How To Optimize Articles, Blogs and Websites So They Are Featured and Trending
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- Interesting yet outdated content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.
What is the most important factor when optimizing articles?
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.
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:
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:
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.
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:
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.
Limit the number of Amazon or eBay ads.
Add more high quality images with captions and sources.
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