In this article…
- What Is A Written Article?
- Examples Of Written Articles
- How To Write Article Content
- Additional Tips For Writing Article Content
- Qualities of a Strong Copywriter
- What Is a Grammatical Article?
- Examples of Grammatical Articles
- Exceptions With “a” And “an”
- Exception with the Article Before the Adjective
- Indefinite Article Usage with an Uncountable Noun
- Articles with Pronouns
- When Can Articles Be Omitted?
- What Is Article Schema?
- How to Use Article Schema Markup
Articles are an important piece of content that can draw inspiration from a story tied to a product or service. Article content can emphasize a problem within a specific industry, discuss current events, and explain how ideas or events relate to your company. To drive traffic to your company’s site, articles must be tailored to your audience and engaging in a way that grasps their attention. Before you publish an article, you’ll need to ensure that it can earn a favorable ranking on search engines to achieve maximum results.
In addition to the content, there is a grammatical context for words that can define a noun and give the reader a better understanding as to what story is being told.
In this article, we will define written and grammatical articles, article schema, and how to use article schema to improve SEO.
What Is A Written Article?
A written article is typically created by a content creator to build a relationship with a brand’s target audience as well as deliver actionable insights to users. In other words, you’re applying direct knowledge and experience and sharing it with the rest of the world to utilize and benefit.
Despite the industry you work in, quality article content poses a chance to generate leads and drive more traffic to your website. Therefore, a content creator with previous experience in telling a story on behalf of a brand can increase your likelihood of attracting new customers while connecting with other impactful thought leaders in your industry.
Examples Of Written Articles
A content creator has varying options on how to approach writing an article. Thus, here are two examples of articles that can be written to target niche audiences:
Blog posts play a centralized role in augmenting content marketing initiatives, and they’re generally short. If they’re written effectively, they’ll be ranked highly on search engines and users can take time to read them directly from their page and share it on their social media channels.
Blogs posts can help you if you’re in a time crunch and need to get timely content distributed. However, content needs to be valuable to your readers to improve conversions. You can use these basic guidelines when creating blog content to increase the chances of your readers staying on the page.
- Blog articles should be long enough to fully explain and convey your message
- Blog topics should relate back to your website
- Content should include links to both external and internal sources
Long-form content is another way for you to elaborate on the message you’re conveying to your target audience and to go in-depth on how it impacts them. Guides are one of the top forms of long-form content for your audience because they offer comprehensive information to educate viewers about a product or service.
One of the most important attributes of long-form content is that readers must encounter valuable information so they have a reason to interact with you, ask questions, and seek solutions that help them accomplish their goals. The word count should be about 5,000 to 10,000 words. You can also take information from a white paper and convert it into a story-driven article, as long as your story builds a better relationship with your audience and expands on the data you provide.
How To Write Article Content
Here is a full overview of how to write an article that informs your audience and bolsters your marketing efforts:
1. Choose Your Topic And Conduct Research
Select a topic that’ll intrigue your target audience. If you’re working with a client, have them conduct a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis for their business to gauge what type of competition they have and the content demands of their industry. After identifying the business’s SWOT analysis, you can perform keyword research to better understand what keyword topics are valuable.
2. Know The Audience’s Needs
The results of a SWOT analysis from your client can give you a full overview as to who are the main players in their industry and who they target. See if you can pare down your target audience in three words to find out which demographic you’re trying to address. For instance, young professionals may be one of your target audiences depending on the topic you’re writing about.
3. Conduct Research
Even with a SWOT analysis, you’ll need to research current industry news about your client. This way, you’ll be able to conceptualize what you’re writing about and you may be able to tie in the subject to current events. If you do include statistical information and references to new stories in your articles, make sure to include a link or in-text reference to the source.
Some components that you should look for in your research include:
- Quotes from industry experts
- Dictionary definitions (if applicable)
- Industry stories
- Data from news outlets
- Relevant industry resources
4. Clean Up Your Draft
When writing your first draft, you must stay focused on writing. Once you’re finished, go back and edit the entire article. Editing after you write saves time and multiple revisions along the way, giving you the chance to meet your deadline for completion.
5. Specify Your Article’s Messaging
You have to be thorough if you intend on producing meaningful content for the right audience. You want your audience to understand what their next action should be when interacting with a client. Usually, you’ll want them to click on a link to sign up for a newsletter or visit their website to keep the relationship going with them. Therefore, you can position the client or customer to purchase a product or service, which can lead to sales to other products or features the company offers.
6. Read, Revise, And Complete Steps 1-5 Again
Make sure that you use a strategy that works for you to proofread your work once you finish writing and editing, like reading your draft out loud, reading through your work in reverse order, or getting a different perspective by changing the font size.
Here are some questions to help catch errors during the editing process:
- Have you included the most important information?
- Is your work in a logical order?
- What is the most important information you are conveying to readers?
- Does your content direct readers to an action like connecting with the client?
Image via Flickr by NOGRAN s.r.o.
Additional Tips For Writing Article Content
You can use these tips to write a high-performing article:
- Be mindful of search results: If you’re writing about a topic, look it up on search engines to find out what comes up in the rich snippet. What shows up in the rich snippet can be a clue for how you write your article. A search result about content marketing shows the definition in the rich snippet, so having the definition of content marketing in your own words at the top of the article makes it more likely for it to be searchable by users.
- Understand what distracts you: Make sure that your television is off when you write, along with keeping your phone away from your desk, so you’re not tempted to check text messages or your social media feed. Ideas flow freely when you concentrate on the topic you’re trying to write on, so be thoughtful of what distracts you to focus on the subject at hand.
- Switch your workspace: Working in a different place other than your home can inspire you to write an article about your client. A library, coffee shop, or the beach can be ideal locations for you, which can generate a new idea or angle for your article.
- Stick with active voice: Active voice describes the action a subject is performing on the object. In other words, the tone keeps your article in the present tense, which makes it easier for users to understand what you’re writing about. You don’t want the reader trying to decipher hidden messages you’re trying to convey.
What Is a Grammatical Article?
An article is a word that shows whether a noun is specified or unspecified. An article is seen as an adjective because it modifies a noun. You’ll want to be careful with the usage of grammatical articles in each sentence because the placement of an article can determine the context of the noun or the subject you’re referring to. You’ll want to use articles to give more importance to the message you’re communicating to your target audience.
The two main types of grammatical articles include definite and indefinite articles. Let’s take a look at the different types below:
Definite articles: The definite article uses the word ‘the.’ It pares down the meaning of a noun to a singular thing. They can be used with singular, plural or innumerable nouns
Indefinite articles: The indefinite article takes two forms: ‘a’ and ‘an.’ Indefinite articles tell readers the content is about a general idea instead of a specified idea. If you’re being asked to bring food to an event, you know that you don’t need to bring a specific type of food.
Examples of Grammatical Articles
Let’s take a look at a few examples of definite and indefinite articles used in a sentence.
- Please give me the screwdriver.
- Please give me the green screwdriver, the yellow one is too small.
- Please give me the large hammer, it’s the only one that tightens this nail.
- Please give me the screwdriver and the hammer.
- Please get me a drink; any drink will suffice.
- Please get me an iced tea; any flavor will do.
Exceptions With “a” And “an”
The general rule for articles is that you can use ‘a’ if you’re starting a word with a consonant and using ‘an’ before a vowel. There are a few exceptions to the rule that you’ll need to be aware of when writing your next article. Using proper grammar is noteworthy, so your content can stand out and be error-free as well.
For example, you can use ‘an’ if a word starts with a consonant but begins with a vowel sound.
- My father is an honest man.
The opposite can also occur when a word starts with a vowel, but it has a consonant sound.
- My mother is a United States Representative.
This also applies with acronyms as well:
- She is an HR manager.
- He founded a U.S.-based startup.
Exception with the Article Before the Adjective
An article can modify a noun and an adjective in the same sentence. If you’re using an indefinite article, have ‘a’ or ‘an’ be the article behind the word depending on if the following word is a vowel or a consonant sound.
- John will bring a large gift to the company’s holiday party.
- I read an intriguing book last week.
Indefinite Article Usage with an Uncountable Noun
Uncountable nouns are intangible items such as the amount of air you breathe, the water you drink, etc. Therefore, you cannot use an indefinite article in a sentence with an uncountable noun. See the examples below for reference.
- Please give me a milk.
- Please give me some milk.
An indefinite article can be used if you’re counting the quantity of an item.
- Please pour me a glass of milk
Articles with Pronouns
Possessive pronouns can help you take ownership of an item within a sentence regardless if it’s being specified or not. However, it’s not advised to use a possessive pronoun and an article in the same sentence because the reader may become confused by the word structure. Therefore, use one or the other to formulate a coherent sentence. Both examples below are applicable:
- Why are you drinking the milk?
- Why are you drinking my milk?
When Can Articles Be Omitted?
Articles do not need to be included in the same sentence as some nouns. Again, it’ll depend on how you structure the sentence because the article may not appear in a sentence if it alludes to an abstract concept. See the correct examples below.
- Let’s order takeout for lunch today.
- Perseverance is a notable trait in working professionals.
This rule includes languages noted in a sentence.
- I took Spanish in college for three years.
Sports and other academic subjects also do not require an article.
- I love to play soccer.
- My brother was always great in history.
What Is Article Schema?
The importance of writing a quality article with proper grammar is so it can be picked up by search engines. One of the latest developments for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is called schema markups. If you properly utilize this concept then you can get more search engine result pages (SERP).
Overall, the content you publish on your website can be indexed and pop up in search results. Schema markups can help your content show up in a user’s search results by identifying what type of content is being searched for.
In other words, the markup written in HTML code can help you find out the author of an article and give the user better information about what they’re searching for. Although schema markup does not require that you to learn new coding skills, you may want to brush up on your knowledge before you add the markup into your source code or content management system (CMS).
How to Use Article Schema Markup
Here are the steps you should take to have the proper markup for your article.
1. Proceed to a Search Engine’s Data Markup Helper
Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper is the easiest tool to help you write your schema markup quickly.
2. Select the Article Markup
When you open the link, you’ll see a list of options for the type you content you’re writing a schema markup for. Some of these examples include movies, restaurants, the ratings of TV episodes and book reviews. However, this list shown within the link is not comprehensive. In this case, you’ll want to make sure that you only select the articles option. It’s one of the customary choices to use for schema markups.
3. Paste URL of the Published Article You Want to Markup
Once you select articles, copy and paste the URL of your desired website. After, use your client’s site to see what types of results they can get when you look them up on search engines. After you paste the URL, click the start tagging option to proceed onto the next step.
4. Determine Which Parts of the Article to Markup
When the next page finishes loading, you’ll see a workspace populate on your screen, and you’ll begin to tag items. On the left side of your interface, you’ll see the webpage on your website that you want to markup. On the right-hand side, you’ll review the blank items and fill in items used in the markup. You should fill in as many elements as possible that are shown on the right-hand side of the screen. The more information included in the markup, the better chance search engines can pick up your article.
5. Add Various Markup Items for the Article
To add your items, highlight the headline of the article that corresponds with the data item on the adjacent screen. It should give you the option to name your piece of content. Here, you would insert the title of the article as the name. It’ll populate in the right-hand pane.
Once you’re done with the title, continue highlighting additional items in your article and insert them to your markup list. Likely, you will not have all the items required for the schema markup, but you must add as many items as possible.
6. Produce The HTML Code for the Website
After you finish adding all the items from your article into the items pane, click create HTML to finish the markup. When the page opens, you’ll see another split-screen with your article on the left-hand side and the microdata data appearing on the right-hand side for the areas that you highlighted. For example, if you only highlighted the title of your article, the microdata appears within the HTML for the title. Having microdata within your code increases the chance for your title to be found by users when they’re browsing search engines.
7. Add the Schema Markup to Your Code
Once you see the microdata appear, open your CMS or source code and add the schema markup to the necessary location. The yellow highlighted marker shows each type of markup per each section of the article. You can also download the HTML code and paste it into your CMS or source code. If you download it, click finish and you’ll see a screen, where it tells you the next steps.
8. Test the Page to See What It Looks Like and Use Different Types of Schema to Improve SEO
You should be given three options after clicking finish: Add the structured data to your source code, find more properties, or test your structured data. Click on the hyperlink that reads Test your Structured Data to see the layout of your markup. You are given the choice to view the entire webpage and HTML code, so insert the code you decided to download and click preview.
You’ll find out what your article will show up as in your search. It’s advised that you use as many markups as possible. Check out this link to find the different types of schema markups you can use to improve your chances for your articles to be noticed.