Sunday, 25 March 2012

Everything Freelance Writers Need To Know About SEO

reelance Writers Need To Know About SEO


Everything Freelance Writers Need To Know About SEO
SEO is creeping into every industry it can.
If you are looking for any web related jobs, you'll probably see SEO listed along with it. I have seen SEO knowledge as a requirement for writers, graphic designers, web developers, and even programmers.
This article is aimed at freelance writers who'd want to up their game with the SEO knowledge they'd require to write great search engine optimized articles.
What is SEO?
SEO is the short form of Search Engine Optimization. It means tweaking your website to appear on top of the search engine ranking pages (commonly referred to as SERP’s).
Generally, SEO is split into on-page and off-page SEO. For a freelance writer, off-page SEO is not something you want to be concerned with, so I’ll skip over that topic.
What is a SERP?
Ever done a search on Google? I know you have. Who hasn’t? The page we see after we have entered our desired keyword is called a SERP (Search Engine Ranking Page).
Now, if we put the words or sentence into Google search bar and we hit the search button, we are greeted with several sites.
The page we are taken to contains advertisements as well as organic listings. Advertisements are Google’s Adwords based and organic listings are what Google thinks is best fit for your search terms based on a lot of factors.
What your clients want is someone who can writer articles which will come on top of organic listings. Your article alone is not enough to get a site ranked. But if you follow certain SEO best practices, and the domain on which the article is posted has a very good authority, then chances are your article can give it a boost.
What are Keywords?
Keywords are those words or phrases we type into the Google search bar. Keywords can be one single word or a combination of words. An example of a keyword with a single word is “writing” and a keyword with many words could be something like “How to get started with freelancing?”
I use market samurai keyword research module to come up with keywords if my client cannot supply me with good keywords or if they are indecisive about which keyword to use.
How to Choose Keywords?
If your client does not give you the keyword for writing, then here are some ways to choose the best keywords for the project
  1. Select the country your client wants to target and then focus on "local search volume"
  2. Choose a keyword which has at least 1000 searches but not more than 10000 searches per month. You can increase or decrease this window based on the project
  3. Always target long tail keywords. This means that you shouldn't focus on one word keywords like "writing". Instead choose keywords which are 2 or more words long such as "article writing" or "small business article writing". Generally the longer the keyword, lesser the competition
  4. For high value keywords such as those related to purchase and service, even low search traffic keywords can be highly competitive
  5. Use SEOmoz keyword difficulty analyzer if you have a pro subscription and choose a low-medium difficult keyword
  6. Have one main keyword (seed keyword) for your project and one or two secondary keywords for the same article. This boosts the relevancy of the content
What is Keyword Density?
Keyword density refers to the number of times a particular keyword appears on your article. Here is the simplest mathematical formula for calculating your keyword density.
Many people recommend 2-5 % keyword density as the optimum. However, I do not bother about keyword density anymore. This is because, I largely do not believe in this metric.
Being a SEO consultant, I must take care to follow my principles. Keyword density is something all legit SEO consultants have discarded a while back. Note that including too much of your keyword in your article might make it appear as spam (Keyword stuffing).
However, if your clients insist on maintaining keyword density, you can either try educating them or turn them down if they keep on insisting. Or, you can choose to agree with their viewpoint, write the article and be done with it.
What is LSI or Latent Semantic Indexing?
Sometimes, you come across job offers that require you to write LSI articles.
I have even seen writers respond to such requests asking which company they are referring to by LSI as they find a lot of companies when they do a quick search on Google with the keyword LSI.
Firstly, LSI is a technology and not a company.
Here is what Wikipedia has to say about LSI
Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) is an indexing and retrieval method that uses a mathematical technique called Singular value decomposition (SVD) to identify patterns in the relationships between the terms and concepts contained in an unstructured collection of text. LSI is based on the principle that words that are used in the same contexts tend to have similar meanings. A key feature of LSI is its ability to extract the conceptual content of a body of text by establishing associations between those terms that occur in similar contexts.
I know you are confused, so let me put this straight. LSI is nothing more than looking at a keyword and seeing what related keywords are best matches for it. Then search engines tries to figure out how well the article has LSI integrated into it. Having keywords related to each other in the same document supposedly increases the chances that the article is high value (Although using LSI, many people try to game search engines).

E.g. if your keyword is “money”, then possible related keywords will be “cash”, “business”, “dollars”, “euro”, and so on. You can use the visual search Quintura to find LSI keywords. You can also try LSI keywords.com to get LSI keyword ideas. Most of the time, I use my brain!!!
Keyword Prominence
This simply refers to where exactly your keyword appears first on the article. The earlier your keyword appears, the better it seems to be.
In my opinion, you must have keywords in the beginning, middle, and also towards the end.
Additional SEO Writing Tips
Here are some tips to take into consideration while crafting search engine optimized articles for your clients.
  1. Focus on keyword density only if you cannot make your client understand that it does not matter for SEO (Do not get the idea that a 0% keyword density is a smart move though!). Don’t over use keywords. Use in moderation and only where necessary
  2. Focus on LSI. I have found that LSI article indeed perform better than normal articles
  3. Charge different rates for LSI writing, SEO writing, and normal writing
  4. If you are in charge of writing the Meta title, and Meta description, then make sure you include the keyword once or maximum twice. Not more than that
  5. Include keywords in headings and sub headings

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