How to Write a Perfectly SEO-Optimised Article

How to Write a Perfectly SEO-Optimised Article

Optimising your content for search engines is incredibly important and a practice many companies are not doing. As we know, search engines require content specifically in text form, and optimising this for Google will ensure the Google crawlers understand the article better. It will also tell the search engine where to rank it. There is great value in taking time to craft an article to rank highly on a search keyword or phrase.

Meta Title Tag

This tag should be 65 characters long, bearing in mind that this is the first thing people will see in their Google search results, so make sure the headline is catchy. Research shows that an increased click-through rate from the search results page quickly increases the SEO rankings.

Meta Description Tag

Next, on Search Engine Optimisation, we need to ensure we have an optimised meta description tag of 300 characters. This is what Google shows in the results page. It helps the user understand the relevance of the page. Google has said that they don’t use the meta tag to rank websites.

Title Heading

In HTML we are able to assign a hierarchy of tags to our headings. H1 is the top heading and the most important. Underneath that H2, H3, H4 headings will follow. Make sure your heading or title of the article is the H1 tag. In WordPress or other content management systems you generally have the option to edit the headings.

Opening Paragraph

It is important to include the subject of the post, which includes in the first sentence the keywords you want to rank. This should not be too obvious and must be done subtly. For example, if your article is about fixing a blocked drain you cannot start your opening paragraph with “Top plumbers fixing a blocked drain in Johannesburg, South Africa”. Rather leave out the location and superlative-type words. Remember to include anchor text to another article relating to the story. Internal linking is beneficial such as linking to another article on your website about roots can cause blocked drains.


Breaking the article up into sections is important to keep the reader’s attention and for SEO. The search engine will look at the layout and ease of readability point of view. We recommend using the H2 tag for subheadings. In the second paragraph remember to use anchor text again. Before paragraph three, it is a good idea to include a call to action. Perhaps a sign-up or subscribe for more information or an early-bird discount.

Word Count

Search engines appear to prioritise articles above 500 words. This also gives more leverage to play around with the keyword density and to include more relevant information relating to your business.  A few years ago Google was happy with 250 words, but this is no longer the case. It flags pages with 500 words or less as thin pages. We recommend 500 words just to be safe, as sometimes there isn’t more to say on the topic. HubSpot found in their  2017 post, that the prime word count was in fact 2 250 – 2 500 words. If the target-keyword density is too high, Google will see this as trying to manipulate its algorithm. Keywords should represent between 1.5% – 3% of the total text.

Related Articles

Having related articles at the bottom of the article is a good way to reduce bounce rate and keep people engaged on your site.

General Pointers

Page Authority and Domain Authority are metrics which Moz developed to predict how well a page will rank in a search results page. You can test your sites domain and page authority here

It is important to monitor bounce rate and keep it manageable, ie a low bounce rate means that people are reading more than one page on your website. Many news sites have a high bounce rate because people often go on to read only one story and drop off. However, if there are many pages on the website and especially if people from an organic search are showing a high bounce rate it is important to use tools and techniques to keep them on the site longer. Site speed is an important factor in reducing bounce rate. Having a slow website will drastically decrease user interaction.

You will notice that websites with HTTPS in the URL are those with an SSL certificate installed. The SSL certificate will encrypt data, making it more difficult for hackers to gain access to the website. Google has said it will eventually prioritise websites with SSL certificates.

Google looks for social shares of articles. Make it easy for people to share your content onto social media. If Google sees a lot of activity on social media it could rank your article and website higher.

Optimise Your Website for Voice Search

Optimise Your Website for Voice Search

In 2019, Google voice search queries are estimated to increase by 35% and a quarter of 16-24 year olds already use voice search every day. There is an increasing number of voice recognition tools being made available. After numerous updates, Siri and Cortana, are becoming more user friendly and tech giants like Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Home, use voice recognition integrated to numerous makes of television sets and can be used for apps such as ordering an Uber using voice activation.

Some stats:

  • 50% of all searches will be voice-based by 2020, according to comscore
  • About 30% of searches will be done without a screen by 2020, ie using voice, Mediapos
  • It is estimated there will be 21.4 million smart speakers in the US by 2020 according to Activate. These are speakers that are voice-operated and controlled.
  • By 2019, the voice recognition market will be worth $600 million according to a report by Technavio via Skyword.
  • In 2017, approx 25 million voice-activated devices were shipped, bringing the total number of voice devices to 33 million in circulation, based on a study by VoiceLabs via Mediapost

It is important to note that voice search queries tend to be longer and more specific than text queries, and the user wants clear immediate answers. To adapt to this shift and optimise your website for voice search, there are several changes you may consider making to your digital content:

  • It is important to incorporate long-tail keywords to address the more precise queries into your website copy. For example, add more specific and niche keywords into your website copy such as location, colour and size specification.
  • Use more natural language and conversational tone, answer the What, Where, When and How questions on your website.
  • Add an FAQ page. Phrase these questions in a way that real people will ask them, and provide comprehensive, clear answers.
  • The four most common intents behind the voice searches are ‘I want to know’, ‘to go’, ‘to do’ and ‘to buy’. Understand (research) your users’ needs and offer solutions.
  • Take care of your local SEO, for example, your Google Places page, as most voice searches are local.

Content marketing remains a crucial part of a company’s marketing strategy. The user might not be reading the content but asking an AI device about content which might be listed on your website.

Related Source: Online Marketing Agency Johannesburg

Google to Target Mobile Page Speed Load Time

Google to Target Mobile Page Speed Load Time

The speed of loading mobile websites on devices currently doesn’t impact mobile rankings. But Google will be updating the page speed ranking to specifically look at page loading speed. Google has released a page analysis tool for users to test their website and suggestions on what to fix.


Make sure your website is mobile friendly. This doesn’t necessarily mean having a ‘mobi’ site but that your web page has a responsive design meaning that it auto adjusts to the screen size viewed. Having optimised images and browser caching is important for speed. Utilising a CDN (content delivery network) helps users see your content in the quickest time possible.