Article marketing, like so many components of Internet Marketing, has lifted off in recent years. Article marketing rivals even pay-per-click and Search Engine Optimization in the Internet Marketing mix.
There are many reasons for the boom. One reason, however, is most obvious.
Or rather, lack of cost.
In fact, article marketing is FREE.
Iím listening. How does it work?
Article marketing involves posting to your website articles that contain keywords that will help attract search engines, and thus traffic, to your site; obviously, these articles relate to whatever business it is you conduct at your site.
If you sell vegetarian pizza, why not have a collection of articles on your site that sing its praises?
Or you might have articles about the history of pizza itself, or about recipes for killer sauce.
The FREE factor, of course, is of even greater benefit to small business, where your survival can depend on the scrutiny of every single dollar. (Especially the ad dollar, which is usually the first one kept in pocket if ever the squeeze is on.)
But again, that issue (budget restraints) and so many other business-related worries and concerns just donít apply to article marketing. Again, itís free.
And as if that isnít enough, article marketing also brings quality traffic to your website because browsers have already typed in some of the same keywords that you did when you chose which articles you wanted to post on your site (ie: PIZZA, VEGETARIAN).
In other words, many visitors to your site will already have vegetarian pizza on their minds.
Iím sure youíd agree, that would be good for business.
You want to choose articles that contain keywords, words that will attract the search engines, and thus traffic, to your site.
However -- big however -- you need articles that achieve this key word dynamic without sacrificing readability.
You donít want an article that sounds like bland ad copy or just an out-and-out sales pitch. Nor do you want your reader to say, ďWhy does this article mention pizza sauce in every sentence? Itís REALLY STARTING TO ANNOY ME!Ē
THAT kind of reaction will likely not result in a sale for you.
As well, if you post an article thatís really just a collection of repeated keywords, todayís savvy search engines will recognize it as spam and will actually avoid it. So choosing articles based on keyword repetition can come back to bite you.
So, exercise a bit of caution -- and taste! Take the time to visit a few article directories, the huge websites that contain thousands of free articles from which to choose. And take the time to READ some articles, too. Itís the only way to find the ones that are best for you.
More good news?
Articles used for article marketing tend to be short, so they wonít take you long to read – or write. A thousand words is considered long. The range falls more within 400-700 words.
In other words, it doesnít take long to do some quality research to find the best sites and articles. Again, itís wise to invest the time.
What to look for in articles
Whatever the topic, your article should contain three basic elements:
1. It should be about your business;
2. It should contain key words to attract search engines (ie: PIZZA, VEGETARIAN);
3. It should be READABLE.
Competitive Edge revealed
Letís say that our vegetarian pizza shop is owned by you. And letís say there are four other vegetarian pizza shops in your town.
Letís also say that all five shops have equal mention of the keywords PIZZA and VEGETARIAN on their websites, and mostly in the usual spots (ie: your homepage; the page where you give your location; etc).
You, however, would have several more mentions of those keywords on your site because these words are mentioned numerous times in the article(s) you have posted.
So that means...
YOURS in the site that the search engine will list for me first.
Which then means...
Chances are high it will be YOUR site I click on first.
Which ultimately means...
It will be YOUR pizza that I order.
THAT, my friend, is article marketing – and why itís imperative you employ it for the success of your local small business!
Entrepreneur and outdoor photography adventurer Caroline Melberg is President and CEO of Small Business Mavericks, a division of Melberg Marketing. She has over 20 years of experience creating marketing communications materials and writing copy for some of the largest and most successful companies in the world. Her small business columns are syndicated online, and she publishes the popular e-Zine ďMaverick Internet Marketing Secrets.Ē Learn insider Maverick Marketing secrets you can use immediately to find new customers and increase your sales. Get your FREE subscription at www.SmallBusinessMavericks.com today!
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