Article Marketing is not only a misunderstood means of promotion, it is also probably the most misunderstood means of backlinking. It seems that everyone does article marketing, but we all have a different understanding of how it works and how to approach it.
Some people do AM for traffic and some do it for backlinks. Likewise, some people try to advertise with their articles, and some simply provide content. Well, there isn’t really a wrong way to do article marketing, but there is definitely a right way. Let’s clear the air and break down article marketing into its two core components and what they mean for your site’s traffic and rankings.
Distribution and Syndication
Distribution is where you submit your articles, and syndication is where they are published after they are found in the places you distributed to. For example, you submit (distribute) an article to EzineArticles. A week later, a webmaster finds your article and publishes (syndicates) it on his/her site. These syndication backlinks are usually much more powerful than any link you will get from a directory. Also, these links can and will send targeted traffic to your site. So to review, your article is distributed to directories where you will get some traffic and weak links, and then it is syndicated on other sites that give you a lot more traffic and better links than the directories. That means these links give you more traffic NOW and more traffic LATER because they help your rankings more. Our conclusion is that you want to create content that is made specifically to be syndicated – content for webmasters.
Here’s how you do it:
First, you want to consider the length of your article. If you were a webmaster looking for content to publish on your site, how long do you think you’d want it to be? The answer is basically as long as you can find! Longer content means readers stick around and read for longer and sites with more robust content often rank better. Rather than writing two 500 word articles that get little syndication, you should write one 1,000 word article because its chances for successful, widespread syndication are much better. And to reiterate, this means there’s a better chance of getting a whole lot more traffic and much stronger links.
Next, you want to look at the way the content itself is written. Article marketing works best with content that is very informational and even instructional in nature. Do NOT write advertisements. They will not get syndicated, and they possibly won’t even be accepted on any directories in the first place. It can be tempting to write an advertisement – don’t do it. Simply write an article that you think readers would find helpful, and also, if you can manage it, entertaining as well. People go online for information and entertainment. If you can provide one, you’re good. If you can provide both, you’re golden. If you’ve got a 1,000 word, informative and entertaining article on your hands, then you’re holding a powerful piece of promotional content. It is well worth your time to write like this because the benefits can be fantastic.
One aspect that cannot be stressed enough is the priority of quality content over well-optimized content. Concern yourself with writing a great article first, then worry about optimizing it for your keyword. Believe it or not, this will actually help your SEO in the long run. Everyone always talks about getting quality links. Well, duh. Who ever said that low quality links would be better? The problem is sorting them out and understanding exactly how these high quality links are obtained. This is how: through excellent content. If you write lousy articles, they get published exclusively on article directories which give lousy links. But, if you write great articles, they get found and syndicated on great sites. Internalize this:
Great sites only publish great content, and great sites give great backlinks.
Your answer to these high quality backlinks everyone’s been talking about is through quality content. The content itself is the most important factor for SEO, followed by anchor text in your links, followed by your keyword in the title tag and keyword density. You can’t always have it all and the choice is usually between having a slightly optimized article on a great site or a well-optimized article on a lousy site. I’ll take the former any day.
Besides the quality of the content itself, widespread syndication for your article requires one other thing, proper distribution. You want to place your article where webmasters will find it. This basically means putting it on all the top directories, such as EzineArticles. This is all you have to do. However, there are a lot of services and products such as Article Marketing Robot for mass distribution. You do not have to use any of these for successful article marketing, but they do help. To restate, the links you get in directories are weak, however, in bulk they can still garner SEO benefits and slightly better chances of syndication. Overall, a combination of targeted and mass submission is best for a complete article marketing strategy.
Article Marketing can be a complex beast to master. It is a muddled area simply because so many people use it for so many different reasons. The article marketing tips outlined above will, in my opinion, give you the biggest gains in traffic and the greatest boost in rankings you can achieve per article.