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Onpage SEO: How to Optimize Your Article to Rank in Google

by Ahmad Honey i 'm SEO Analyst and writer
When I started my career as a freelance writer, I didn’t know a thing about SEO.

In fact, this stuff sounded so technical to me that I’d avoid even applying to gigs that mentioned “SEO” in their job description.

There’s a lot that I’ve learned in the process and this post is going to be a distilled version of all the basics of onpage SEO.

I actually just made a rather detailed video on the same topic on my Youtube channel, but since this is a very important aspect of our work, I’ll cover the basics here as well.

Primary Keywords and Their Usage
These are the search terms that you want to rank for on Google.

For example, an article titled as “Everything You Need to Know About Dog Shedding” would have primary keywords like:

  • Dog shedding
  • Shedding in dogs

Usually, your client will provide these to you unless you’re being paid additionally for keyword research.

I won’t be discussing how to research for keywords since I suppose they are beyond the scope of this post.

Now, what you want to do is use these keywords naturally within the body and headings of your article.

Remember: if your keyword usage isn’t natural, there’s no point in doing SEO. Write for humans first and Google later.

How many times should you use a keyword? This is an age-old debate that we’ll probably never get a definite answer to.

But using your primary keyword at least 3 times in a 1000-word article is a safe option (exceptions are always there.)

Ideally, you want to use one of your primary keywords within the first 100 words of your article.

LSI / Secondary Keywords
These aren’t keywords that you’re trying to rank for per se. But they’re supporting keywords that help Google understand that you’ve covered your topic thoroughly.

For example, an article on F.R.I.E.N.D.S (the TV show) would be incomplete without mentioning words like Joey, Chandler, Monica, Rachel, Phoebe, Ross, Central Perk, New York.

Google is known to rank articles higher in search results that cover the topic thoroughly and using LSI is the best way of signaling to Google that your content is written in-depth.

Now, clients often won’t provide you with LSI, but you can easily find them. Just search your keyword in Google and scroll to the bottom of the page. You’ll see a section on “Searches Related to [your keyword]”

You want to choose only the most logical LSI from that list and use them naturally within your text. If it doesn’t make sense to use them, feel free to ignore these keywords.

Just using some of these once or twice in the text should be okay. Also, there’s no real need to use them word-for-word… just thematically covering them should work well.

Heading Sizes
In SEO, there are 6 Heading Sizes ranging from H1-H6 (obviously, H refers to “heading”). These heading sizes are used to type headings in your article.

To simplify my explanation, I’ll ignore H4, H5 and H6.

  • H1 = The title of your article (e.g. Everything You Need to Know About Dog Shedding)
  • H2 = The heading size used for typing subsections (e.g. Factors Affecting Shedding in Dogs)
  • H3 = The size used for typing subheadings within subsections (e.g. subheading for those individual “shedding factors” like “Age”, “Dog Breed”, “Season” etc.)

Where you can find these subheadings depends on which program/app you’re using to write your article. In MS Word, you’ll find the option to choose these heading sizes in the top menu (screenshot attached).

Remember to always use your primary keyword in the H1 heading of your article. Some SEO experts might recommend you to use your primary keyword in around 50% of your H2 and H3 subheadings as well.

Whether you should do that depends on your client. Some might consider that as over-optimized while others would love it.

In any case, use your primary keyword in at least one subheading as well.

“This Doesn’t Make Sense!”
It’s completely okay if this doesn’t make sense to you right now. Just save this post, keep working, and revisit it a couple of months later. You’ll eventually get it when the right time comes.
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About Ahmad Honey Freshman   i 'm SEO Analyst and writer

4 connections, 0 recommendations, 28 honor points.
Joined APSense since, September 20th, 2018, From lahore, Pakistan.

Created on Dec 4th 2019 23:11. Viewed 349 times.

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