“Does article marketing still work?”
New and prospective clients ask me this question from time to time. And rather than resorting to another sent email in reply, I decided that it was time to address this (and your?) concern by writing an article about how, and why, article marketing works.
And to do that we’re going to introduce a bit of game theory.
Not much, to be sure, since I my goal is not to bore you to tears.
Why article marketing still works
The goal of article marketing is rather simple, provided you have a clear idea of WHY you post new content on your site, and HOW you actually compose your articles.
After all, if you’re going to do this RIGHT then you have to follow a strategy.
Makes sense, right?
Think of it this way. If you wanted to play a game a chess you would first need to have a good understanding of WHAT the actual chess pieces were, HOW they moved, and what defined a successful outcome for the game (i.e. winning). When it comes to chess that means putting your opponent’s king in “check mate” — i.e. leaving the king no safe moves left on the board.
With me so far?
Okay, when it comes to article marketing what is the ultimate goal for writing your article, or hiring someone to do that for you (like I do for clients)? Well, the only reasons for writing new, ORIGINAL content and publishing then on your site is:
- to update your site on a regular basis
- to target a keyword relevant to your business
- link to other key pages on your site (interlinking)
- share your content on social media channels, primarily facebook, twitter and digg
- pre-qualify your web visitors and pre-sell your products and services
That’s about it.
Updating your site with new, ORIGINAL content is important because Google says it’s important. Sites that are continually updated are perceived (rightly) as being current, “alive” with content, responsive and relevant.
For example, if all you did was post RELEVANT content to your site on a REGULAR BASIS, say twice a month, and nothing more it would help your site rank better for the keywords you are targeting. Provided, of course, that you have researched a list of keywords and implemented those keywords on your web pages.
So consistency is key.
Next, you should target a keyword. And when it comes to your article consider targeting a keyword that is very specific with a low search volume (micro-targeting).
And make sure that your article links to other pages on your site. But don’t over do it. Two to three links, MAX.
Now, the first three reasons on the list all have to do with SEO, i.e. getting your site as a whole, and specific pages on your site, to rank better for search terms relevant to your products and services. The final two reasons, however, have more to do with getting readers engaged.
How to get article marketing to work for you
Now, you need to have an effective platform to do this… i.e. your site should be set up as a WordPress site, rather than an html site, since WordPress sites make it super easy to add, edit and post new content. Plus they are SEO friendly.
So having the right site matters.
And so does how you actually write your article(s). This involves a few key factors, such as:
- use a compelling headling
- format your content for the web
- article structure/layout
- use of image(s)
- having a call to action
Most people drop the ball when it comes to article marketing because they do it poorly. You see, a properly composed article has to do TWO jobs at the same time… you need to have elements incorporated in them that “appeal” to search engines, and your article has to connect with a human reader, i.e. your target audience.
So how do you do this well?
Your headline should include a keyword, AND catch someone’s attention. The goal of the headline is to “sell” the person to “read more.”
For starters, write using a conversational style.
Write for a real person to read and engage with your content. And that means no technical jargon or corporate speak. It also means no huge, blocky paragraphs. Break up your sentences to make reading your article “easy on the eye.” And to do this requires you to follow a “formula” of sorts.
Next comes structure. And it’s pretty basic…
- use a 3 or 4 sentence INTRODUCTION
- include a SUBHEADING or two to break up the body of your article
- selectively bold certain key phrases
- focus your article on ONE main topic or point
- make sure your article answers the issue raised by the headline (i.e. this is your payoff)
- include a “call to action” — what do you want the reader to do next?
Want a good example of format and structure?
You’re reading it. In fact, I’ve used this same structure to generate THOUSANDS of leads online since 2009. And this very same format is still generating leads and sales for me and my clients. It’s boring (for me), it’s formulaic, and it WORKS.
Most people fall short of their goals because they do not incorporate some (or all) of these points. They may write good content but format it poorly for the web. They may have a great article but fail to ask the person to “take the next step” with them.
What about you?
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