If you own a blog, then the quality of your articles are of a paramount importance. But not only the quality of the spelling, grammar and punctuation, but also what you are writing about and the optimisation of the content for both visitors and search engines.
What are you writing about?
First of all, what is it your writing about? You need to think of a great article that catches the attention of the reader. But as well as that, also works well from a search engine optimisation (SEO) perspective. What’s search engine optimisation? It’s ensuring your web site or blog and the content on it is optimised for search engines so your site ranks well in search results. It is important to note that Google’s algorithm is very smart and can detect cheating and plagiarism very, very quickly and easily, and will not list entries in its index if it detects any form of plagiarism. Considering Google indexes new sites within days, it is fair to say Google’s algorithm is only getting smarter. Having said that, their are other great search engines – Bing being one of them. Microsoft’s Bing search engine is much of an improvement over their last search platform, Live Search, and has much more relevant results and does index faster than their search engine did before, and is continually improving. Being well-indexed in Bing is also important, as the market share of Bing is only increasing right now.
Choose a good title.
The title is important because it’s what search engines also sue to determine the listing of your article for various search terms. Don’t make the search title too generic if your blog is new as it will not be as highly ranked as other similar blogs on the Internet. Whatever the article is about, be descriptive about it in the title.
Your articles will have a better image if you make sure your articles are error-free. Spelling and grammatical errors are not a good image to readers. Make sure you use correct spelling and grammar – and the correct spelling for where you live and the largest audience on your blog, or that is expected on your blog. For example “optimisation” versus “optimization” – the latter being the correct American spelling versus the former British spelling.
Does it need a reference/source?
You might not know this but if you copy a large excerpt of a large article from another blog (or content of a site) and do not specify the source of that (with a hyperlink to it), Google may know about this and not index your article at all, or even worse, penalise your site for it. You must reference your sources. As far as we’re aware, you can set any hyperlink as rel=”nofollow” if you wish – so long as you have a hyperlink to the source of the excerpt. And note here I say “excerpt”.
It’s also a good idea to reference any sources which back up what you talk about if possible, so your readers have ways to verify using external sources about what you’re talking about – sort of like a bibliography. Think citations on Wikipedia.
Make your article interesting!
Having text alone is sometimes a little boring. Add a bit of visual representation with your articles by having images to the left or right that’s in context to what you’re talking about. For example, if you’re talking about the New York stock exchange, you may want to have an image of a stock exchange to give visual representation and context to what you’re talking about). Make sure the image isn’t too far away when floated on either side.
As well as visual imagery, making your articles interesting is also about the content and what you’re writing about. If you have an article on the latest news on something, perhaps add a pol to the bottom of the article so your readers can share their feedback with their opinions on the matter. You may be thinking how to do this in WordPress because it’s not something available out-of-the-box, but there’s a great plugin called WP-Polls – I recommend you install it and try it out, it’s pretty nice. When you add polls, it’ll show you the poll ID, and there will be a new icon when you create or amend posts for adding polls (based on the poll ID) to your articles relative to where you place the “poll tag” in your article content.
Are you regularly talking about news topics or have a lot of editorial-related articles often? I’d recommend you make use of a feature called Featured Images which allows you to have an image above your article on the blog homepage that will act as the featured image for the article. If you don’t have a “Featured Image” to the bottom-right when creating new articles, see the guide on the WordPress site to enabling the use of Featured Images for your blog.