Writing articles for an online publication such as Associated Content is entirely different than writing for newspapers, magazines, and other print media. Articles written for Associated Content rely on keywords, phrases, keyword density, and clear and concise headlines in order to be discovered and properly listed by search engines. Without the proper keywords, headlines, and the appropriate keyword density, Associated Content articles can’t be found, and online articles that can’t be located through popular search engines are virtually worthless.
Choosing Keywords and Phrases
While writing for Associated Content, choose the keywords before choosing the headlines, and while in the process of writing the article, keep those words in mind. Choose your keyword phrase or phrases accordingly, and let the article you’re writing revolve around the handful of keywords that form a phrase that best describes the subject of your work.
Don’t make the mistake of focusing on too many keywords or phrases while writing. If you try to cram many different keywords into an article, the total keyword density will be greatly decreased, and if density is below one percent, the discoverability of the article will be greatly reduced.
On the other hand, keyword density over five percent is viewed as spam by search engines, and articles considered spam are penalized. Those who cheat, intentionally or unwittingly, must go to the end of the line. Instead of moving to the top of the search engine list, articles with too many keywords are placed at the bottom. The density for a main word should rank between one and five percent. I usually shoot for a minimum density range between two and three percent, but the closer to five percent density the better.
Besides the fact that a submission will be penalized for spamming the search engines, a piece with too many keywords tends to be choppy. When an article is difficult to read or understand it won’t hold the attention of the reader, and this also renders it worthless.
Choosing Associated Content Headlines
Associated Content headlines are just as important as keywords. While writing for Associated Content, I discovered that headlines must contain the main keywords or phrases that best describe the piece and preferably nothing more. Don’t make your headlines too wordy. If you want to rank at the top of the search engines, keep this in mind when choosing headlines for Associated Content articles.
Although it may be tempting to write a catchy creative headline, don’t get too creative. Train yourself to think in search engine terms. If you were searching for a particular subject, ask yourself, what search terms would I use? More than likely, you would type a simple keyword phrase that is clear and concise. You wouldn’t type a catchy or creative line. Creative headlines won’t matter when no one can find them. Save your catchy or clever phrases for sub headlines.
Google Your Published Associated Content Articles
Googling your published Associated Content articles will help you understand the importance of keywords, phrases, and headlines, and how they are ranked online. As an Associated Content writer, this is a valuable lesson you can teach yourself. Once you realize the importance of keywords, phrases, and headlines, as well as how they work, your Associated Content articles will rank at the top of the search engine listings.
I didn’t fully understand this concept until I began researching my Associated Content headlines on Google, and after I realized how important the headlines truly were, I began choosing my headlines much more carefully. My clout with Associated Content shot up unbelievably fast after I gained a better understanding of how to choose article keywords, keyword phrases, and Associated Content headlines.
The value of an Associated Content article depends greatly on discoverability, so begin by locating the headline of one of your published articles. Your headlines must contain the keywords of the piece, and the words should form the exact phrase that someone would use to search for your subject. Where does your article rank?
Next, search for your Associated Content piece by changing the order of the words in your headline. You’ll notice the ranking changes. Without the exact headline phrase, the piece will usually move further down the list. Although the listing might still be in reach, the higher the ranking, the more traffic your piece will receive.
If your article isn’t listed on one of the first few pages of a search engine, it isn’t very discoverable. Truly valuable articles appear on one of the first few pages of a search engine listing. People tend to click on the first few listings that capture their attention. It makes sense that websites listed first are websites that generate the most traffic.
Check Keyword Density and Headlines Before You Submit
Before I submit my articles to Associated Content, I use a free online Keyword Density Tool. This keyword density tool is invaluable. Simply copy and paste your Associated Content article into the large text box, and type keywords into the three smaller boxes. The density percentages will be displayed instantly. Note your keyword density, and if density isn’t between one and five percent, preferably at least two to three percent, go back to the drawing board. Make the necessary changes to the keyword choices and/or headlines, and don’t submit your articles to Associated Content until density percentages are correct.
If you want your Associated Content articles to rank at the top of the search engines, take the time to check keyword density to ensure your keywords and headlines are the most appropriate for your submissions. Choosing clear and concise Associated Content headlines that match article keywords, along with the proper density, will make the difference between ranking on top of the listings, or with the millions of other websites lost forever at the bottom.