How to Ensure Your Article is SEO-Friendly: A Comprehensive Guide

Updated: Feb 20, 2024 | |

Search engine optimisation is one of the cornerstones of digital marketing, and in the fast-paced digital marketplace, crafting content that is both engaging and SEO-friendly is essential for success. This guide provides a strategic approach to content creation, focusing on optimising your articles for search engines while also captivating your audience.

Understanding the Basics of SEO

Search engines are like the gatekeepers of the digital world, and SEO-friendly articles are the keys to unlocking visibility. Properly optimised content can turn your website into a powerful tool for attracting and engaging visitors, and ultimately boost your bottom line.

Keywords: The Foundation of SEO

Keywords are what drive searches and targeting the right keywords is one of the most important aspects of search engine optimisation. To have SEO-friendly articles that rank on search engine results pages (SERPs) your keywords must be relevant to your topic, naturally integrated into your content, and reflect what your audience is searching for.

Keyword research tools and programs like Ahrefs are invaluable for identifying effective keywords, while others such as Keywords Everywhere will give you more accurate insight into average monthly search volume. When it comes to keywords, higher volume terms will often be more competitive yet offer greater benefits, helping to propel your articles up the rankings.

While keyword density is important for ranking your articles, don’t make the mistake of keyword stuffing in an attempt to game the rankings. Keyword stuffing is exactly what it sounds like, and will lead to your articles being penalised by search engines, ultimately hurting you more than helping you. By keeping your keyword usage natural and avoiding the urge to jam in extra mentions, you will easily avoid any issues, while increasing your likelihood of ranking for those keywords at the same time.

Meta Descriptions and Title Tags: Creating a Strong First Impression

Meta descriptions and title tags (also known as meta titles) are critical as they provide the first glimpse of your content in search results. Title tags/meta titles communicate the topic of the page to searchers, while meta descriptions offer a brief overview of what they will find on the page. A meta description and title tag should be compelling, include primary keywords, and accurately summarize your article for someone scrolling through a SERP.

Although meta descriptions are not strictly considered by search engines as a ranking factor, good meta descriptions do encourage a higher click-through rate and should still be considered an important part of your content.

The Importance of Quality Content & Originality

Beyond keywords, meta descriptions, and title tags, your article must provide valuable information, solve problems, or answer questions that searchers have. High-quality content is key to keeping readers engaged, reducing bounce rates, and increasing the time spent on your site. On the contrary, low-quality content that is recycled, unoriginal, or uninteresting is a good way to deter readers and hurt your article’s SEO performance. Ensure your content is unique and offers fresh insights or perspectives that readers will get real value from.

Readability: Ensuring Content Accessibility

Your content should be easy to read and digest, both when someone first lands on the page and as they’re making their way through your article. Avoid walls of text and use short paragraphs, clear subheadings, and bullet points to enhance readability. Tools like Hemingway Editor and Grammarly can help assess the clarity and simplicity of your writing and allow you to keep readers engaged throughout.


Headings and subheadings have a descending hierarchy (H1, H2, H3, etc) that determines their size on the page and how they relate to one another, with an H1 heading being your article title, H2 headings denoting your main points, H3 headings your sub-points, and so on. Additionally, headings also tell search engines what your article is about, which is why it is crucial to put your main targeted keyword in your H1 heading.

Images & Text Elements

Images serve not only as useful visual aids to your article but also help break up your content and make it more digestible – something that Google appreciates and values highly. Using authentic, original imagery wherever possible is best, as stock imagery or images taken from other articles will be seen as less trustworthy or valuable by Google, and can hurt your SEO ranking.

Text elements such as bullet points, numbered lists, bolded text and the like are all great ways to break up your articles and tend to be liked by Google, while also making it easier for your readers. The exact elements don’t matter too much, just so long as you have something that prevents your article from becoming a dreaded wall of text.

Advanced SEO Techniques

  1. Content Length and Quality: Focus on creating content that is not just lengthy but rich in quality, relevance, and clarity.
  2. Linking Strategy: Incorporate both internal and external links to enhance the depth and credibility of your content.
  3. Image Optimisation: Use well-optimised images with descriptive ALT tags that include your primary keyword, enhancing the visual appeal and accessibility for search engines.
  4. Schema Markup: Implement schema markups to aid search engines in understanding your content more effectively.
  5. Mobile Optimization: With mobile browsing now forming the majority of online searches, it is essential to ensure your content is accessible and navigable on all devices, especially smartphones.
  6. Page Load Speed: Optimise your page load speed to enhance user experience, using tools like Google’s PageSpeed Insights.

Semi-Regular Updates and Backlinks

Update your content when necessary to keep it up-to-date and maintain high search engine rankings. If content becomes obsolete, the article’s click-through rate is likely to decrease, resulting in Google reconfiguring your ranking. Keeping your content current and relevant to the times is crucial in maintaining your positioning on page one.

Acquiring quality backlinks from reputable sites can also increase your organic search traffic and boost your SEO ranking, acting as endorsements for your content. Regularly check your backlinks for broken links if linking URLs have been altered or pages have been removed. Loss of backlinks can result in a loss of rankings and organic search traffic.

Conclusion: Balancing SEO and User Experience

Creating an SEO-friendly article requires balancing technical SEO with crafting an engaging user experience. As search engine algorithms evolve, staying abreast of the latest trends and continuously refining your approach is crucial.

By implementing these practices, your content will not just rank well in search engines but will also appeal to and satisfy your readers. This comprehensive approach ensures your content serves as a valuable asset in your digital strategy, effectively driving traffic and engaging your audience in the digital age.

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