Why Article Structure Counts and How to Nail It

Article Structure Counts - People Development Network
Christina Lattimer
I help leaders develop self- mastery, helping them to become confident in their own inner guidance. I collaborate with leadership experts, managers and HR professionals to help them get their own message and unique services and products to a wide audience.
Christina Lattimer

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Christina Lattimer
Christina Lattimer

Why article structure counts

Article structure counts because you have taken the time and trouble to write your post and you want as many people as possible to read your expertise!  When someone taps into the search engine and wants to know about “the ethics of great leadership”, you want your article about ethics and leadership to pop up and come to their attention.   Is it going to get onto page one of Google? Maybe.  It depends on how well you get your article structure right.  There is no doubt, search engines will be more likely to find your article when you have crafted the structure.  This article sets out why article structure counts and what you can do to get your article right.

Learning to format articles can take some time

I remember the first time I wrote a blog post way back in 2012.  I agonised over the quality of the content, and it took me about a week to refine the detail.  It was with fear and trepidation I finally published my article.  In that first week I had about 5 views. The importance of making my article search engine friendly didn’t occur to me. I had no social media presence to speak of.  Probably the 5 people who read it were a couple of friends and maybe  my kids.  I muddled on for about 6 months before I began to get the hang of it.  It took about another 2 years to refine my understanding about how to maximise the reach of my posts and to be convinced about why article structure counts. I have to admit to going back and either re-writing or binning those early contributions.

Article structure is not just about SEO

It is no good losing the essence of your writing simply to satisfy SEO, not only will that be counterproductive, it’s also likely to stifle your creativity.  So while there is a “model structure”, it’s good to practice the 80/20 rule when you attempt to get it right.   Creating an article with a good structure will set out exactly what the subject is, where the reader can jump to for the part their most interested in, and will determine the flow of your writing.

How to format the structure of the article

The magazine uses an application by Yoast which provides two measurements which help to get your article found by search engines.  One is Readability, which you can read about in this article which sets out the factors which create good readability for your audience.   The other is SEO and Yoast set out a set of factors which will help search engines to pick up on your topic.   Some of this is quite technical, but you can comply with the Yoast recommendations for SEO by using some simple principles about how to structure your article.

  • Determine a keyword or phrase for your article.   This should reflect the subject of the article, so it is clear what your article is about.  The Key Phrase
    for this article, for example,  is “article structure counts” The headings and paragraphs in the article are a logical run through of this key phrase.  You should include your keyword/phrase in one or two sub-headings. 
  • Think carefully about the title of your article.  You need to think about the quality of your heading for your audience.  You also need to make sure it contains the keyword/phrase so search engines pick it up.
  • Articles should have a minimum of 300 words.  However, if you have a juicy subject, it’s been shown that longer articles are more likely to be upturned by search engines. 
  • Your article should have a short introduction.  Your introduction should form the first paragraph.  The introduction should include your keyword/phrase and explain to the reader what your article is about. 
  • Search engines like one or two outbound links to informational web pages which underline or support your article.  If you quote research, then provide a link for readers to that research.
  • Your keyword/phrase should appear in the article about 1.5%.  So for an article of about 700 words, your keyword/phrase should appear about 10 times.

So with some simple tweaks to your article structure, you can make it more focused for your audience.  You can also optimise the chances of search engines finding it.  A win/win for sure!

 

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