Get Rich Slow - Using Article Marketing
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Table of Contents
- Why Article Marketing?
- Writing Effective Articles
- Submitting to Article Directories
COPYRIGHT © 2009
All rights reserved. Except as provided under U.S. law, no part of this book may be reproduced in any way without permission in writing from the copyright holders.
Search the internet and you'll find plenty of people claiming that article marketing will turn your business into a traffic magnet and generate thousands of inbound links practically overnight. While some proclaim it to be a quick fix, the truth is, article marketing is more of a "slow and steady wins the race" sort of approach to online marketing.
Now I know some of you may not like hearing this, but it's the truth! We could tell you that article marketing will drive thousands of visitors to your site after writing just a few articles and posting them on a few article directories, but this would only set you up for major disappointment down the road.
The Good News!
Now its time for the good news! While article marketing is NOT an overnight solution, it IS a proven, time-tested, and affordable way to build back-links, and generated lots of free traffic to your site. With such a wide variety of different online marketing techniques out there, it's a relief to know that there's at least one method that's a sure deal. Article marketing works... we know because we've done it for ourselves, as well as hundreds of others out there, and we have seen the results time and time again.
What is Article Marketing? - In Simple Terms
Article Marketing refers to the development of industry-specific articles that are geared toward a specific audience, and aims to inform them, answer their questions, and solve their problems. These articles are keyword optimized to rank highly in the search engines.
At the bottom of each article is a "Resource Box" that identifies you or your company as the expert author of the article, and contains a link back to your website.
Once the articles are written, they need to be submitted to one or more "article directories" or "information hub sites" out on the web. The most popular article directory out there is ezinearticles.com
These sort of article directories allow publishers to take your articles and publish them on their websites, newsletters, or other publications. When people take your article, they usually will leave the link to your site, giving you an additional link back to your site.
Sites like ezinearticles.com have high PageRank and tend to rank well in Google and other search engines. This means that when your article is added to their site, it has a good chance of ranking for the keyword you optimized it for. This can drive free traffic, and provides a good solid back link to your site from a reputable, targeted page. Over time, all these links help increase your own site's link popularity, causing you own site to rank higher in the search engines!
Why Article Marketing?
With search engines dominating how online traffic is directed, content plays a more important role than ever in determining which websites show up in the top search results. Therefore, search engine optimized articles offer an affordable, effective method for companies to compete in this increasingly competitive landscape.
Throughout this ebook, you'll learn all about the many benefits article marketing offers businesses and how to leverage it for your own business purposes. You will also learn what the advantages and disadvantages are of posting articles to directories vs posting them to your own website.
Understanding article marketing is just the beginning. Of course, you must also learn how to write effective articles. An effective article by definition would be one in which captures the attention of a large online audience and, in which effectively elicits a response from the reader which results in a lead or a sale for your business. This ebook will outline for you, step-by-step, how to write effective articles.
Keyword Optimization - The Foundation
One particular area of article marketing that receives a good amount of attention is keyword optimization... for good reason. Keywords must be the foundation of any effective article marketing campaign. If you think about it, why bother writing about something if nooone's looking for it? Using free keyword tools like Google's Keyword Research Tool will tell you how many searches terms are getting, and whether they're worth spending your time on.
Why You Should Be Leveraging Article Marketing
The well recognized phrase, "Content is King" has never been more true than today. Billions of searches take place ever day on search engines like Google. These are people looking for information that answers their questions and solves their problems. This has created an incredible opportunity for savvy online businesses who want to draw all these searchers to their website.
What's the opportunity? give people the information they're looking for!
By writing interesting, informative articles that include a link back to your site as the author, and then submitting these articles to top sites out on the web, people will find your content, and appreciate that you answered their question. They'll see you as the expert... and when it's time for them to buy, they'll come back to you and re-pay the favor!Here are the 3 primary benefits of article marketing:
- Generates qualified traffic
- Builds natural back links, increasing your page rank with Google
- Establishes yourself as an expert within your business niche
Leverage Other People's Marketing for Your Benefit
When you submit your articles to top sites like ezinearticles.com, you are piggy backing on the previous marketing and link building efforts of others. These top sites have high link popularity (PageRank), which means any content that's added to them has a good shot at ranking high in the search engines. If you put the content on your own site, since your PageRank is lower, the content may not rank as high. Once your article ranks high on their site, the link leading back to your site will draw them back to you, and give you poweful "link juice" at the same time.
Obviously, in the long run, you want the content on your site to rank high, not just content that's on someone else's site. However, when you put your articles on these article directories, they will contain a link back to you, which in the long run will actually help your own content to rank higher.
It's a WIN WIN situation!
No Shortcuts When It Comes to Writing Effective Articles
Writing high quality articles does take some time and effort, but the long-term pay-off can be tremendous.
The first thing to keep in mind is that all content you submit must be 100% unique. You may be tempted to take the easy way out, but don't do it! The consequences of taking shortcuts can be devastating to your credibility... and your pocket book! Its simply not worth it.
The 3 C's - Your Guide to Remarkable Content
When it comes to writing great content, just remember the 3 C's:
If you always follow these 3 simple guidelines, your work will be way ahead of the pack and will bring you long term benefit for years to come.
The EverGreen Strategy
If you want to get more mileage out of your articles, you can leverage an article marketing strategy called the ‘evergreen' method. The term evergreen refers to articles which will always provide value, which don't include newsworthy information or dated material, and which provide value to readers on a year round basis. Evergreen articles do not become outdated over time.
If you want to create evergreen articles, consider these tips in mind:
- Avoid time or date references
- Avoid specific price references for products and services
- Avoid slang, as it can date an article or narrow the target audience too much over time
- Avoid cultural references
- Avoid articles which cover celebrities or current events
- Write How-to articles
These articles are great choices for static website content, as they can remain online long term, allowing your business to get more bang for its marketing buck.
Elements of Creating a Good Article
How can you write an article that will serve its purpose? There are several key elements to a good article, including headlines, the article body, the formatting and the resource or bio box.
1. Article Titles
The first thing that most web surfers look for is the headline or title to a blog posting, news story or article. If it does not grab their attention, they are moving onto the next item in their search. Your target keyword should be included towards the front of the title whenever possible.
For example, if your keyword phrase is "Online Education Degree", effective titles could include "Online Education Degree- Your Key to Changing Careers", "Online Education Degree-Increase your Marketability in this Competitive Job Market". Both of these titles incorporate the given keyword phrase, and tell the reader what they're about to learn. We will discuss more about the importance of keywords later.
Be sure to capitalize the primary words within your title as well, as again, visually attractive articles are read more often than the rest of the field. You can see this tip executed in the 2 title samples above.
2. Body of the Article
Once you develop a powerful and catchy title, it's time to focus on the article's body. Writing articles for use online is completely different than anything you were taught in English class. Online articles must be designed for quick scanning and, as a result, need to be formatted differently.
Here are some must-do's when it comes to the body of an online article:
Paragraphs should be short- focus on 4-6 sentences in length, not long, hard to read paragraphs which people tend to skip over.
Break up the text with bullet point lists or numbered lists where appropriate to make the text more visually appealing.
Use bold subheadings within your articles to break up paragraphs. Include at least one subheading within every article, but more where appropriate. These bold phrases are typically what an online reader will scan for either when determining whether to read an article, or when just scanning over the content.
If your article is focusing on specific keywords, it is also recommended to include those keywords within these subheadings to increase your page rank with major search engines.
Create crisp, concise content- focus on an article body size of between 400-1000 words. People tend to have a short attention span when scanning online material. Most articles average 500 words, which also happens to be the minimum word count for many of the more popular article directories. So, when creating an article of this length, you are not limiting your directory posting options.
Include live links only when allowable by chosen article directories or when posting content directly onto your website. Each article directory will have slightly different guidelines on if you can include links, how many and which type. Most directories will not allow html tags within the article body. So, before including any type of tag or link, review the specific site's rules to ensure you are compliant.
3. The Resource Box - The "Take"
Article marketing is a give and take. The article body is the "give" - where you give valuable information to your readers.
The resource box is the "take" - where you let people know that you are the expert that wrote the article, and get them to visit your site to learn more.
You always include your resource box at the end of your article. This is typically 1-3 lines, and allows you to describe yourself, your business, your products and services, to post direct links to your website or to an affiliate product your are marketing and is typically where the reader of the article heads when they are looking for more information about the article's source.
Always use a compelling call to action within the resource box. This should not sound overly salesy, but should just let the reader know that they can learn more about the topic by visiting your website.
The Article Summary
Most article directories request or even require that you submit a short article summary along with the article body. An article summary is considered a teaser, and is used to describe the article to potential readers. When an individual is searching for content online, these summaries or descriptions will pop up.
Therefore, to entice more people to read your specific articles, your summaries need to capture someone's attention. The first sentence should make a bold statement, ask a question, or offer a thought. The next 1-2 sentences should give the potential reader a snapshot of what they would find within the article's body.
Overall, you are selling someone on why they should click to read your article, so keep that in mind as you are writing this piece.
Keyword Research and SEO Strategies
When creating article content, keywords should always come into play. Don't even bother starting to write until you've spent some quality time researching which keyword to write about.
There are several methods available for determining which keywords and phrases are the best to use for each article you write. Keyword tools (Google Adwords Keyword Tool, Wordspot.com, Goodkeywords.com, Compete.com), software programs (Word Tracker, Keyword Elite), SEO consultants and manual techniques can be utilized individually or in combination.
Choosing the Right Keywords
While every business is unique, once you start researching keywords, you can usually discover that there are hundreds, or even thousands of keywords that are great candidates to write about.
When looking for the right keywords, you should look for keywords that are in the "sweet spot". This means finding keywords that have enough search volume to be worthwhile to target, but not so much that it's too competitive. Targeting very competitive keywords can be risky since you many never rank for the term. You need to look at your site's PageRank and consider whether your site has enough "link power" to rank for competitive terms.
Keywords can include any and all combinations of relevant terms. If you wanted to focus on a specific geographic region such as Texas, you should try to include the term "texas" at the beginning or end of the keyword as follows:
texas mortgage company
home mortgage service in texas
In addition to focusing on keywords and considering your target locations, you also want to give thought to variations of phrases. The reason for this is that individual searchers will type in the same set of words in different variations. For example, if someone were searching for a chiropractor in Dallas, they may search "Dallas chiropractor", "chiropractor in Dallas", "Dallas chiropractic", or even "chiropractic Dallas." Your business may choose to focus on only one, or all of these combinations.
Keyword Density Rules of Thumb
Once you have identified the keywords that your article marketing campaign will focus on, you will need to understand how to properly incorporate these terms into your content.
Keyword density refers to how often a word or phrase is included within the content, and is typically expressed as a percentage. For example, an article with the phrase "Texas realtors" appearing 5 times within 500 words would be described as having a density of 1%.
Most article directories place limitations on the allowable density for posting. The standard for density is 1% for given keywords, although some sites will allow a higher number, so be sure to check before creating your content.
In addition to article directory restrictions, keyword density is also important when it comes to search engines. Articles containing too many target keywords are considered "over-optimized". This type of "keyword-stuffing", could get your site penalized by major search engines, defeating the entire purpose of your marketing campaign.
Check out what Google has to say about keyword-stuffing in the Google Webmaster Guidelines
A .75% to 1.5% keyword density is considered by most seo experts to be the safe range that still indicates high relevancy to search engines. Try to stick within this range, but don't worry too much about it. Just write naturally for humans and everything will be fine.
How Many Keywords Should I Optimize Each Article For?
Some people try to optimize articles around multiple keywords in the hope of getting double or triple the results from the same article. We do not receommend this technique.
Think about it. Google must try and determine what your page is about, in order to know keywords to rank it for. If the page is relevant about 3 different terms, than it is 2/3 less relevant for any of the 3 given terms, and therefore will be unable to compete with a page that is 100% relevant for one of the 3 terms.
Always select one keyword, and focus on that for each article.
Article Marketing Tips
Here are some things to keep in mind when creating articles:
• Stay away from Private Label Rights Articles-This form of article has a high incidence or plagiarism, and re-sale to other buyers, and as a result, this can significantly damage your page rank online.
- Stay away from advertorials or salesy material within the body of your articles, as most online searchers are looking for value from the information that they choose to read. When readers are not happy with the information, they certainly will not come back for more, and will not be clicking on any targeted links that you have included within the article itself.
• If you are placing the same article on both your website and within article directories, make sure that you place it on your website first to assist with your overall page rank. Internet marketing professionals caution against using repetitive content in any circumstance however, so when you can, use new and completely original content when you distribute articles on different sites.
- Check your article for grammatical and spelling mistakes before publishing. Read through the entire article, even if you used a spelling or grammar check program, as things can easily be missed.
Now that you understand how to write effective articles, you need to consider where and how you will distribute the information. Article directories provide the ability to distribute your content to a large audience, get your site syndicated to many other sites, drive traffic, and gain targeted back links all at the same time.
- Many article directory sites are ranked by Google, meaning that content posting on the sites is automatically indexed by Google. When an online searcher is looking for specific content, your articles are more likely to appear in the first few pages of their search. And as a result, your business is likely to gain higher volumes of traffic.
- By placing your content on directories, you're increasing your potential readership.
- Many article directories offer the ability to post a basic level of content free, providing you with an affordable online marketing option for your business.
• Most major article directories offer their members detailed tracking information, allowing users to determine if their articles are producing the levels of traffic results desired.
Should I Submit the Same Article to Multiple Directories?
There are many sites and software programs out there designed to help you submit your articles to multiple article directories automatically, with minimal effort on your part. This may sound good, but we don't recommend it.
When the same articles are submitted to multiple directories, the content is considered and treated as ‘duplicate content' by search engines like Google. You could spend time and money buying and learning how to use submission software, but why bother? The same article on more than one site will just be discounted and will never rank.
We recommend submitting one article to one article directory. Always submit UNIQUE content to each one. This is a better approach and will look more natural to the search engines.
The simplest, easiest, safest, and most effective way to start your article marketing effort is to simply submit your articles to ezinearticles.com. They have the highest PageRank, and the highest traffic.
Standing Out From the Crowd
Article directories often have many similar articles on the same subject matter posted. So, it is important to distinguish your piece through formatting, great title selection and by providing quality content. By distinguishing your content from the other similar pieces, your business is more likely to gain high volumes of click throughs to your website.
Finding the Best Article Directories to Submit To
Ezinearticles is the best place to start. In fact, it would be truly fine if you submitted no where else but here. If you are wondering how to find the best article directories to submit your content to, simply search online for an updated list of the top sites. Be sure to consider the Google PageRank of the site, since that is a good way to gauge whether or not your content has a chance at ranking once its placed on their site.
Top 5 Article Directories
Squidoo offers a platform for sharing targeted information to users. While Squidoo is similar to other content distribution platforms, its focus is primarily on segregating content into content modules, or ‘lenses', in an attempt to make it easier for online searchers to locate relevant resources, answers and informative content on particular subject matters. These information portals offer a proven method for business owners to establish credibility as a subject matter expert, which in the long run, works as a method for driving targeted, qualified traffic.
Creating Squidoo pages is free, simple and easy. And, you can create multiple lenses, providing you the ability to market multiple products and services simultaneously on the same website platform. Once you establish your Squidoo lenses, you need to market them in order to build a strong online following, and ultimately, traffic to your website.
Here are several marketing techniques which have proven effective for Squidoo lenses:
- Search for other Squidoo lenses which are similar to your own. Then, post comments, or ask questions. If readers of that lens enjoy your comments, many of them will click through to view your lenses.
- Send an email blast to your current network or lead base to inform them when you establish new lenses.
- Look for Squidoo groups which would likely have members also interested in your products and services. By joining groups, you are leveraging the social networking component of the platform.
- Post new article content onto your Squidoo pages to increase your site's rank.
- Leverage popular social bookmarketing icons and sites so that when a reader likes your lens or content, they can mark it for future viewing.
- Review the top Squidoo pages and implement some of their format, posts and general ideas into your own lenses.
Squidoo individually offers an effective marketing platform for your business. But, when leveraged in combination with articles you have written, its results increase exponentially.
If you're searching for a proven method of generating website traffic, look no further than article marketing. If you're willing to invest a little time and money up front to create compelling content on a regular basis, the rewards can be great in the long run. While it may not be an overnight solution, if you remain confident and committed for the long term, one day you will reap the benefits of having your own, permanent source of targeted, high quality, and FREE traffic and leads to your site.
Article Marketing Services by Interact Media
Interact Media understand what it takes to conduct a successful article marketing campaign. With the largest network of certified copywriters anywhere on the web, we can find the best writer to develop remarkable, search engine optimized content for your articles. Then, using our sophisticated Content Marketing Platform, we submit those articles to directories such as ezinearticles.com and goarticles.com - all for one low cost that the competition can't match.
Learn more about our article marketing service, or visit our online pricing calculator and order form today!