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How To Optimize Articles So They Are Featured!
What Are Featured Hubs / Featured 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. On HubPages, if your articles, or “hubs” are featured, then they appear on HubPages' topic pages and other hubs. They are also presented to external search engines.
On other writing websites, optimizing your articles may increase your web traffic by helping search engines find your content faster, and in general, your articles may be more visible to readers.
What might prevent an article from being featured?
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- Interesting yet outdated content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 Hub Into a Featured Hub by Replacing Old Images
The first hub 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 hub with a high word count of over 2,000 words. I found that all my images didn't include a source or a caption, which I added. Also, when I edited all the images, I received a message that the image was not sized properly and that an adjustment would be made once I clicked Save, which was the case.
I also found that the first (most important) image wasn't such a great image, so I replaced it with a better picture.
Did this hub then get featured? Yes! How soon? Right away, shortly after I saved it, I checked my account hubs listing and noticed it was featured.
Sometimes it's the "little" things you change that make a big difference.
Case Study #2: Turning an Unfeatured Hub Into a Featured Hub by Adding Attributes and Resizing Images
The next hub that I attempted to optimize is called How to Cook Spaghetti Squash and Make Mock Spaghetti and Meatballs.This hub has a word count of 550 words. Although the word count was not extremely high, the indicator on the upper right (when in edit mode) 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.
Case Study #3: Turning an Unfeatured Hub Into a Featured Hub 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 Hub Into a Featured Hub 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 unfeatured 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 traffice.
I checked the quality of the hub and all capsules, images and other attribuates. This hub has over 1300 words, and is fairly popular, with 48 comments. All 5 images had a caption, source and were high-resolution. I went in edit mode for each image and clicked save, just to check if there were any issues with sizing; for 3 of the 5 images, there was no issue with size 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. Then I checked the status a little later, and the article was then featured!
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 Hub Into an Featured Hub by Removing Spammy Ads and Adding more High-Quality Images
Other older hubs that I had not edited in awhile contained either too many Amazon ads or not enough high-quality images. 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.
© 2015 Amelia Griggs