Article marketing, as the name suggests, involves marketing through articles. It operates primarily on the principle of back links. You can use article directories. You can post your articles on your own site, in which case, they have to be really good and valuable to rank high in searches. Alternatively, a website (website X) gets articles written and uploads them. The articles contain carefully thought out keywords (search words) and links. People searching online for something arrive at your websites (website Y) via the search words and links contained in the article. However, this makes website Y rather dependent on chance. Visitors may not read the article far enough to click the backlink!
Although it has been seen that backlinks drive poor quality traffic to your site, yet article marketing is used as a long term strategy for SEO link building campaigns. Clearly there is a method to this madness.
And that method is to optimise the link. If the article is well written and engaging, there is a greater chance that readers will read through and follow the links. This will work even better if the links are placed close to the text that calls for reader interaction. The links also serve as incoming links to your site. Search engines also value them higher, since they are embedded within other useful content on another higher ranking site.
There’s a lot more you can do to make your articles SEO savvy.
There is no substitute for workable and unique solutions to people’s queries. You have to build your reputation as consistent providers of relevant content. Your site then becomes a reliable resource and gets recognition among users. Also, major search engines value content above anything else and they will rank you high if your content regularly meets their standards.
Another challenge is to frequently publish new and updated content. That sends out a signal that you stay abreast of developments in your field and are committed to the reader’s need for complete and recent information. Presenting it well is important, too. Then, you become the readers’ first choice and that really counts for something – they may not bother to search but head straight for your site, the next time
What kind of data do you deal with? Easy- to- understand content is not a problem. An engaging, well organised article suffices. A thumb rule is that the easier it is to read something, the greater is the effort that has gone into writing it!
But if you have heavy duty concepts to share, they must be chunked into digestible bites. It also helps to have explanatory diagrams, highlighted definitions, graphs or even an animation or two (if, for example, your article is about a process) to make it easy for the reader to understand the idea. Writing articles for children’s websites or any other educational website is truly challenging in this regard. However, once the readers enjoy and gain from your efforts at producing quality articles with easy explanations, you enjoy their loyalty and the loyalty of those who they drive to your website.
Quality content is a basic SEO requirement.
Understanding SEO basics
SEO is your vehicle to appear on the first page of the Google search. The best way to do this is to have fine content (what we have discussed above). No duplicating. Prefer well researched articles over airy blog posts if you want sustained, quality traffic to your website. People will use the backlink to your site only if they like what they read.
Understanding SEO backlinking
Do link to sites that have a high page rank with Google. Only then will your backlink carry any weight. Pages are ranked from 0 to 10; 10 is the highest rank. So if you can link to the site that gets a rank of 10 from Google, your backlink will also be ‘backed’ strongly by the selfsame search engine god. Fewer backlinks from a better site mean more than a plethora of backlinks from a low ranking site.
The disadvantages of article directories
Backlinks from article directories are the lowest ranking. Article directories bulge with articles ranging from very poor to mediocre. Naturally, there will be loads of duplicate and irrelevant content.
The Google Panda algorithm was created to address just this issue. It recognizes and ranks only one version of the article and that may not be yours! Google penalizes duplicate content for its obvious uselessness and the congestion it creates. And since duplicates are typically found in article directories, their ranking has fallen low on the Google scale. Article sharing on an article directory is no longer smart SEO practice.
However, some scrupulous directories may have a strict filtration process and themselves avoid duplication – do check these out if you want your articles to appear in a directory. These directories may be reinventing themselves, selecting and publishing their articles with care. Keep track of these happenings.
If not article directories, then what?
Create content on your own site, strictly using Whitehat principles. You will definitely meet SEO standards, though visibility is not maximum. In time, the traffic to your site might increase. Creating content for a more popular site will improve visibility to yours. It will also engender trust. You will get traffic via attribution links.
Another way is to write well informed, authoritative guest posts on other sites related to your domain of business. You will automatically get an attribution backlink. There may even be a Know the Author corner, which helps readers know more about you.
As in regular business marketing, so also in internet marketing, link building is an important aspect. On the web, article marketing is the basis of link building strategy. A content rich article, optimally studded with keywords, brings visitors and exposure. The genuine information and advice you proffer builds customer loyalty. It is a slow and steady process, but tried and tested for its success.