There’s an easy, free way to drive traffic to your website, and more and more experts are asserting that it has a greater ROI than even PPC, or pay per click, advertising. It’s called article marketing.
All you need is time and ideas, and you can author unique articles related to your niche and submit them to an article directory that will categorize them and ensure they are indexed in Google and other search engines.
When you submit your articles to a directory, you are also offering them up to be syndicated by other sites, so your piece could conceivably end up all over the web – each time with your backlink and bio directing readers to your website and business.
Done well, article marketing can:
Build credibility and help establish you as an expert on a topic.
Drive traffic to your website, as the article shows up in search engine results for your relevant keywords.
While it’s true that, in the sense of just traffic, the greatest value of an article comes from the high-ranking backlinks, that doesn’t mean you should just churn out “article” after “article,” going for quantity over quality. Offer up great content and advice, and your ROI will be even better.
I have been planning to add article marketing to my arsenal, and am intrigued by the many options out there.
It’s important to choose an article directory that is well-established and has a reputation for not letting just anything out there. These are the ones that are considered to be “authority sites” by Google and other search engines, which means their content typically ranks high in the results. I recommend that you choose one directory and stick with it, thus avoiding the possibility of Google downranking you for duplicate content. Others may disagree, and advocate changing the articles only slightly and submitting to as many directories as possible. Another option is to submit to a general article directory and also to a niche publisher in your specific market.
Most article directories are free, with an optional premium service that, for a fee, gets your articles approved more quickly and adds other bonuses such as coaching or more control over when and how your articles post. I’ve heard good things about Ezine Articles, which has been around for many years and is well-liked by Google’s bots. I like that it uses real-life editors who will reject articles that are “stuffed” with keywords (a no-no mentioned in my SEO post) as well as those that are too self-promotional.
Other options include ArticlesBase, AssociatedContent, GoArticles, and many several others.
As everywhere on the web, content is king. Be helpful. Advice articles such as “Top 10” lists and “How to” guides are always good bets. The best articles are those with staying power – the timeless or “evergreen” pieces that won’t look dated in a few months or a few years.
You can write in first person, or third person, but position yourself as the industry expert on the topic at hand. You don’t need to quote people or other sources in your articles like a journalist would. Shoot for between 350-700 words. A good “sweet spot” to hit is 500 words. Keep your keywords in mind, but don’t overdo it. Make sure your headline is keyword-rich as well.
At the end of your article, you’ll get a author biography, resource box, or signature where you can put a limited number of self-serving links. (This is probably the only place you’ll be allowed to use html.) Choose your anchor text carefully, because this will help you in SEO. You’ll probably be able to include a couple of sentences about who you are and what your company does – basically your elevator pitch or call to action. Besides directing people to your website, you could offer up a newsletter subscription link or relevant bonus content such as a free ebook or report.
Christopher Knight of Ezine Articles describes that body-bio synergy like this:
“The BODY of your article is where you ‘GIVE’ and the RESOURCE BOX is where you get to ‘TAKE’ for your article marketing gift of information. The resource box is the “currency of payment” you receive for giving away your article.”
Once you’ve committed to trying article marketing, make a plan for yourself so you stick with it. For example, come up with a list of topics you could write about. You could even use your existing blog or ebooks for inspiration and “spin off” articles from there.
Some companies have someone on their staff, or a paid ghostwriter, writing their articles. That’s fine, too. Just beware of scammy “services” that offer to sell you tons of so-called articles or PLR (Private Label Rights) content, or rewrites. They’re probably junk, and the exact same junk everyone else has, too. You’ll just be hurting your credibility and wasting money on duplicate content that will backfire on you.
Have you tried article marketing? Are you intrigued by the possibilities?
Posted by: Sitehatchery.com – a Chico web design company providing web design and development services nationwide.