It can be difficult to write an effective article which flows well and makes sense, while still incorporating appropriate keywords for search engine optimization. Before you even begin to write for the web, you must perform keyword research to make sure your writing is as optimal as possible for its application. Utilizing this information may help you improve your writing, while creating effective web articles.
Knowing the Topic
The first thing to do when you begin writing an article is to examine the topic. You should have an idea of what you need to write about and be able to create a brief outline based on the information you have. If you do not have firsthand knowledge of the topic, you can research it online - just be careful to avoid plagiarism.
Performing Keyword Research
If you are writing for a client, they may provide keywords for you to use. If keywords are not provided, you will need to research the most effective ones. You can do this by going to Google AdWords and logging in (you will need to create an account if you don't already have one). Type in your topic to find a list of the most commonly searched keywords related to that topic. These are the keywords you should plan to use in your writing.
Using Keywords Naturally
Keywords generally need to be used within the first paragraph of your writing, in order to be effective and rank highly on search engines. You should work in keywords as naturally as possible, without modifying them or swapping the order of words. If a keyword phrase is too awkward to work, very common words like "it," "and," and "or" may be worked in without affecting the effectiveness of the phrase. It may be necessary in extreme cases to cut a keyword out entirely - this is better than using the keyword in an unnatural manner, since poorly written web copy will not attract viewers (and will not be seen as a credible resource).
Formatting the Article
Your article should be formatted in a way which is neatly organized and easy to follow. Using subheads to break up sections in a logical manner is a good idea, and it will help your readers retain interest. If you are responsible for posting the article as well as writing it, make sure that the text is a "normal" font like Verdana or Times New Roman. It should be large enough to be easily read - usually between 10pt and 12pt font - and should be a color which is easily read against whatever background is being used. Make the subheads stand out by putting them in bold or italics.
If you're unsure about any aspect of the article, you should verify your information by using the Internet to research the topic. Google is a great resource for this, and you might try sites like eHow to see if similar articles have already been published. As previously stated, while you should take advantage of all the resources available to you, you should also be very careful not to plagiarize.
Things to Remember
If you're writing for a client, realize that the project must be done to his or her satisfaction - not necessarily to yours. The client may want changes made which you don't necessarily agree with, but it's your duty to make the changes as requested. This may include cutting out sections completely or adding extra text which requires more research on your part.
Writing effective web copy can be difficult, but by knowing your facts and integrating the right keywords, you can attract pageviews and earn followers with your writing.