How To Write a How-to Article Step-by-Step | Similarweb

Have you ever had to explain how Zoom video recording calls workplace to family-members or how to get from point A to point B to person visiting your neighborhood ?
If so, you ’ re already center to being able to write a helpful how-to article. But to get that extra bite of structure, dash, and inspiration you ’ ll necessitate to hold your proofreader ’ south attention, keep understand .
Below, I ’ ve put together an eight-step guide to writing the perfect how-to article on-line, along with some extra tips on write and optimizing ​eye-catching
Informational articles for search engines and readers alike .
I ’ ve flush included a free-to-download how-to article template – the end solution of years of testing and trials using Similarweb Digital Marketing Intelligence – to get you started.

Remember, you can skip around this article to the parts that are most useful from your orient of opinion. First, we ’ re starting with the what behind the how .

What is a how-to article?

refreshingly, the name doesn ’ triiodothyronine leave much to the imagination .
A how-to article lays out precisely how to do something. A how-to ​blogger might walk readers through how to buy, use, or troubleshoot a product, or focus on a wide, more general subject alternatively, like how to bake a chocolate patty .
What sets a how-to ​article apart from the rest of the content on the internet is user captive. People clicking on how-to guides aren ’ triiodothyronine inevitably looking for information around what a subject is, or why they should be interest. They already know, and they already are – your job is to show them how .

How to write a how-to article in 8 simple steps

A good article should provide hardheaded and clear takeaways that the reviewer can put into drill. They should avoid jargoon, and be made up of a list with easy-to-follow steps and fastball points in chronological order .

  1. Choose a Topic
  2. Put yourself in the audience’s shoes
  3. Research keywords
  4. Plan your article’s structure
  5. Keep your steps snappy and straightforward
  6. Give your guide a unique selling point
  7. Set your page up for SEO success
  8. Monitor your page’s metrics – and keep optimizing

Let ’ s start with step one .

1. Choose a topic

The logic ’ sulfur infallible – you can ’ triiodothyronine begin writing a how-to article if you don ’ thyroxine know what you ’ re going to be writing about. So foremost, you ’ ll need to select a subject .
The subject you pick will depend on what you want to achieve, your diligence, and target hearing .
You might, for example, be a ship’s company that sells a reasonably technical intersection, so you ’ five hundred want to publish an article that offers honed, specific advice as to how to use it. In this case, the how-to guide services a specific occupation need – educating the customer. In this case, the subject will be dictated by your product catalogue, for example :

  • How to Assemble an IKEA Kallax
  • How to Set Up a Samsung Neo TV
  • How to Use an Amazon Echo

At the opposite goal of the spectrum, you could be publishing a how-to content offering extra tips around a more general topic, such as :

  • How to Blow Up a Balloon
  • How to Defrost a Chicken
  • How to Change a Lightbulb

In the case of these examples, you ’ re credibly writing the capacity either to build your sword, or make money via display ads or affiliate commercialize .
But however – that doesn ’ t mean your choice of topic for your how-to article should be random. Y ou should always pick topics that fit within your particular niche or industry. ‘ How to Blow Up a balloon, ’ for case, is a capital choice of topic for a party supplies website – but not for one speciate in digital marketing .
so, think cautiously about what you want to write about. If it ties into your stigmatize ’ sulfur sector and recess, it ’ sulfur good. If it addresses a direct clientele or customer need, it ’ second great. And if you have experience with the topic – and are passionate about writing it – it ’ s even better ! tweet this

2. Put yourself in the audience’s shoes

now you ’ ve chosen what you ’ re going to write approximately, you ’ ll need to figure out who you ’ re write for. You ’ ll have to start thinking like your prey audience – that is, the people who will read your how-to guidebook – and tailor the content accordingly .

To craft choice content, ask yourself a few questions :

  • What are their pain points?
  • What do they already know?
  • What new information can I offer?
  • What knowledge gaps are they expecting this article to plug?

even better, you can use audience analysis tools, like Similarweb Research Intelligence to dig into the datum. On this foundation, you can start building up a comprehensive examination ‘ drug user profile ’ of your article ’ second intended audience. This ’ ll then lead to more advance considerations, like :

  • What other sites do they frequent?
  • What topics or products do they search for online?
  • What is the best channel to promote this content for my audience? (i.e. social media, email, PPC, organic, etc.)
  • What demographics are my readers (location, age, etc.)

Knowing your audience is all-important for striking the mighty libra when it comes to your article ’ south tonicity, message, and technicality .
An article entitled ‘ How to Build a Model Airplane, ’ for exemplify, shouldn ’ thymine alienate the beginners among its readership with excessively complicated terminology. similarly, ‘ How to Deal With a Breakup ’ should adopt a more compassionate, conciliatory tone .

3. Research keywords

now that you know your topic and your consultation, you ’ ll motivation to find the correct keywords – particularly if you have any aspirations to get said audience ’ south eyes on your how-to article organically .
Keywords are words and phrases that people enter into search engines like Google and YouTube to find what they ’ re looking for on-line. here ’ s an exercise, using Similarweb Keyword Research Tool found refer keywords to ‘ How to blow up a balloon ’ :
Similarweb Keyword Generator shows the top related keywords to “how to blow up a balloon”.
now you can see what are the relate keywords and questions to get more ideas while brainstorming the sections to include in your piece. You can besides select secondary keywords to rank using the “ Trending ” keywords filter .
In this event, the settle keyword “ Balloons ” shows that “ birthday balloons ” and “ balloons online ” are both identical potent terms to include .
Similarweb Keyword Generator shows the top trending keywords related to the term “balloons”.
once you ’ ve identified the primary and secondary coil keywords you ’ ra hop to rank for, you are ready to create your outline .

4. Plan your article structure

The regulate in which you write your article is completely up to you. You can start with the inaugural paragraph, or fill out your steps and main points before tackling the introduction and FAQs .
But whichever angle you come at your how-to article from, there ’ s one thing you ’ ll want in rate before your first draft – a structure !
here ’ second what we recommend :
Similarweb template detailing how to plan your article structure

Keep the how-to structure guide

For a more detailed deep prima donna into what content, headings, tips, FAQs, and CTAs you need to include in your piece, I recommend downloading our how-to article template .
It’s free to download, and will get you on the fast-track to how-to article success.

Pro tip : To take your how-to article to the adjacent flat, create a short television covering the chief steps you go over. not merely can this increase betrothal with your article, but it can help more people find you on YouTube .

5. Keep your steps snappy and straightforward

Remember, no one ’ randomness here for an test. therefore make sure that each step of your article says what it needs to, without always becoming overlong or bogged down in detail. Less is more, being clear and concise and hire is key to keeping your target consultation engaged ( and coming back for more ).
Moving on…

6. Give your how-to guide a unique selling point

Remember, people learn in different ways. Some will be readers, while others will prefer to absorb information via watch, listening, or engaging in hands-on interaction .
With that in mind, be sure not to load your how-to article up with excessively much transcript. Break up those text walls with videos, infographics, tables, music, or quizzes, rather. Trust us – it ’ s not fair the ocular learners in your audience that ’ ll thank us .
Plus, there are plenty of other ways to bestow a alone deal point upon your content. You can, for exemplify, give your article a limited slant, or hook. For case :

  • Is your guide ‘step-by-step’ or ‘no-nonsense’?
  • Does it offer ‘everything you need to know,’ or is it simply the ‘ultimate guide’ to the subject matter?
  • Would you brand it for beginners, or for those with a more advanced understanding?

Case studies, ‘ top tips, ’ and adept comments – which you can informant from PR databases such as Response Source or Help a Reporter Out – are besides great ways of infusing your how-to article with unique, value-adding ( and original ! ) quality contented .

7. Set your page up for SEO success

You wouldn ’ t spend a night out on the snow-white tundra of Alaska without bundling up warmly .
so before you push your article out into the unforgiving wilderness of Google ’ s search locomotive results pages ( SERPs ), you ’ ll indigence to arm it with all the gear it needs to survive – and thrive – in an on-line environment .
now, you already started equipping your how-to article for SEO survival when you researched relevant SEO keywords using our keyword research tool, and integrated them naturally into your replicate. But before you hit ‘ Publish, ’ you ’ ll want to make sure you ’ ve got the rest of the basics downpat, excessively :

  • Include the keywords you found in the page content
  • Ensure your page has value-driven meta titles and descriptions (with the right character count – about 60 for the title and 160 for the description)
  • Link to other, thematically relevant pages on your site, as well as external sources that will elevate user experience
  • Compress any images on your page to reduce their file size, and drive down the amount of time your how-to article takes to load

And that ’ s good the on-page stuff. There are so many more factors – from the layout and speed of your web site, to its associate structure and backlink profile – that ’ ll affect how your page performs .
For more SEO tips, skip down to the dedicated incision on it below, or check out our comprehensive guide to creating an SEO strategy .
And please wear ’ thymine forget to proofread before you press publish .

8. Monitor your page metrics – and keep optimizing

Congratulations – your page is hot. All that planning, inquiry, calligraphy and SEO-ing has furnished you with a how-to article worthy of top-tier SERP real estate .
But alas – the work doesn ’ triiodothyronine stop consonant there .
now begins the ageless serve of survey, evaluation, and iteration that comes with being the gallant generator of web subject .
Among the metrics you ’ ll want to keep tab on are :
ultimately, there ’ south always something you can do to make a page better. thus quiz, tinker, and never be afraid to experiment – that ’ s how breakthroughs are made .

How to optimize your how-to page for SEO

We touched on the basics in Step 7, but – for your how-to article to actually get a tune out of Google ’ s rankings – you ’ ll want to dabble in the pursue :

Marking up your page with how-to schema

In the words of Google, “ structured data is a standardize format for providing information about a page and classifying the page message. ”
In the words of the layman : it ’ south code that makes it explicitly unclutter to Google that your article is a how-to lead, specifically – and not some other piece of content with a contrasting intent .
Adding this schema to your page will besides help optimize it for articulation searches – such as those made through Apple Siri or Amazon Alexa – and aid Google in extracting your article ’ sulfur fat media and showcasing it in the SERPs ( pictured ) .
An image showing the page schema and related video content for the term “how to blow up a balloon”.
Structured data can be added with code or a scheduling language, such as JavaScript, or – if you use a content management system – via a plugin. capitulum to Google ’ s steer to adding structured data for more information .

Write conversationally

This piece of advice is to help you avoid one of the most common mistakes : excessively much slang. You won ’ thymine find the key to writing good web replicate in the thesaurus – so drop the boastfully words, the long sentences, and the unnecessary prolixity .
rather, write colloquially – that is, in a direction that reflects how you actually speak, and how your readers will read and interpret your content. Address your readers as “ you, ” ask questions, use the active voice, and use analogies and storytelling to forge a connection with your hearing .
In addition to helping your reader sympathize with you – and understand your content – colloquial imitate and specifically copy that is clear is thought to be preferred by users ( and Google ), and will besides help your article rank for voice searches. After all, when people are saying their inquiries to Google – rather than typing them out – they tend to search as they ’ d talk .

E-A-T: Why the author matters

E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness. It ’ south one of the factors Google uses to rate the overall quality of a how-to article and is tied specifically to the content ’ second godhead – in this font, you !
E-A-T content is a high level of expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness.
here, Google ’ s looking to understand three core elements about you as an generator :

  • Expertise: Are you an established expert in the topic? What kind of experience do you have in the field?
  • Authority: Do you – and the site you’re publishing on – have recognized authority in the space? Is the content you’re writing original?
  • Trustworthiness: Are you trustworthy? Have you checked your sources? Do you rely on expert knowledge? Why should Google rank your content?

then if you have all the right credentials to be talking about your subject, don ’ t defy back. Include a bio of yourself with your how-to article, explaining your feel and motivations, and reaffirming why Joe Public and Google alike should trust you .
equally – if you don ’ t have that standing just however – don ’ thyroxine fret. You can build up your E-A-T by :

  • Accruing (and responding to) user reviews
  • Collecting quotes from expert sources (see Step 6 above for more!), then getting those expert sources to mention you
  • Regularly reviewing and updating your content
  • Building up your website’s backlink profile

For more E-A-T tips, tricks, and techniques, check out Google ’ s Search Central blog .

How to write a how-to article: conclusion

“ Share your cognition. It ’ s a manner to achieve immortality ”
The Dalai Lama
With these eight steps, you have everything you need to parcel your cognition with the worldly concern ; to turn an idea into a fully-fledged how-to article, and achieve SERP immortality .
nowadays, all that ’ second left is to… suffer started. To commit to an idea, use your expertness to develop it, and – through your passion for the content and subject count – plowshare it with the world .
then go picture ‘ em how it ’ second done !

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What is a how-to article?
A how-to article explains precisely how to do something and assumes they already know the what .
How should I structure my how-to article?
Always try to format your how-to article in a bit-by-bit format ( Google loves it, as will your lector ), with an presentation, decision, and FAQ section. If you have room, you can besides include extra capacity – such as a ‘ What Is, ’ or ‘ top Tips for ’ sections – to add value .
How can I download a free how-to article template?
easily !

Simply download Similarweb ’ s release, no-strings-attached template to walk you through structuring and formatting your how-to scout, with helpful hints around writing CTAs and FAQs, besides .

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