Yes, here I go mentioning SEO again -- that magic three-letter abbreviation we hear often. Using easy techniques can help online article writers significantly. If you haven't heard of SEO or if you haven't heeded the advice, you likely are losing out big time. A large portion of Internet traffic comes via search engines. If you expect search engines to find your content and deliver it in search results, you need to talk their language. Here are some simple techniques you can incorporate right away to help increase traffic and bring in valuable readers that stay around.
Focus, Focus, Focus
Focusing clearly on the subject at hand is a very easy way to draw people in. Not only should online article writers focus in on the subject without rambling, but focus should be in one specific aspect of that topic. For instance, the subject of this article is 'techniques for online article writers.' For focus, it was narrowed down to 'SEO techniques,' and more specifically, 'easy' SEO techniques.
A good way to narrow your focus is to search your topic on the site you're writing for, as well as your favorite search engine (mine is Yahoo), to see what already exists. Go for an angle that focuses on something useful or interesting, but focus on an aspect either not covered enough or not covered in the manner you intend on covering it. When I searched on this topic, I found many SEO articles, but none that were as specific or as simple to understand as I'm hoping this is.
Remove Modifiers and Fluff
Ever tried to read an article where the use of words such as "and, at, that, to, but" etc. is excessive? Not only is this bad for readability, but it takes up space and lowers the importance of the relevant words. Obviously, you need these words in some areas, but remove them where possible. For instance, instead of saying "She thought that it would have helped her, but it didn't help, " you might say "She thought it would help, but it didn't." See how much easier that is to read?
Being too descriptive or using too much storytelling can also take away from the SEO and the valuable info. Creativity is good, but don't be excessive. This is useful info to remember when writing the article, as well as during proofreading. Remember that web writing differs from other writing. Instead of saying something like "Jenny hurried across the green, grassy lawn to take a potted flower to her grandmother's house and enjoy a well-done steak dinner, " you might say something like "Jenny rushed home to her grandmother's with a potted flower, to enjoy a steak dinner with her." It still gets the point across, but is not so drawn out.
Latentic Semantic Indexing (LSI)
Latentic Semantic Indexing (LSI) is a technique that can easily be implemented with others. It shouldn't be the only method used, but when used in conjunction with the techniques above (and more as you learn), it's a great technique. Here's a simple way to remember LSI. It's basically the action of using words related to your key topic. There is a more complex explanation. However, we're keeping things simple here.
To find related words, simply use a word cloud generator. Type up a phrase or word that best represents your topic. That will give you results with some related terms. You can do this with various words and phrases. You also can use keyword tools, such as the Google Keyword Planner. Once you have all your related terms, sprinkle those throughout your content. These do not need to be used often and should be natural and not forced or overly used. Ignore the ones that actually are not related and do not make sense within your content. You still need to make sense and provide something functional to your readers.
There was one point in time where I would have recommended to absolutely focus mostly on search engine rankings in terms of traffic. However, that may be coming to a close soon. By the way, that doesn't mean you shouldn't still strive to rank well. But you may discover (like I did) that more recently Facebook is now the highest referrer of incoming traffic.
Where is your traffic coming from?
Up until recently, without a doubt, one of the larger search engines had always been my biggest referrer. Another large search engine was always close behind. Most people found me organically through search. Facebook was bobbing back and forth between second and fourth place among search engines and content sites. But this past month, I noticed a huge change. The major search engine fell a couple slots as the main referrer, my traffic grew overall, and Facebook became the main referrer. Did I fall in rankings? No. Upon further research, I discovered I was still getting generally the same amount of traffic from the major search engines and in some cases more. However, I was getting much more from Facebook than ever before.
Focus on your strong points
Take a look at your data to see where the bulk of your traffic is coming from. Is it Facebook or is it a search engine? You may be as surprised as I was at the answer. Wherever your strength lies, that is where the most focus should be. However, don't completely abandon the other traffic sources because you never know when things will change again. Since Facebook looks to be a very strong point for me right now, I will focus more on that aspect of my promotion. In digging deeper, it appears that the traffic is coming from my niche pages on Facebook as well as my personal profile and other people's profiles. Will I change what I am doing on Facebook? No. Whatever I am already doing is working. So the only change I should make is to be more consistent with it. Simply put, I need more focus.
What if Facebook is your weak point?
Once you have discovered and utilized your strong points, set aside a little time for the weaker ones. You don't have to be on Facebook all day to use it to your advantage. Create a few niche pages that fit your writing style. Link them to relevant pages on your site or blog. You can set up RSS feeds to automatically post to your facebook pages and profile. That way, you can focus on answering questions and posting other interesting things for your audience. This helps to make the most of the small amounts of time you may have to spend on this. This was my strategy in the beginning and apparently it has paid off. Never underestimate what a few minutes per day can do over time.
Has your Facebook traffic grown recently? Share your tips in the comments section.
Lyn Lomasi & Richard Rowell are life & business partners. Owners of Brand Shamans & the Write W.A.V.E. Media network, we are your brand healing, soul healing, & content superheroes to the rescue!
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