1. Article marketing
if you have a blog already you will be used to writing articles. However I am talking about writing articles for syndication which means other people can use your articles. Without doubt the best place to submit articles to is a site called ezinearticles.com (EZA for short) In the early days of this blog I used to submit my articles to EZA and here are some of my stats:
You can see the number of views I got from this and the number of clicks. These were articles I had already written for the blog so it didn't take much time to put them on EZA and drive more traffic. You will also notice the number of clicks I got through to the site, not great but it was free traffic. The column headed EzinePublisher means other people who used my articles to put on their site. What this means is that people who used the article had to give my name and use my resource box, more about this later, which drove even more traffic to my blog. This was back in 2006 when I was first starting and didn't really have a clue about optimisation of article marketing.
Compare the above stats with some recent article stats I have written:
You'll notice the difference in the number of clickthroughs with the latest set of articles. With EZA you can calculate the click through rate (CTR) with the following fomula:
Number of Views X 100
For example the CTR for "˜How to reach meditative states within 8 minutes' =
451 X 100 = 30.59%
This means that 30.59% of people who read the article clicked the link in the resource box to find out more information.
In the first set of stats I was getting about about a 2% CTR
In the second set of articles I am getting between 10 and 40% CTR which is a huge difference. This is because I have optimised the articles as I have learned more about EZA.
5 Tips for optimising your articles for Ezine Articles:
Your article need not be long pieces of work. In EZA you can write a minimum of 300 words for an article which can be done in no time once you are practiced. I have seen me writing 4 articles in the space of an hour after I have done about 20 minutes research on a topic. I generally write between 500 "“ 800 word articles which is my preference. I like to give a lot of information in articles.
The heading is what draws people in. For every single heading I write I do 5 minutes research using wordtracker the free keyword research tool over at http://freekeywords.wordtracker.com/ and google search.
First I type in the basic phrase which my article is about. So using the example above I would type in "˜meditation' "“ I can see from wordtracker that "˜meditation' gets searched around 1500 times per day and in Google It has around 36,000,000 pages with the search term "˜meditation', which is far too much to get a high ranking on google and is too generic for EZA. So I would narrow it down and use words that are similar. Eventually I came up with "˜meditative' which has around 10 searches per day according to wordtracker, and according to google has around 3,600,000 pages with the key word "˜meditative' which is okay for a long tail keyword.
Now I have found the main keyword I need to find a hook for the EZA readers and build my heading around the main keyword. After thinking about it for a few minutes I come up with a few. Consider the follwing two headings:
Reaching a meditative state
How to reach a deep meditative state within 8 minutes
It's pretty obvious which one most people would click on. The second heading has some key psychological hooks in it e.g. "˜How to' "˜Deep'& "˜Within 8 minutes' these are all little hooks that grab the readers attention.
You might think it's hard work for a heading but it is well worth it and when you get used to writing articles you can do all this within a few minutes.
A lot of marketers pay a lot of attention to keyword density which is the number of times a keyword or key phrase is placed in an article. Some say it's good to have around 2% keyword density others say around 5%. I have to say I don't give this much credence but as a general rule I will use the keywords or phrases at the beginning, middle, end and sometimes in the resource box. Keyword density is purely for Google as google will give it more attention if it thinks it is a relevant piece of work for a choosen keyword.
However, EZA will not accept keyword stuffing so I would use the keywords and phrases conservatively and make sure they are at the beginning, middle and end. Occassionally you can also have them in bold such as in headings or sub headings.
Break it up
If your article is going to be over 400 words consider using sub headings as a way to break the article up.
I know if I see a big block of text without any subheadings or bullet points I am put off straight away, the author would have to be one of the best for it to sway me to read.
Using subheadings and bullet points is easier on the eye and can allow your reader to scan the article first before diving head first into reading it. Make sure you pay a much attention to your subheadings as you do your main headings.
You can also break a long article up into parts which will leave readers wanting more of the information you write and they might subscribe to your articles just to get the information they want.
The resource box
This is a biggie. Your reseource box allows you to put links in them going to a website, blog or anywhere of your choice. But, it has to be done in a certain way.
Once the reader has read your article you want to entice them into clicking the link to your site. This can be done in a number of ways, here are two:
- Your article: Don't give the reader everything and leave them wanting more that way they aremore likely to click through to your site if you have given good information and they would like to know more about you.
- An offer: In your resource box have a free offer to give away to entice people to click through to your site. You can give away a free ebook, a free guide, a free white paper. I always offer a free audio sample if I am writing about binaural beats and I get a lot of people clicking through and opting into my email list.
Using keywords in your resource box
When I put my link in the resource box I would use the keyword or keyphrase your are targeting and this is how to do it:
To find out more about Binaural beats and get a FREE binaural beat download visit <a target="_new" href="http://www.binaural-zen.com/zen">www.Binaural-Zen.com</a>
With the above example I am targeting the name of my product, I could have gone for the keyphrase I was using earlier which was "˜deep meditative states', but I want a link back to my site so I went with the first option.
Testing it out
I have given you a brief but powerful introduction to article marketing and the benefits it can bring. If you fancy having a go at article marketing head on over to EZA and have a look around.
In part 2 I will be looking at social marketing to drive traffic to your sites.
If you have any questions about article marketing please feel free to leave a comment below.