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Sunday, April 29, 2007

13 Dos and 6 Don'ts of Article Marketing That Will Produce Better Results

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by Mike Bradbury
Over the past year or two, every SEO, Blogger, and Website Promoter has heard about the wonders of article distribution and the positive results that articles can yield for an otherwise unknown website.

The purpose of article marketing is three fold:

1.) Get your name out there as an expert
2.) Get traffic from links within your article
3.) Increase your search engine link popularity
In all three cases, the more highly distributed your article, the higher the likelihood of your articles achieving each goal. In this article I examine the dos and don'ts of article marketing and reveal a few secrets that will land you more back links and higher traffic from your article submissions.

WHAT TO EXPECT
If this is your first time submitting articles, you may be bubbling over with anticipation. Calm down. Not to say that article marketing is without benefit, but for those of you who think you've found the Holy Grail of site visibility, you're in the wrong place.

Pertaining to the three goals mentioned above, here is what you can expect:
Making an Expert of Yourself - Don't expect to be getting calls from conference coordinators asking you to speak at their annual event in Las Vegas. But hey, it looks good on a resume, right?
Sending Traffic to Your Website -Sadly, the site traffic you receive directly from articles is pretty small. You can maximize it by tweaking the ways you submit, but don't buy a car with plans to pay it off using article-generated AdSense revenue. For that matter, don't buy a sandwich.
Link Popularity and Search Engine Rankings - Article marketing's saving grace. If you know how to optimize a page on your site as well as the links in your articles, you will see improvement in ranking.

THE DOS OF ARTICLE MARKETING
Write something unique... but not too unique. Most experts will tell you that in order to achieve success in article marketing, you must write on a topic that hasn't been covered. However, if that means writing an article which is so specific that only 19 people in the world will find it relevant, like "24 Ways to Pet a Brittany Spaniel," you won't have success either. SO...
Put a new spin on an old subject. If you can't write something "unique," put your spin on something old.
Write something useful.
Make it scannable. You want people to make it to the end of your article and click on those precious signature links, right? Well then, make sure they can get to the end of the thing. Use sub-headers. Use bulleted lists. Use HTML. Increase the amount of traffic you're getting by making your article scannable.
Optimize your links. Whenever possible, optimize your links for the search engines. This means either placing important keywords in the anchor text of your signature links or placing them close to the URL in situations where anchor text is not permitted.
Deep link. I have found that links from articles usually don't yield site authority with the search engines, but they do help search engines define what term your page should be ranked for. A highly optimized page with highly optimized links from articles pointing to it can often find its way to the top, regardless of a site's authority.
Write conversationally. The Internet is like totally laid back, man. Use it to your advantage and connect with your audience by keeping things conversational.
Proof read. And then do it again. And then have someone else do it. And then one more time for good measure.
Make it 600 - 900 words long.
Use an automated form-filler. I use a program called Fireform. It cuts my submission time to seconds instead of minutes. Google it.
Submit a "How-To." And don't hold back. The more in-depth, the better.
Submit a list. If there is one thing I've learned from VH1, it's that people love lists.
Write your article to adhere to the submission guidelines of as many directories as possible. The less you have to go customize any individual submission for a specific directory, the more directories you'll submit to.

THE DON'TS OF ARTICLE MARKETING
DON'T Use affiliate links. Most directories won't publish an article laced with affiliate links and most content publishers won't either. We've already established that articles don't drive traffic, so by placing affiliate links in your article, you're really just robbing yourself of search engine backlinks.
DON'T Sell your company. Don't sell your products either. In fact, try your best not to even mention who you work for in the body of your article. Writing an article to sell a product diminishes the credibility of that article as well as its chances of being republished.
DON'T Use an automated article submission service or program. There are far too many variations between article directories to effectively automate submissions. Your success rate will plummet if you use a service like this.
DON'T Use links in the article body. Many article directories don't allow links in the body of the article, making them one more piece to customize from directory to directory.
DON'T Re-word someone else's article. First, it's plagiarism, or, as they call it in the grown-up world, copyright infringement. Second, articles like these are easy to pick out and will have lower success rates.
DON'T Get discouraged. You probably won't see search engine improvements for a month, but they will come. Instead of checking the SERPs every 10 minutes for signs of improvement, write and distribute another article. Don't give up.

Remember, the idea is to manipulate the system in such a way that your articles are published and republished as often as possible. By following this simple guide, you'll be on your way to achieving that goal.



About the Author
This article was written by Mike Bradbury. Mike is an SEO Analyst for Objectware, Inc, an Atlanta SEO, Ecommerce Solution and Atlanta Web Design Company.



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