Essay Article Format

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An article written in essay form and optimized for easy reading in a browser. It includes list articles that name related items and give a summary of each. The essay article has the following components.

Meta Description

The meta description may (or may not ) be used by search engines as the descriptive text given below an article title in the Search Engine Results Page shown after a user finds an article. It is also the text used when articles are shared on social media such as Facebook or Google+. Meta descriptions should be a concise description of an article that helps to entice a potential visitor into clicking on the link that leads them to the article. Keep length to 120 to 140 characters.

Title

Up to 65 characters including spaces. It should not include punctuation marks except that colons and dashes are allowed if necessary. The title should contain the main SEO search phrase and will be used as the Title Tag in the article’s HTML coding. Use Title Case when writing the title.

Photo

Photos attract attention, add interest, and help give credibility to the article. See the link at the end of this article on photos. Most photos require a caption that ties the photo to the article. An article about growing basil might include a photograph of a basil plant. A good caption might be “Mature Italian Basil”. Be sure to resize photos in both standard and thumbnail sizes for use in articles.

Teaser

The teaser is 50 to 75 words long. It is not an introduction, but it describes the article. The teaser will not appear on the same page as the article. It is used on pages that have the titles and teasers of a number of articles. Teasers interest readers and make them want to read articles.

Introduction

The introduction is 50 to 100 words long and should be a succinct prelude to the article. This is where you grab the reader’s attention and keep them reading through the rest of the article. Don’t repeat any information that you will include later in the article, rather use the space to introduce the topic rather than summarize it.

Body

The body includes a minimum of four subheads, each followed by 50 to 100 word paragraphs that illustrate the topic. Subheads should include secondary keyword phrases of one to five words that grab the readers attention and are directly related to the topic. They help the reader scan the page for information so they stop and read the text when they find what they are looking for.

Tags

Tags are a list of words that help relate articles to other articles. They are used internally by the site to make lists of related articles or help users search for articles. We will issue some guidelines for specific article tags such as exposure, hardiness and plant type. eg: half-hardy annual, hardy annual, full sun, full shade, etc.

Offsite Links

Links to sources can add credibility, but remember that leading visitors off the site can result in lost revenue. Our goal is to make money, and that means keeping visitors on the site until they click an advertisement.

  • Click the Target tab in the link window. Set the target to new tab/window (target = _blank) so that the visitor remains on our site.
  • Links leading offsite supply pagerank to the offsite page unless the relationship field (advanced tab in the link window) is set to nofollow. Unless we have a very good reason, all links leading offsite should be (rel=nofollow).

Finding Choosing and Using Photos:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1n1ZofthNY-fS9Ejch8U2zcvoHYienc6FBjUw-ZmKQLo/edit

Creating Great Titles:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1IIHKiIhriOU9pJjDUyp8ccTGmN3yRpRxvyHT9mHLyIA/edit#

Jonathan E. Bass
 

Graduated from Middle Tennessee State University. I am currently a gardener. I have a small garden behind my house. I love it.

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