMG tag is used to ensure the display of images. If you have a WordPress site, you can fill it in either on the article editing page in the back office, or in the Media, or you access all the images on the site.
ALT tags have SEO value on search engines. The point is, Google can’t (at least for now) see what the actual image shows, but bots can read the ALT tag. There is no better way to let Google know about the content of your images than by using this tag. In addition, where relevant, you can include keywords from your activity in your ALT tags.
Optimization of Title and Meta description tags
Keywords, meta titles, and descriptions of your pages are the most important SEO criteria in the creation of your website. The title and meta description tags must be well filled out, contain the target keywords of the article, and meet certain technical criteria.
The title tag represents the title of the page and is visible in your browser tabs. The title also appears in search engine results. Title tags help search engines and Internet users identify the content of your pages. The best practice for title tags is to create unique and relevant titles for each of your pages.
The title tag is a very important SEO factor. There is no better way for search engines to know what the page is than by looking at the title tag. This is why you must take care in the creation of title tags for your web pages. It is important to optimize the titles in target keywords, without abusing them. It is strongly recommended that you write a title tag that is different from the page’s H1 tag.
Title tag length
It is recommended that the title tag length does not exceed 65 characters (512px to be more precise). Otherwise, it can be cut on the search results pages on Google. So the user will not be able to see some of your important words. Also, remember that the letter “w” takes up more space than, for example, the letter “i” or some lowercase letters.
Meta description tag
The meta description is an HTML tag, its purpose is to describe the page. This is a brief description of the content of a web page/blog primarily intended for search engines. But not only. This description does not appear anywhere on the page. On the other hand, it appears well in Google search results below the title of the web page. In this case, it is visible to Internet users.
While the meta description is not a ranking factor, it does determine whether the user will click on your page, thereby influencing the click-through rate. Plus, having an accurate description that matches your content will significantly reduce the bounce rate.
As with the title tag, it is important to have unique and relevant descriptions for each page of your website. It is also desirable to include a call to action!
Meta description length
To be fully displayed in a page snippet in SERPs, the length of the meta description should not exceed approximately 155 characters. If it’s too long, Google will cut it, but that’s not a disaster. The safest way is to stick to 155 characters. Above all, use the available space and provide a meta description of more than 130 characters.
Internal networking: links to increase clicks
Internal linking is the process of adding links in your article to other pages on your website. For example, you can link to another post on your blog, page, product, or contact page. You should provide users with more options to continue browsing than just clicking the main menu.
The purpose of this internal link is to encourage users to click these links to keep them longer and to show them other content on your website. By providing users with additional interesting content on your website, you will reduce the bounce rate and increase the length of the session. At the same time, you get a higher number of page views which is also a big ranking factor. In other words, this way you can improve your main Google Analytics metrics.
Article optimization on a WordPress blog
In order to be able to optimize your WordPress site for natural referencing, you will need to install and configure an SEO plugin. With over 5 million active installations, Yoast SEO is one of the most popular WordPress plugins. It offers you a free version which is more than enough for WordPress blog optimization.
How to modify meta tags with Yoast
Editing meta tags with Yoast is very easy. Writing your tag text effectively will improve the appearance of your article in Google search results. To modify the Title and Meta description tags, in the back office on the editing page of your article, go below the content of the article to find the Yoast SEO part. Below this block, click Edit metadata to gain access to the different fields. The Title and Meta description tags will unfold. Enter your SEO-optimized texts in the Title and Meta description tag fields. Remember to save the page.
Social tab: title, description, and image for social networks
With Yoast, you can also fill in the Open Graph tags and thus control the display of your page when sharing on social networks. The options on the Social tab will allow you to customize your post for social networks. Two sub-tabs allow you to customize the look of your post on Facebook and Twitter. You can define a Facebook title different from the title of the general tab, a description different from the meta description, and an image representing the article. This image will load when sharing your article on Facebook, for example.
Post permalink optimization
The permalink of a web page is also an important element for SEO optimization. So, make sure that the format of the permalinks of your WordPress site (the addresses of the articles and the pages) is in full and without special characters. There are still sites that use links in the format /? P = 25 / . This is a default link format in WordPress. To change it to the format / post-name / go to Settings> Permalinks and check Post name.
To go even further in article optimization, you can define a completely suitable URL address. For example, instead of having a long sentence in the URL, copy of the title of the article, you can define a short, explicit URL, containing a keyword. To do this, use the dedicated feature of the Yoast SEO plugin. Enter the desired URL in the Slug bar, which is located between the Title and Meta description tag fields. Be sure to separate words with hyphens, not underscores, and do not use special characters.
SEO optimization – one of the pillars of SEO
You now know a little more about SEO optimization. With a good optimization for natural referencing, your articles or your WordPress blog will gain visibility on search engines. Website SEO optimization is one of the three pillars of natural referencing.
You have all the cards in your hand, it’s up to you to get good results! You wish to be supported, do not hesitate to contact us, our SEO consultants and web marketers will provide you with effective solutions.
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