How to Optimize Your “How to” Article for Search Engines

SEO, otherwise known as search engine optimization, is the art of being attractive to search engines. Search engines can bring internet users to your article without a direct cost …

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SEO, otherwise known as search engine optimization, is the art of being attractive to search engines. Search engines can bring internet users to your article without a direct cost to you…if you have the best content.

Search engine rankings and credit scores are similar in that no one knows exactly how much a specific activity will improve or reduce your credit score, but many people know the general behaviors that will make the score go up or down. There are hundreds of factors that go into these search engines determining the most relevant results for a given search term, but don’t let SEO intimidate you. There are simple things you can do to increase your chances of being found through internet search engines.

Use keywords and search terms
The combinations of words you use in your article are one of the greatest factors search engines use to determine what your article is about. If your article is about gold, these could include “buy gold”, “invest in gold”, “gold investments”, “pros and cons of investing in gold”, or any number of other terms. There are many resources available over the internet that can help you do some quick research to determine which keyword phrases are most commonly used. You can then choose one to use in your title and a few more to sprinkle throughout the rest of your article. For more information on using keywords in your article, read How to Maximize Keyword Value in Articles.
 
Tip: While it is important to use keywords throughout your article, don’t stuff keywords where they don’t logically fit. A good test is to have someone else read it. If they notice how frequently a particular word is used, then you’ve probably overdone it.
 
Write for clarity, not prose
If Shakespeare were alive today, he would not be an internet marketer. For SEO purposes, it is usually better to use simple and clear words and phrases. For example, the term “use keywords” is used more frequently than “utilize keywords”. Using more common keywords and phrases will help the search engine performance of your article and the comprehension of your readers.
 
Tip: Know your audience. Have someone from that audience or demographic review your article. Can they understand it, or the words too technical for your targeted audience?
 
Link to your article
One of the most important factors that search engines use to determine the relevance of a particular page is the number of quality in-bound links. If you write a great “how to” article, then you will hopefully receive links from other websites. However, you can also help your cause by linking to your own articles from your blogs, websites or profile pages on other sites.
 
Tip: Don’t link to your articles with “click here”. An important factor that search engines consider is the text used in the link. Instead, link using the title of the article. For example: For more ways to promote your articles, read How to Link Build for Your "How To" Articles.
 
Link from your article
This won’t help the SEO of your article, but it will help the SEO of your website. Now that you’ve put a lot of work into creating an SEO friendly article, it’s time to reap one of your rewards. Put a link to your site in your bio at the end of your article. By linking to your website with your most powerful keyword phrase, you can improve your own site’s search engine rankings. For a more complete list of rewards, read Using "How to" Articles to Promote Your Business.
 
Tip: You don’t have to link to your home page every time. Think about what page on your site would be most valuable to someone interested in the topic of your article.
 
Promote your article
Once you’ve already spent the time to create an article, it only makes sense to get maximum value from it. One way you can do this is through a little self-promotion. Additional traffic and links will not only mean more eyes reading your content, but it will also mean more link juice back to your website via the link in your bio. You can promote your article through social bookmarking sites (ex: Digg, Del.icio.us), social networking sites (ex: MySpace, Facebook) or even through your own network of friends, family and the websites that you frequent.
 
Tip: If you have accounts on social networking or social bookmarking sites, send an alert out to your friends on the system. Get them to vote for or create a link to your article. If you have few friends on those social sites, go make some. Find people with similar interests. Link to and vote for their articles and they will likely do the same for you.

 

Jeremy Ames is the executive editor and CEO of NuWire, Inc. NuWire, through NuWireInvestor.com, provides news and information on real estate investment and other forms of alternative investing. Mr. Ames has built a career around service based businesses for investors. In addition to founding NuWire, Inc., he has also co-founded an investment focused real estate brokerage and a financial services firm specializing in self-directed investing (Guidant Financial Group, Inc.). In 2007, he received recognition as the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

 

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