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How To Optimize Articles, Blogs and Websites So They Are Featured and Trending

Updated on January 13, 2018
easylearningweb profile image

Amelia has over 25 yrs of experience in the IT, Training and Education, and eLearning industry.

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What Are Featured, Trending Articles?

If you are a writer and you create articles, online content, or webpages, there’s different things you can do to optimize your content.

There are many writing sites, including hubpages.com, writing.com, infobarrel.com, writerscafe.com and many, many more. If your articles are featured, they may appear in more prominent locations on blogs and other sites, and people may be more prone to share your articles on their blogs and social media sites. Optimizing your articles, blogs and websites may increase your web traffic by helping search engines find your content faster, and in general, your articles may be more visible to readers. If your articles are featured, they are more prone to be found by external search engines.

If articles on any of your sites are features and trending, this means they are more popular, have higher traffic and can potentially earn you more income. This is especially true if you have ads on your websites.

What May Prevent Your Article, Blog or Website to Trend or Be Featured on Hubpages?

First, let’s rule out some “not so good things” that may prevent your article from being #1.

Do any of your articles have the following?

  • Low quality, unsourced images or photos
  • Poor or low-word content
  • Uninteresting content
  • Interesting yet outdated content
  • Content overstuffed with SEO phrases and words
  • Too many ads/spam

If so, keep reading to learn how to improve your article and optimize it for higher traffic!

The first thing I recommend is to look for and compare more popular, featured articles with other articles which may have low or no traffic. Carefully review articles (or hubpages) written by you or other authors which are more popular. You can determine how popular your articles are by viewing your stats, and also by the number of comments left by visitors. When viewing articles written by others, the amount of visitors, followers and comments will be a good indicator of the popularity of the article or website. Compare these with less popular articles and take notes. By reviewing and comparing articles, you can get a better idea of what action to take to optimize your hubs.

Compare the good with the bad to get ideas how to optimize your articles and make them better!

How to Optimize Your Articles

To improve articles, try applying all or some of the following changes to improve the quality and boost your chances of having the articles featured:

  • Replace/add more high resolution, attractive images
  • Edit images/overlay titles and words over images
  • Proofread text for spelling or grammar errors and correct as needed
  • Add source information to all images
  • Add captions to all images (which serve as image tags)
  • Add more interesting capsules such as polls, ratings, and videos
  • Read up on SEO and learn more about how to optimize online content, such as proper use of keywords, search engine friendly titles and image tags. Learn more here: How to Increase Internet Traffic to Your Website Through SEO, Blogging and Networking

Make a list of things you can do to optimize your articles.

Optimizing Poll

What is the most important factor when optimizing articles?

See results

Case Study #1: Turning an Unfeatured Article Into a Featured Article by Replacing Old Images

The first article I reviewed is called Top 10 Lists of Healthy and Delicious Wheat-Free, Gluten-Free Meals, and Lactose-Free Meals and Snacks For You to Enjoy!

This was an older article with a decent word count of over 2,000 words. However, I found that all my images didn't include a source or a caption, which I added. Keyword friendly captions can be especially helpful and make your images more search-friendly with search engines. I also made sure all my images were sized properly and were high resolution.

I also replaced any so-so images which more vibrant, appealing images.

Sometimes it's the "little" things you change that make a big difference.

Before and After Photo Replacement
Before and After Photo Replacement | Source

Case Study #2: Turning an Unfeatured Article Into a Featured Article by Adding Attributes and Resizing Images

The next article that I attempted to optimize is called How to Cook Spaghetti Squash and Make Mock Spaghetti and Meatballs.This article had a word count of 550 words. Although the word count was not extremely high, the indicator in hubpages showed that the hub quality was high, as shown in this graphic:

Hub Attributes Indicator
Hub Attributes Indicator | Source

I checked each photo and image, to make sure it was sized properly and of good quality. Some images were small in size and the following alert displayed when I selected to edit the image:

Image Warning Message
Image Warning Message | Source

I checked the size for each image, then re-saved each image and noticed it automatically resized the image to the standard recommended size.

I also changed the way the copyright information displayed. Instead of including it as text within the article, Hubpages includes a feature in the display options which automatically includes the copyright information.

So for copyright information, if you write articles on Hubpages, the preferred method to denote copyright is to turn on the feature in Display Options as shown below. If you write articles on another website, or on your own blog or website, it may be worth checking if your hosting service or platform has any specific rules or recommendations for copyright information.

Hubpages Copyright Feature
Hubpages Copyright Feature | Source

Case Study #3: Turning an Unfeatured Article Into a Featured Article by Adding Image Captions and Sources

The next hub that I updated and optimized is called Easy Recipe for Strawberry Salad with Grilled Chicken.

This hub article had a decent word count of over 800 words. However, the images in the article had no captions or sources listed, which I corrected. By adding captions to images, image tags are created which may help search engines find your article.

Some of the images were small in size, and the size automatically adjusted when I edited the images and resaved them. Otherwise, I replaced the images with better, high-quality images.

Add captions and sources to your images.

Image tags may help search engines find your article faster!

Case Study #4: Turning an Unfeatured Article Into a Featured Article by Adding Interactivity

One of my most surprising articles which appeared to need a tune-up (which was originally featured and had high traffic) but suddently became unpopular is How to Increase Internet Traffic to Your Website Through SEO, Blogging and Networking. How ironic, I thought, since this article explains how to increase your website traffic.

I checked the quality of the article and all capsules, images and other attributes. This article has over 1300 words, and is fairly popular, with 48 comments. All 5 images had a caption, source and were high-resolution. I checked all images and didn't find any issues with sizing or resolution. The only thing missing from this article was interactivity. There were no poll or rating capsules, and no links or videos. So I added an audience rating and questionnaire poll.I also shared the article on my blog and other online groups. This helped overall with this article and other articles.

I checked activity a day or so later, and the article traffic had increased and it was becoming more popular.

Does your article have any interactivity? If not, try adding a question poll, rating capsule, or comments section.

Get readers involved!

Case Study #5: Turning an Unfeatured Article Into an Featured Article by Removing Spammy Ads and Adding more High-Quality Images

Other older articles that I had not edited in awhile contained either too many Amazon ads or not enough high-quality images. If you are writing on hubpages.com, you may or may not be alerted if you have a similar issue. In regards to having too many spammy ads, you may see a warning message. There was a style tip message that displayed when I went into edit mode:

Spammy Ad Alert
Spammy Ad Alert | Source

In regards to images, some of my older articles didn’t have many images, and the images didn’t contain captions or sources, so I added them. In addition, I removed the 3rd Amazon ad and the style alert no longer displayed. I also only had 1 image in the whole hub, so I added 3 additional images.

Too many spammy ads may decrease your traffic.

Remember:

Limit the number of Amazon or eBay ads.

Add more high quality images with captions and sources.

Conclusion

In conclusion, here are some final tips for optimizing your online hubs, articles, websites and blogs:

  • Keep content current (remember to create "evergreen" content)
  • Include high-quality, attractive images in your content
  • Add captions and sources to your images (remember "image tags")
  • Use google to research search-engine friendly phrases and keywords to incorporate into your online content
  • Avoid having too many spammy ads, especially ones that are not related to your content
  • Try to include a variety of attributes in your articles, including different styles, creative formatting and ample word count (at least 1000 or more words)
  • Include some interactivity in your articles including a question poll, rating and comment section
  • Finally, remember the saying "If you build it, they will come?", well this saying may not necessarily be true on the Internet. Even if you content is king, they may not come, so you have to advertise, share links, use social networking, and use SEO to further increase traffic.

Note: Even though HubPages.com is referenced in this article, the tips and advice listed can be referenced to optimize all types of articles online. Tools may vary for applying formatting, links and interactivity depending on the type of website or forum used.

Do you have any additional optimization invoice that you would like to share? Please share by leaving a comment below.

© 2015 Amelia Griggs

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    • Ellison Hartley profile image

      Ellison Hartley 

      4 weeks ago from Maryland, USA

      Thanks so much for the encouraging words!

    • easylearningweb profile imageAUTHOR

      Amelia Griggs 

      4 weeks ago

      Hi Ellison,

      Glad you joined Hubpages. When I joined years ago, it really helped me move forward with writing different types of topics. It's a great community of writers, and we can learn so much from each other. Glad you found this article helpful!

      Regards,

      Amelia

    • Ellison Hartley profile image

      Ellison Hartley 

      4 weeks ago from Maryland, USA

      This is so interesting, I started writing on HubPages just for fun and the love of writing. I then started my own blog site. I really have no clue what I'm doing when it comes to getting traffic to my articles, and helping them to get found in the search engines. I will come back to this article as a resource frequently I'm sure!

    • easylearningweb profile imageAUTHOR

      Amelia Griggs 

      6 months ago

      Hi Finn Liam Cooper,

      Personally, the only site I have used for writing online articles is HubPages. The other sites I mentioned including writing.com, infobarrel.com, writerscafe.com are ones I heard about or read about. I did try bubblews in the past (it doesn't exist anymore), but I didn't care for it (the quality of articles was much better on HubPages). Another one is reddit which I haven't used but it's another place for online writing.

      A few years ago, I decided to create my own writing challenge (30 hubs in 30 days)...I believe HubPages used to run these types of challenges but I couldn't find one, so I created my own. I really learned from it and it helped me prepare for larger writing projects. Now I'm writing and self-publishing books on Amazon.

      I'm planning on writing more articles to help other authors.

      Hope this helped. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

      Happy Writing,

      Amelia

    • wpcooper profile image

      Finn Liam Cooper 

      6 months ago from Los Angeles

      ?

      Then you mentioned Cracker Barrel I believe or something like that and I didn't know your pages could appear on hub and somewhere else? What other experience with paying writing sites do you have?

    • easylearningweb profile imageAUTHOR

      Amelia Griggs 

      10 months ago

      Thanks for your feedback SherryHiree, and I’m glad you found it helpful !

    • Shehiree profile image

      Shehryar 

      10 months ago

      Well this article really gave me a good sense what i really missed in my article and from the good piece of guild lines mentioned in this article i have now fixed, what i haven't included i have included that.

      Thanks for all those survival tips.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      19 months ago from England

      Its a bit like a bucket with holes in for me! lol! featured, not featured, do it again, another hits the deck and so on! but I keep on editing! lol!

    • easylearningweb profile imageAUTHOR

      Amelia Griggs 

      2 years ago

      Hi Chuck, Glad you found this helpful. I think many of us wonder if we should revisit old hubs and improve them vs. writing new hubs. I have been trying to improve old hubs for now to see if that improves traffic. I definitely think it helps.

      Thanks for stopping by!

    • Chuck profile image

      Chuck Nugent 

      2 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      Great Hub. I try to periodically update and improve my existing Hubs but your Hub has given me new things to consider and look for when upgrading older Hubs as well as when I am writing and doing a final proof read before hitting the "Publish" button. Thanks for sharing this information.

    • easylearningweb profile imageAUTHOR

      Amelia Griggs 

      2 years ago

      Hi Jodah,

      I'm glad you found the hub helpful. Yes, I'm not sure if maybe there are some new ideas and tips to consider due to all the changes with HubPages. However, hopefully some of my suggestions can help writers on HubPages in addition to online other articles.

      Thanks for stopping by and for your feedback.

      Easylearningweb

    • easylearningweb profile imageAUTHOR

      Amelia Griggs 

      2 years ago

      Hey Kenneth,

      Yes, that is one great way to enhance images overlaying text. I use a lot of other photo editors. My favorite is SnagIt editor. There's always Photoshop to but I only use that if I need to use some advanced features. There are so many other tools.

      I think creative, eye-catching graphics definitely improve hubs!

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi easylearningweb, this is very comprehensive advice and even with all the recent changes around here it is still relevant. Good work.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 

      2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      easylearningweb,

      So true what you commented on getting a "fresh" image to hubs.

      I have recently started using my Paint program to write my headlines for my hubs and when I write them on the TEXT segment of Paint, I crop and save them as jpeg's so I can call them up on my hubs, but I may be "preaching to the choir," for you probably already know about this.

      I just wanted to share something with you.

      And you have a peaceful and productive day.

    • easylearningweb profile imageAUTHOR

      Amelia Griggs 

      2 years ago

      Thanks, Rtalloni. As you can see I love detail, the more the better. I know sometimes too much detail is not good though. But in this case I think looking at the before and after does help for comparison purposes.

      Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate your feedback. :-)

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 

      2 years ago from the short journey

      Nicely done. Thanks for detailing useful info on putting a hub together.

    • easylearningweb profile imageAUTHOR

      Amelia Griggs 

      2 years ago

      I appreciate your comment and for stopping by to review my hub, Kenneth! I think there's always something we could do or change in our hubs to optimize them whether that's a new image or revised headings using keywords or fresh content.

      I'm glad you found this helpful. :-)

      Good day to you!

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 

      2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      easylearningweb,

      Hello. Just wanted to say that I LOVED this hub. Especially the format you chose to present your various (interesting) points.

      Loved the graphics. The first one "out of the gate," at top is EXCELLENT.

      Glad that I stopped by.

      Keep up the fine work.

      Kenneth

    • easylearningweb profile imageAUTHOR

      Amelia Griggs 

      3 years ago

      Hey Catherine, I finally got around to fixing the little typo in case study #5. Thanks again for pointing this out.

    • RonElFran profile image

      Ronald E Franklin 

      3 years ago from Mechanicsburg, PA

      I like the case study approach. I think these tips can help a lot of the new authors here on HP, and I hope it gets widely read.

    • easylearningweb profile imageAUTHOR

      Amelia Griggs 

      3 years ago

      Thanks for your comment, Catherine. where do you see the error with the misspelling? I changed all the bolded titles, let me know.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 

      3 years ago from Orlando Florida

      I'm still seeing the error mentioned by poetryman. I am always interested in learning how to make my hubs better. Although none of my beginners hubs (from when I first started) were unfeatured, I found when I went back and applied what I had learned over the months, I got the hub scores to go up.

    • easylearningweb profile imageAUTHOR

      Amelia Griggs 

      3 years ago

      Thelma, thanks for the comment. I keep checking my hubs to see if they stay "Featured". I hope so. Now if I can only figure out how to have more hubs which are "Editor's Choice", that would be something.

      Thanks for stopping by. ;-)

    • easylearningweb profile imageAUTHOR

      Amelia Griggs 

      3 years ago

      Hey poetryman6969, thanks a ton for pointing that out. I just corrected the titles to say "Turning an Unfeatured Hub into a Featured Hub".

      Glad you found the hub helpful, and thanks for stopping by! :-)

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 

      3 years ago from Germany

      Great tips! I keep on checking my hubs if there are things I should include or not in them. I still have to do a lot of checking and tweaking due to lack of traffic. Thanks for sharing your tips and for following me.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      3 years ago from Canada

      Very sound advice. Also letting you know that I triple checked my recipe article this time and it has all the ingredients now. Thank you for spotting my very major blunder. Very much appreciated.

    • easylearningweb profile imageAUTHOR

      Amelia Griggs 

      3 years ago

      Sounds good, peachpurple. It took me a few weeks to go through and optimize my unfeatured hubs, and I did a couple at a time, but it was well worth it and I'm glad to share ideas to help others.

      Thanks for stopping by :-)

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 

      3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      Great tips, i am trying to edit my ild hubs, most images are blurr and no caption, sources, etc, i will try your tips

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