Search engines are the best way to find anything: news, articles and essays, recipes, products, you name it. No matter how great your content, search engines won't find it unless it has been search engine optimised. This is a fundamental part of writing in the digital world (referred to as SEO by professionals). These are some tips to help you get started with SEO.
1. Pick Keywords Judiciously
SEO is about using strong keywords search engines can pick up as they "crawl through billions" of pages. You, the writer, must choose keywords that represent the main idea of your article and include them in the text.
When writing your copy, think of a phrase of 1-3 words that summarizes the topic. Although keywords don't have to be specific about the content, they should give search engines and readers an idea of what you're offering.
Also, you should choose specific keywords. General keywords ("books," "movies," "cars," etc.) They are common and will get your page buried. You should not use "bookstore" in your keyword search. Instead, you should specify "children's bookstore in Atlanta". This phrase will yield fewer results, but it will bring more value to you.
2. Avoid keyword stuffing
After you have chosen your keywords, it is tempting to fill your page with them. This will ensure that search engines understand what you are writing. Don't.
Search engines use algorithms to rank pages. They can also detect keyword stuffing. Keyword-stuffed pages are those that have been intentionally overloaded with keywords to increase their search engine ranking. This will result in your content being flagged as spam or penalized by search engines.
Maintain a keyword density of 1 to 3 percent. If the keyword must be used more than this, make sure it is being included organically and not appearing to be a game.
3. SEO Doesn't Make Your Content Boring
It is said that while you optimize your content to search engines, you don't write it for people. Sometimes, SEO professionals end up writing prose so sterile that it feels scripted instead of written.
The thing is that SEO can be as important as it is. But, if your writing is boring, it doesn't matter how optimized it is. Optimizing should be the final step in your creative writing process. Before you do that, create a full and interesting piece, then make small adjustments to ensure Google and Bing find it.