Well-written articles help increase website traffic and sales, and work to build influence and authority. Article marketing – the process of writing simple articles and submitting them to article directories – is still an effective marketing strategy but, thanks to Google, its primary role has shifted dramatically. It used to be you could submit articles to a whole bunch of sites with the hope that the backlinks they contained would boost your ranking on search engine results pages. New algorithms have made this approach obsolete, but you can still use articles to achieve your marketing goals.
Should You Use Article Marketing?
Providing content for other websites is an excellent way to get a brand wider recognition. There are pros and cons to article marketing:
- It’s free. Everyone needs good content for their site and many people are willing to post quality, relevant articles on their sites.
- It builds credibility and signals expertise.
- It gets a brand seen by a much wider audience than it can reach on its own.
- It takes time and effort to not only write good articles, but to find other sites willing to publish them.
- There are no guarantees the articles will run.
One of the biggest upsides to article marketing is that it is highly customizable. By providing relevant, timely content about an industry, product, or service, you can meet the needs of a wide range of prospective customers and develop new sales opportunities.
How to Develop an Article Marketing Strategy
A well-written article with quality links can provide about six times the amount of traffic delivered by paid search advertising!
Content relevancy is the hallmark of an effective article marketing campaign. Your goal is to attract the highest quality organic backlinks to related (and popular) websites. To get started, you must identify the target niches you want to reach. Then create a list of topics that will entice and engage each niche and write articles that address each unique audience.
Lessons for Article Marketing Success
Whether you’re new to article marketing, or want to up your current game, use one or all of these tips to increase growth:
- Make sure your article directs traffic to an opt-in page on the website. Using article marketing to build an email list is a smart strategy that delivers long-term benefits.
- Carefully choose keyword phrases. Yes, since the search engines began penalizing keyword stuffing, it’s more difficult to get traffic from articles, but you can use Google’s Keyword Planner to find specific keywords for each piece. Then use related words and phrases throughout the article. A good rule of thumb for inserting keywords into articles is once in the title, once in the opening paragraph, once in the closing paragraph, and maybe once in the body.
- Article writing is not the same as blogging. It’s perfectly acceptable to repurpose content from your blog posts to create an article.
- Make sure the articles solve a problem and/or provide value to the reader. Find a good hook that develops a conversation with new readers.
- Write in a simple, natural tone and be sure to address the reader directly. “You” can be the most important word in marketing.
There are literally hundreds of article submission sites that can help boost traffic and growth. The top 4 include:
The best way to succeed at article marketing is to be selective about where you choose to submit. Keep in mind that it’s far more important to focus on quality than quantity. Submit well-written articles to quality sites and before long you should see a rise in search engine ranking and an increase in traffic. To learn more, check out our white paper, "How to Use Creative Blog Titles to Boost Visibility."