How to do SEO: A sample SEO strategy by student in my web writing course

A participant in my open online course Writing for the Web did a good job developing an SEO strategy following guidelines in class lecture. I want to share with my blog readers this step-by-step SEO plan for a proposed online article.

About the course: Writing for the Web is a free online course offered through this blog. Among others, one topic in this course is to conduct on-page search engine optimizations to help search engines find and rank an article.

About the assignment: for the SEO assignment, students are asked to study the tutorial and develop a detailed SEO strategy for a proposed online article. The “strategy” consists of two parts: what keywords to target; where to place the keywords in the article.

About the sample SEO strategy: following guidelines in this SEO tutorial and other course materials, Marise Mishan, a blogger from South Africa, developed a detailed SEO plan for a blog post that she will write for her blog,

SEO strategy by Marise Mishan

  1. I typed “travel writing” into Google and the 5 highest-ranking organisations were:,,, and
  2. Similar searches suggested by Google included: travel writing jobs, freelance travel writing, travel writing tips and travel writing examples
  3. Went to for some additional keyword ideas but could not access the keyword research tool without upgrading to the Pro Advanced Plan.
  4. Used Google keyword planner to research the five keywords from step 1 and 2. Based on the results I would remove freelance travel writing and travel writing tips from my selected keywords. Some other suggested keywords with high monthly averages included writing jobs, freelance writing jobs and online writing jobs.
  5. Based on these results my main keywords would be travel writing, travel writing jobs, freelance writing jobs and online writing jobs. The headline of my article would be “Online travel writing jobs”. I would break the article into three sections with these three subheads: “Getting an online writing job”, “Freelance travel writing”, and “Some good online travel writing examples”.
  6. I would place these keywords into the first and last 25 words of the article by writing short introduction and conclusion paragraphs.
  7. I would also bold the headline and subheads.
  8. I would use the following variations of my keywords: travel writer(s), travel writing, travel writing career(s), travel writing articles. I would also change the word order for instance: writing jobs online, examples of travel writing.
  9. I could maybe change the subheads to some of the word variations so I could use modifiers for instance instead of “How to freelance as a travel writer”, I could use “10 tips for freelance travel writing” or instead of “Getting an online writing job” I could use “Best online writing jobs”
  10. Finally I would place the keywords in the metadata text as follows: “Online travel writing jobs, tips and examples.

About Mu Lin

Dr. Mu Lin is a digital journalism professional and educator in New Jersey, United States. Dr. Lin manages an online marketing company. He also manages MulinBlog Online J-School (, a free online journalism training program, which offers courses such as Audio Slideshow Storytelling; Introduction to Social Media Marketing; Writing for the Web; Google Mapping for Communicators; Introduction to Data Visualization; Introduction to Web Metrics and Google Analytics.
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5 Responses to How to do SEO: A sample SEO strategy by student in my web writing course

  1. Goozleology says:

    Marise seems to be following the KISS rule by keeping it simple. Too many bloggers try to perfect things when they should be just taking action. KISS!

  2. This is actually a great start to keyword research. I’d add some of the keywords in to dig in deeper. So for this example, when I put in “travel writing career” it comes up with results like “travel writing career opportunities” and “is travel writing a good career.”

    Hope this helps your students dig down deeper!

  3. Finn Boonman says:

    The article has really good points on keyword research and on-page optimisation. As long as the keywords are not that competative you should be able to get decent rankings for sure! Also i can recommend adding social sharing options to each article, adding a youtube video or images to the site and sharing it on your own social pages.

    Keep up the good work!

  4. Very informative and well-explained article. It is perfectly fit to all with an interest in seo, plus it is a good way to start and to pin point keywords and the optimization of a page. This can help students in knowing more about this kind of topic. This is very helpful for me because it was clearly stated in the article the different strategies, this might help others too. Thank a lot for this. Keep it up!

  5. Shiwani says:

    Thanks for sharing such a great blog. I find this on google thats is very informative for me.

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