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A simple guide to presenting articles on a website

We’ve received a good article for our website. Now we want to know how to present it to maximise its performance in the search engines. What should we do?

Firstly, we should bear in mind that whatever changes are made, remaining useful to the visitor should be the primary aim. This sounds a bit shallow, but it’s proven. Many people will find the page through Google searches for things we haven’t envisaged, and the best way to encourage this is to publish helpful content.

That said, the article should be optimised for a specific search. Finding what this should be will take a bit of work. We need to consider the articles that are already ranking in the search results in the topic area; look at the results for different searches; and study things like the ‘People Also Ask’ section. If we can find a lucrative search to target, and this won’t mean massive rewriting of the article, that’s our search.

This ‘keyword’ phrase should be used in (or as) the title, the headline and perhaps high up in the text, as well as used in the description meta tag. However, that should be enough – don’t repeat it unnaturally in the text. Try not to let the need to get the phrase into the headline prevent the headline from being attractive though.

Good online formatting, with short paragraphs and plenty of subheadings, is useful, as is anything to improve readability. Well-labelled visual items will help too.

Finally, don’t be afraid to link out elsewhere. Google ranks pages which it perceives to be useful, and that’s a characteristic which is common to useful pages.