5 ways to unlock SEO that can skyrocket your pieces any time

Darren Matthews
Sep 18 · 6 min read
Photo by Nikolay Tarashchenko on Unsplash

Too many writers using the internet today do not understand the size of the audience they can reach. If they did, blogs would disappear like sand falling through an egg timer. Instead, writers would all be posting their blog posts as Medium articles.

Medium has a not-so-secret power to reach far beyond the readers that subscribe to it. That power exists for two reasons. The first is the simplicity of its user interface: it’s incredibly easy to use. The second? Well, it’s free. Yep, as a writer, you can create a profile and publish for free.

What this has created is a huge website blog, with an unprecedented level of content that’s being added to all the time. It’s this volume of content that has given every Medium article access to an unrivaled power.

This power isn’t used by everyone, but when it is (it often happens unwittingly) the results are awesome.


The Power of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

It’s fascinating to me that writers don’t appreciate what they’re dealing with when it comes to Medium. I came across an example the other day in one of the Facebook groups I’m in.

A writer shared her stats because she was frustrated that she wasn’t getting fans or claps. But her views had gone through the roof — to the extent that the Medium article concerned had received over 30,000 views.

She was confused because the article was over a year old and had started gaining traffic again. A quick look at the stats showed 82% of the traffic had come from external sources, with Google being the primary source.

I went first to the article, and, within the content, I found a very strong subheading and a numbered list of actions.

Screenshot by Author

A quick Google search using the subheading drew the answer out.

The six tips the writer defined to implement “show, don’t tell” in your writing had become a featured snippet.

A featured snippet is content extracted by Google when it finds a quality response to a search query. In this instance, the keywords show, don’t tell, and writing created the result. The answer contained six tips that gave the reader an easy-to-follow guide on what to do.

Screenshot by Author

The article was also positioned as number one within the search results — a search that returned 307,000,000 results. This shows that the search query was something that many others had written about. Furthermore, there was a lot of interest in the keywords used.

This is an example of the hidden power that a Medium article offers. In this instance, I’m confident this unwittingly happened to the writer. I suspect it happens to many others as well. So, what is going on?


Medium and SEO

There are many other examples I could find to show you how much authority Medium has as a website. This data from SimilarWeb sums it up: Medium.com is the 221st most popular website in the world.

Those websites which appear above Medium.com will be social media or news websites. These sites offer specific time-sensitive content, which is different from Medium.

As we can see, Medium offers something no other blog website can offer. It takes a colossal effort to achieve even 1% of what Medium does for your blog. By using Medium you don’t need to worry about that bit.

Now it comes down to the SEO quality of the article and there are several factors to consider.


Five Tips to Increase the SEO Quality of Your Medium Article

1. Do keyword research

Starting with an idea of a subject you want to write about is one thing. But you need to do some research. What are the popular words within that subject?

These are the keywords your article should be focused on. Use tools like Ubersuggest to confirm which ones are more relevant in search results.

This is important to understand. Some words carry far more weight in search results than others. Make sure you use the right ones.

2. Write a great headline

You’ve got your keywords, so now it’s time to think about the headline. The headline is crucial for many reasons. Google sees click-through rates on its search results. The more clicks, the more helpful the article is deemed to be.

This will help lift traffic from external sources. It’s also important within Medium as well. Remember, you are posting on the world’s most popular blogging site. Thus, your headline has to grab the readers attention.

If you’re not very good at writing headlines, then “How to Write Headlines that Work” will help with you.

One last tip on headline writing: Always include your keywords in the headline as it helps improve the relevancy of the headline and article.

3. Make your article the right length

This is an interesting area to consider in writing with SEO in mind. To start with, I find that a good Medium article has to be more than 1000 words. In my experience, anything less than 1000 words tends not to perform so well within Medium. This has to be a consideration within your writing.

There was a point where the experts were arguing for text with more and more words, but I don’t see this to always be true.

4. Don’t overuse your keywords

There is a temptation to make excessive use of the keywords within your post. Google is very, very clever. When they assess an article, they are not only looking for keywords. They are also looking for associated keywords. This adds weight to the text and improves the quality of it.

For example, this post is about writing a great Medium article, thus it’s the primary keyword I have used. But I have also used words such as blog post, post, article, and text as well.

5. Tell a story

Everyone loves a story. A story creates engagement and keeps people reading. They are more likely to share it via social media, which generates social proof. This adds weight to the SEO quality of the post.

Photo by Andrew Ridley on Unsplash

Another key part of the story is to think about how it helps the reader. Whether we like it or not, nothing beats the power of a great how-to article.

Helping the reader to learn something is always a great way to get engagement. It will also improve the SEO quality of the Medium article.


Conclusion

You may not want your blog post to reach thousands of readers outside of Medium. But if you do, then think about the world beyond Medium.

This world can be reached with a good quality Medium article. By using the five tips I have explained, you too might be able to reach the kind of audience figures the writer I described earlier has reached.

Writing consistently over time can help you to unlock the power to boost your Medium article into Google space. Have fun writing…

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Darren Matthews

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I’m a passionate writer who normally finds angst within the world of leadership and strategy. All framed within subjects such as business, politics and writing.

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