In my last piece we discussed the fourth main purpose of your article, which is to build back-links for your web pages. This time (and in two following articles) we’ll talk about how to create SEO’ed (search engine optimized) content. This tactic takes care of the fifth major purpose, which is to use your articles to draw in traffic from the search engines.

Optimizing your content for the search engines requires you to follow these two steps:

1. Choose your keywords.
2. Write content around those keywords.

Let’s look at these steps separately and in detail…

Choose Your Keywords

First things first: What do I mean by “keywords”?

These are the words and phrases that you want your content to rank well for in the search engines. For example, “dog training” is a keyword. “How to grow tomatoes” is another keyword.

Now, you can’t just pluck keywords out of thin air. That’s because:

Reason 1: You want to choose words that your target market is actually searching for in the search engines. You see, you could optimize your content for something like “blue ants dance fast,” but what’s the point? If no one is searching for that keywords, then being at the top of the search engines for it provides you no benefits.

Reason 2: You want to choose words with very little competition. The words that your market is searching for the most in Google (and elsewhere) tend to be quite competitive. In other words, your competitors are also trying to rank well for those keywords.

The solution? You need to seek out longtail keywords. These are keywords that are typically longer, such as four or five word phrases. Because these are longer phrases, they don’t tend to be searched as often by your prospects. However, they’re also less competitive, meaning you have a better chance of ranking well for them in the search engines.

Let me give you an example. While “dog training” is an extremely competitive keyword, a phrase like “dog agility training London” has less competition.

Now, maybe you’re wondering why you’d want to rank well for a keyword that has a small number of daily searches. Here’s why: Because when you rank well for several smaller keywords, collectively you’ll get the same amount of traffic as you’d get for one large keyword. And since the longtail keywords aren’t competitive, ranking well is easy.

But that’s not all…

The bonus benefit of ranking well for a longtail keyword is that these words tend to be very targeted. For example, if you actually managed to get ranked well for dog training, you wouldn’t have any idea if the prospect wanted information or product related to obedience training, housetraining, agility training, deaf dog training, trick training, field dog training… and so on. But when you rank for a specific keyword like “dog agility training London,” there’s no question what the searcher wants!

So, how do you find these longtail keywords? Simple: By using a tool like,, the Google keyword tool or any other keyword tool. Simply input your main keywords into the tool (like “dog training”), and the tool will output dozens, hundreds or even thousands of related keywords!

Most tools show you how many searches a keyword gets on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Generally, you’re looking for words that aren’t the most-searched words in your niche, as those ones generally have a lot of competition.

Some keyword tools (like WordTracker) take it a step further by analyzing the search engine competition for you. If not, just plug in the outputted keywords into search engines like Google. Use quotes around your keywords to find out how many sites rank for that keyword. Then you can choose keywords that have a decent number of daily searches, but very little serious competition.

That’s it for this time. Next time you’ll find out how to create content around these keywords!

For earlier articles in my Article Marketing introductory series you can click here (introduction), here (establishing your expertise), here (building your list), here (selling products) and here (building back-links).  

Now you can use simple articles to get more traffic, more customers and more cash. Fast. And you don’t need to be a world class writer to do it. Sound interesting?