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Because the above is such a strong question, let’s tackle it right away:
No, you do not need SEO tools.
When I started out on the Blogspot domain years ago, I tried to learn everything I could about blog promotion.
Ranking in the search engines was based on knowledge, and I had very little money anyway, so any prospect of buying one of the of the early SEO tools was out of the question.
This turned out to be a good thing, because it forced me to familiarize myself with all the viable ranking methods. I also learned that search engine optimization is a somewhat dynamic field – but one thing always remains the same: great content.
Think about it: in the best case scenario, where you have and apply the best search engine optimization methods to drive search traffic to your website, only to have it arrive at shoddily-written content. There’s no way they’ll stay on the page, and your bounce rate will reflect this lack of engagement.
So basically, you’ve spent all this time on SEO, only to have content that doesn’t serve the needs of the incoming traffic. You might make a little bit from Adsense, but your fleeting audience certainly won’t buy anything or return.
It’s important to realize that none of them can write great content for you, however – you’re on your own (as well you should be) there.
After my websites started making money and I could afford to expand, one of my go-to SEO software suites is SEO Spyglass.
It has saved me more time and effort than I could imagine during those long-gone months of backlink building, which I did so that my web-pages could get enough traction for organic search to take over and build the rest of the links naturally.
SEO Spyglass helps you find the pages worth linking to; after that, you need to approach the webmaster and perhaps offer to write a sizzling guest post for a backlink or two (I prefer one link per article because it’s more realistic as a legit backlink source; please don’t place three hyperlinks in any resource box – this isn’t 2004 lol).
You’ve still got to be able to write, but at least now you know the writing will count to raise your profile in the search engine results pages. It would otherwise take hours, days and weeks to find a competitor’s links and select the ones with high Page Rank to go after.
Additionally, using SEO Spyglass in this way is utterly, wonderfully, white hat SEO. By definition, it provides benefit to the user, as well as to you – without trying in any way to game the search engines. This has been a losing proposition anyway in the post-Panda Search environment. I’m sure there’s a Nash equilibrium or other that says something about how good this is:
Well, that’s it for now. And remember, no matter how the SEO landscape changes, one thing will always remain the same – Content is King. Make sure the pages to which you’re directing your visitors supply a need based on the keywords your intended audience is using, and you’ll always be in “the game.” Grab your free trial of SEO Spyglass by clicking here, and don’t forget to add to the discussion below!
People generally think of Pandas as warm, cute fuzzy animals – call it National Geographic propaganda☺.
It takes a company like Google to remind you that Panda’s are, in fact, bears.
With teeth. And claws. And up to 400 lbs. of steel bear-muscle.
After Google’s Panda Update, there were many search engine optimization techniques that either took a big hit, or a small one, leaving webmasters frustrated or annoyed – even the ones that tended to do things by the book.
With the potency of blog commenting slowly-but-surely dwindling, due to the countermeasures against the SPAM that started dominating the comments sections of highly-regarded websites, and directory submissions costing an arm-and-a-leg just to be considered by the good ones, the practice of SEO may very well soon fall out of the reach of the average aspiring webmaster, seeking to make a living from home by blogging about the stuff that interests her, or choosing lucrative keywords and optimizing for them.
However; this may not necessarily be true, as long as Google continues to respect and accept article marketing; which, by all means, seems to have survived the latest swipe of the bear claw. Consider the problems and techniques you should concern yourself with when engaging in website promotion
Article marketing and guest blogging have now come to the fore as the best methods of free (or relatively inexpensive) website promotion.
Take the time to research high PageRank (although PageRank hasn’t been updated in awhile) blogs that have good content, and peruse their site looking for ideas on what you can authoritatively contribute, before emailing the webmaster with an article proposal/blog post.
Use this technique in conjunction with article marketing to the best 20 or so article directories that you can find; even if you employ article distribution services and other mass article marketing services, it is important to keep in mind that they can definitely work, you just have to make sure your articles are just as good as if you’d written them for your very own blog. Remember, you want people to be engaged; only then can you successfully inform them.
For a robust program of link building, check out my Top Link Building Methods page – you’ll be armed with everything you need to start your own SEO adventure and be ranking high up in the search results in just a handful of months – it worked for me!
Good luck, and please feel free to comment below – leave you keywords or name in the ‘Name’ section, and website link in the ‘Website’ section – NO links in the comment box itself. Thanks!!!
Easily the most famous and widely-regarded website comparison metric, Google’s PageRank value is becoming increasingly maligned by some webmasters (I suspect; however, not those with high PR!). Frankly; PageRank can sometimes seem inaccurate, although I strongly suspect Google knows what it’s doing. Google’s animal-kingdom algorithm changes are simply placing emphasis on different aspects of search engine optimization; in the past just a few backlinks would have been enough for any lucky webmaster to monopolize a niche. Today that’s of course a dream. Consider the different schemes for building backlinks that have had their time in the sun over the years:
1. Link exchanges. In the early days, link exchanges dominated the scene, because they were all that was necessary. Today; you’d have more luck skipping stones across the Atlantic to England from the East Coast than ranking well by using purely link exchanges – they really don’t work very well. A few dozen, when combined with other forms of link-building, such as article marketing and banners, will work quite well.
2. Blog commenting became quite dominant for awhile. But then people caught on (the human race tends to be good at that); and started leaving ‘weight loss’ backlinks on blog posts about ‘virtual data management with VMware’ and other such incompatible and transparent nonsense. And then, spam came to dominate. These actions may not have killed the effect of blog commenting, but they certainly have seriously wounded it. Nonetheless…today, blog commenting still gets you backlinks, but there’s no doubt the overall importance has been attenuated in Google’s overall algorithm. You’ve got to get literally thousands; from good to great websites usually, for them to be really effective – and you have to do it over time for a natural link-profile. If your content is good enough to get a handful of links from really high PR sites (perhaps 8 and above), then just a few will get your site ranked (very) favorably by the search engines.
3. Banner advertisements. These have always been important, because they give you direct traffic from the backlinks, as well as search engine boosts. The only notable difference is that now you’re paying for backlinks, because people will rarely let you place banners on their site for free, even if you do happen to attend the same meeting. ***Of course, if you provide a very useful service that everyone wants, such as counting the number of visitors to their website, then they will place the widget that does this on their website, giving you a backlink for ‘free’. In fact, this is what sites like Alexa and AddThis do, which is why they’re so prominent in cyberspace – everyone has their widget on their site!
4. Article marketing kind of took over for blog commenting, in terms of the importance in the search engine algorithm of Google. The great thing about this method of building backlinks is that it also serves the same function as banner advertisement, if you do it correctly and honestly. Article marketing will bring you direct traffic (for well-written and informative content), as well as raise your search engine ranking directly, placing you higher up in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). DO NOT forget to use really high quality article marketing in the form of guest blogging, which actually rates higher in the Google algorithm ever since the most recent Penguin update.
5. Content Marketing. I’m not sure the exact percentage this takes in the Google algorithm code (heck; if I knew that, I’d sell the information from a secret room in Microsoft Headquarters and buy Facebook with the change), but I can assure you it is significant. Perhaps Google’s reasoning is that, with the increase in spammy articles with article marketing, webmasters would be much more reluctant to post shoddy work on their sites. Thus, having a lot of good content matters and can raise your PageRank.
6. Update. Your. Blog. Frequently! Some high-interest websites can get away with languishing, precisely because they were originally so well-written that visitors to the sites still find them useful, even years later. If you have content that stays relevant because it is so comprehensive that nobody can reasonably improve on it, then congratulations: you’ve pretty much got passive income into perpetuity. Otherwise, you must contribute regularly to your blog; which means at least once-a-month.
Google’s post-Panda update’s called Penguin, and it has clearly placed more emphasis on websites that are worked on. Two of my pages shot up to PageRank 4 (here, and here) in just 3 months, which was unheard of before (some bloggers have complained that their suddenly-high-PR pages don’t have a correspondingly high amount of traffic; but c’mon let’s be serious: you’re not suddenly going to get ten times more traffic from one day to the next! This high PR will allow you to rank a lot higher in the SERPs, which will then – sometime later – lead to more visitors.)!
I usually work on my blog every two weeks; sometimes more, sometimes less. Even as new updates from Google come about every two months, you can expect stuff like this to become even more fine-tuned, so remember the sage advice about treating your blog like a job, and update your great content regularly…
7. Great content. This has always mattered; however, never as much as it does today, or will in the future. This had to be last because the old online adage rings truer than ever: Content is King. No matter what else you do, try and write well, and inform your audience. Always deliver on the promise of your title, because Google can tell when you don’t. How? Well; they listen to the readers!
In your Google Analytics profile, you’ve probably noticed by now in the Drilldown Content section, you can view how long visitors actually stay on any particular page of your site. When correlated with Bounce Rate, I imagine this tells Google all they need to know about whether the huge numbers of visitors are actually finding what they want. Therefore, if you’re really good at SEO, or really good at hiring people who are really good at SEO, but your content is spammy or uninformative, then people will be leaving your page almost as soon as they get there. In the past; this wasn’t the case – all you needed to rank highly was to get them there.
It isn’t possible to over-stress just how important Kingly Content is; not only will it withstand any update, there’s some evidence that it will help you rank early, and highly. My current blog (this one!) is only a few months old – just this year 2012, in fact – but nearly all the internal pages are already PR3, and two or three of them are PR4 (not surprisingly, I’m busy keeping spam off those. I’m quite happy to approve comments that don’t have a long list of unrelated URLs after them☻.
I completely understand and so am not at all angry at people who try to spam blogs for backlinks…but that doesn’t mean I will let it happen). I’m pretty sure these rank so highly because the content is captivating and fresh (I’m not saying this; the time-on-page from Google Analytics is telling me this!!). You guys are, on average, staying on some of these pages up to 3 times longer than I would guess they take to read. Thanks☺.
Well; that’s about it for now. Just remember that Content is King, so be sure to spend time crafting your posts and not outsourcing them to be written, unless you’ve got some damn good writers who always keep the audience in mind first; search engine spiders second. They both can read, but advertisers are only marketing to one of them, and this is what matters most to Google.
Thanks for reading, and please take a moment to leave any relevant comments that come to mind below. Place your link in the Website box; avoid leaving any hyperlinks in the comment box itself that don’t link to relevant content, or the comment itself will not be approved. Thanks!!
Soon after you get into SEO, it becomes clear that the name of the game, after quality content, is backlinking.
Of course, quite a few webmasters never put much stock in the former, and maniacally build links to their shoddy content, not knowing that just because you bring people to your house, doesn’t mean they’ll want to stay.
In truth, it’s more important to have great content than it is to build links, for those interested in longevity, responsibility and protection from future Google search engine updates that exist to get minimize search-engine-subversive tactics that short-sighted SEOs use to get money quickly.
What Google Wants
Google ideally wants your content to spread organically; meaning that it should be informative enough and well-written, such that people naturally pick it up and link to it.
In reality, for most keywords that are lucrative or even semi-lucrative, the average blogger has as much a shot of doing that as running for president.
Possible; but then why aren’t you doing it (to any possible future presidential candidates who happen to be reading this, wipe that smirk off your face)!?
You need to actively market your good content, such that it reaches a certain threshold of visibility where, if it’s truly good stuff, it can spread like wildfire, with little additional marketing from you. After all, no one knows your kid is cute unless you show them pictures.
The methods of website promotion range from the elementary to the advanced; we’re not terribly concerned with the advanced methods at the moment; because those not only cost money, but with good long-tail keyword research, these techniques are almost always unnecessary for you to maximize your blog’s visibility.
Making Your Website or Blog More Visible
Blog commenting is probably the free method of choice, because it’s so easy. Unfortunately, this is also why it’s so easy to abuse.
In response to this, it seems that with each passing update, blog commenting is reduced in importance within the complex and dynamic Google algorithm, which I think is locked away inside a nuclear reactor somewhere.
If you think I’ve gone off the rails with that assumption; just consider what anyone with access to that code could do. It’s literally worth hundreds-of-billions of dollars, in a sense, and is a composite of many factors that rate websites. Which factors? There’s never been any official word on that.
A further blow to blog commenting is something I’ve noticed more and more with webmasters: if you want to comment, you have to actually email them the comment first, after which they’ll post it. With all this, if I had to guess, I’d say that blog commenting is not long for the world of cyberspace.
In the meantime, though, don’t worry so much about do-follow vs no-follow; Google likes to see variety.
Another free technique is article marketing, which is far more secure than blog commenting. We can expect it to be a part of website promotion for the far-foreseeable future, because all of the Google updates up until now have been intended to secure it as a viable method, not dispel it.
There are some very well established article directories like Articlesbase, GoArticles and Ezinearticles that have actually received higher rankings with each update, because of their strict guidelines against shoddy content. The backlinks they allow are restricted, which contributes to their good standing. If anything, expect the article directories that allow anything into their databases to start dwindling in number, with Google rewarding the handful of PR6 and PR5 sites for promoting articles of the requisite quality.
Don’t forget to comment below!
You’ve probably heard it enough times by now, so what does one more matter? When doing your keyword research, try your best to stick with long-tail keywords, because these tend to have low or medium competition.
By the way, a long-tail keyword example would be “smelly dog treats”; whereas a short-tail keyword might be “dog treats” or “treats”.
A website like Wikipedia almost certainly has “treats” or maybe even “dog treats” on lockdown; so you can forget about trying to rank for those; usually, these kinds of short-tail keywords require a long time or deep pockets.
Furthermore, it might not matter much if you did, because if you’re trying to sell stuff, people searching for dog treats may not necessarily be trying to buy them.
The longer the keyword-tail, the more likely you can grab a significant portion of the traffic.
Within this range, strike a balance between enough people searching for that keyword to make a good potential customer base (need not be a ‘customer’ base; just people for whom you will be providing wanted information), but not so much that it’s become so competitive you will need a year of furious, high-value article marketing – and more – just to show up on page 14 of Google search.
A word on trying to rank for high-competition keywords; you can go after them later if you wish – after your first few blogs, and you’ve already learned all the basics about this website promotion thing.
After you’ve done some keyword research, and gathered between 10-20 long-tail keywords (don’t worry about the exact number; it isn’t important here) then it’s time to start.
Allow your website to get crawled once by Google, which can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days.
If you know how to use Webmaster Tools, let the data gather there so you can get an idea of where you rank for your chosen keyword. If you don’t know how to use Webmaster Tools, learn! It’s terribly important for SEO.
Once we’ve got you visibly ranking, you can start to work your way up the SERPs – Search Engine Results Pages – by gathering more keywords, or simply marketing the ones you’ve got more vigorously – or both), you will start your preliminary round of article marketing:
Now; you’re all set. These, in addition to your main blog, are the ones you will be promoting with article marketing and other forms of link building.
I know it was a busy couple of days making them – because you made them good, right!? You’ll be driving traffic to them, so put your best foot forward.
Including your own blog, you will be using article marketing over the next few weeks – or maybe just a single week if are a full-time or three-quarter-time SEO – to drive traffic to each one of these, which will all then be linked to your main blog (don’t link your main blog back to them, however!
Google doesn’t like link-exchanges. Just post a couple of links – not too many – from your main blog to each of these, and then the articles you write should be linked to these supplementary blogs.
If you want to know precisely what I did to start on the path to ranking highly for one of my blogs, I wrote ten articles for each blog over a period of about a week (I’m an especially vigorous worker and can write fifteen good articles in a 16-hour working day).
You certainly don’t need to do it this way; after all, you will get there eventually for the same effect. Try your hand at 3-4 articles each day; you’ll have 50 or so in less than two weeks. At the end of the day, it’s both a quality and a number’s game when it comes to getting backlinks; the former matters a lot more than the latter.
Lastly; sit back and relax until the latest Google spider-crawl has scoured your site and credited your links. If you’re not the “sitting-back” type; then try and blog comment to the tune of about 20 good ones per day while you wait.
Just imagine; by the end of a single month you could have at least 600 quality, quality links!
I did that, and wrote nearly 15 more articles pointing directly to my main blog only; by the time I was crawled again, my blog had gone from result 149 of Google, to result 5 on Google and result 2 on Yahoo for several different medium-competition keywords – I have little doubt that you could get to page 1 of Google for most low-competition keywords doing this.
Additionally, my articles had been picked up and published by others. Shortly thereafter, I started this blog. The more you put in; the more you get out – that’s just physics. Please feel free to share your suggestions in the comments below!
If you’re doing your SEO and article marketing right, you should have a couple of blog posts up on separate domains – similar in content to the very best ones on your main blog.
For example, if you’re using Google’s Blogspot Blogger domain as the site of your main blog, you might also have a post up on Hubpages and Squidoo – each on the same subject but with unique content. Given that they’re both PR 6 and PR7 domains, respectively, they can serve as very powerful backlink partners for you. How best to take advantage of this three-headed (at least) backlinking strategy?
Considering that most article directories only allow a maximum of two anchor text links in the resource box of a single article, you can find yourself practically swimming in articles if you want to promote your blog in the best way.
To make the situation more convenient, we’ve compiled a list of article directories that accept 3 hyperlinks in the resource box of a single article; this way, you can use them to promote your main blog, your Hub on Hubpages, and your Lens on Squidoo with just one article – but be sure to use three different anchor text keywords! Click here to sign up for Hubpages and start making money writing!
AND HERE THEY ARE…
Ideamarketers – PR4 You’re allowed many, many links here; as long as they’re not spammy. Nonetheless, I wouldn’t recommend more than 4 hyperlinks to your other content – preferably 3. Keep your articles under 7,000 words. That’s their word count limit. Your links can be spread throughout the text of the article – which is a rare allowance as far as article directories are concerned. Keep them all below the first paragraph, though. Site has been changed to ignitepoint.com PR3
Selfgrowth – PR6 You can place 3 anchor text hyperlinks in the resource box only. This article directory used to be PR5; it’s getting better and better so be sure to put your best work here.
Sooperarticles – PR4 You are allowed 3 in the body of your article; however, Sooperarticles’ editing software will automatically apply the nofollow tag to these links; this means they’ll show up in Google Webmaster Tools; but you won’t get the benefit of a fraction of their PR4 ranking. If you place these links instead in the resource box, then they will all be dofollow. 3 links maximum in the author resource box.
Triond.com – PR5 Another article directory that allows multiple links in the content. Try to restrict them to 3 total; because Triond will actually publish the majority of your articles on other domains, with which they have partnerships – such as WebUpon, Bizcovering.com and Qazen.
Articleblast.com – PR4 Many links allowed; in both the body text and resource box. Wouldn’t recommend more than 4 links as the absolute maximum – and don’t put all 4 of them to the same domain, even if you’re deep-linking. Use them to point to your Hubpages, Squidoo or perhaps Tumblr blog. Sorry to report that this good directory has apparently bit the bullet.
ArticleSlash.net – PR4 Maximum of 3 links allowed in the article; however, none at all are allowed in the first 3 paragraphs of the body text. They can all point to personal domains; avoid using more than two to deep-link to your own blog (my advice).
ArticleRich.com – PR4 2 hyperlinks accepted in the article body text; 3 maximum allowed in the author resource box. I wouldn’t recommend using the entire allocation, unless your article would do well with authoritative links such as from a .edu domain or a .gov. Then by all means; use the body text allocation to link to these! And the resource box to promote your own sites.
Articlesfactory.com – PR4 3 links are allowed in the author resource box only.
ArticleCube.com – PR4 Maximum of 3 hyperlinks allowed in the resource box only. Lengthy wait for review, in my experience…
Snisply.com – PR4 Many links but beware of appearing spammy. Keep it to 4 maximum, and only related to your article or post; better yet, use 3 links on your personal marketing; one on an authoritative source.
GoArticles – PR6 This article directory has been around forever. It’s one of the ones you can probably expect to be on the rise, once they get rid of old links to bad sites and the next Google update comes around. You must restrict promotional links to your site in the resource box; you’re allowed 3. In the body, you can also place 3 links; but they can’t be promotional and must be related to the article content directly.
MyArticle – PR2 Allows 3 links in the author resource box.
Amazines – PR4 Allows multiple links throughout content; as usual, for Google likeability purposes, don’t place more than 4 links in any single article; and, preferably 3 – all to different domains or deep links.
Articleshub.org – PR3 3 links allowed here. Site currently down for maintenance – as of late November 2013.
Always keep in mind the utility of these article directories that allow you to place more than two links; they can do wonders for your off-page SEO if used correctly. Avoid linking to the same domain, vary your anchor text in the hyperlinks and make sure the link is as relevant as possible.
Avoid placing too many back links(not more than two of them) to the same domain, even if they’re all different deep links; you want to maximize the benefit they give you by also promoting your Hubpages hub and/or Squidoo lens.
There’s another reason to avoid placing three links to the same root domain in a single resource box: just like you don’t place two links in the same sentence in a blog post, you know that the search engines don’t like content with hyperlinks too close together – they probably have some sort of spam point system for that kind of thing, with successive hyperlinks receiving a 2 out of a possible 5 per offense.
The best way that has worked for me, is to use the plethora of high-PR article directories that allow just two links (well; mostly) for my main blog, and then use the three-or-more link directories for my Hubpage, Squidoo, and Tumblr derivative blogs. I use a great tool specially made for finding backlinks, which has helped me bring several of my (former) posts from a PR0 to a PR4 in just a few months, before I started this new blog.
Comment below and Good luck!!
The number one question I am asked in the small search engine optimization class for beginners that I run is “Why do you have to write articles at all, if you already have a blog post on the exact same thing?” It is a good question, as I remember that when I first learned about Google Adsense and Blogger several years ago, I had absolutely no clue of the power of article marketing.
Over the course of about 8 months, I slowly learned about optimization, and how to get my site out there; unfortunately, an article marketing strategy simply wasn’t on my radar.
One of the most fulfilling things about this group of students is that I get to steer them away from my early mistakes, saving them the months of frustration, but not depriving them the benefits of the experience, by explaining to them exactly why it’s a bad idea. It isn’t always fruitful to tread a path littered with mistakes, if you have someone to set you on a different road.
So let’s say you write a blog post, and you’re just starting out: you’re very excited about finally having your Blogger (or WordPress or whatever) up and running with some content. This is, of course, excellent; but, it’s only the beginning. You have to get people to find their way to your site, which is lost amongst the millions and millions of other web-pages that pervade the Internet. What article marketing does for you is get your site out there by drawing attention to it; it is essentially a messenger. You post your articles in article directories with a link to your site, and the effect is (ideally) two-fold:
Article marketing has virtually taken over blog commenting, which was much more popular in the past: You go to someone’s site, and leave a useful or engaging comment on the blog, which links back to your blog.
For those of you who have been internet-savvy for a good while now, you can see right away the problem with this: spammers.
Before long, the number of people coming to your site merely to pitch their own stuff, whether it be Viagra, Cialis – or something else – drowned out those that came to legitimately interact with your post. As such, many webmasters changed their blogs to so-called “nofollow” tags, which instruct the search engine spiders, basically, to ignore the HTML links you put on their blogs after commenting.
Usually, the spiders will actually follow the link, but they will not count it towards ranking your site any higher. Article marketing, on the other hand, gives you the best of both worlds; the search engines follow the links in the articles (as long as you submit it to one or more of the many article directories that are “nofollow”), thereby ranking your site higher, as well as the traffic you get from people reading your article and coming to your site.
As a very important aside, you can see how great content factors inseparably into this: there’s no way you can reasonably expect anyone to read a spammy (is that a word!?) article, much less follow the link back to your site or blog peddling Viagra pills. Unless, well, you know….
Article Marketing Strategy
Now that you have your great, unique, well-written blog post (you really just need two of the three qualities; if you’ve got all three, kudos!), you now need to start writing articles and marketing them to article directories.
Your blog or website is currently on like page 90,000 perhaps. For certain keywords, writing just an article or two can rocket you to page 6 or 3 or maybe even 1. For other subjects with either medium or high competition, however, you will need to write many more articles to be able to compete. I have found that for very competitive keywords, numbers as high as 60 articles per keyword will do the trick – that’s alot of articles!
In your article marketing strategy, you’ve got to somehow account for this kind of competition, as the top spots are usually held by huge companies that are considered authorities. As a result, many webmasters get top backlinks from those sites.
Just consider, however, if you were able to get 30 articles or so into very high pagerank article directories such as Ezine or Suite101; you WILL most likely be able to compete with some of these lions. For others, your article marketing strategy will need to find a way to turn out hundreds of articles to make up for the backlinks.
Fortunately, there is a tried and true method for doing this, and opening up the world of article marketing and search engine optimization for you, whether you’re an expert or a beginner. This article marketing robot has been truly invaluable to me, and has allowed a few of my sites which were in the doldrums (make about a dollar a day) to leap ahead to figures as high as $300 per day, which is something I never imagined would happen after months of frustration.
If you’re serious about getting your website or blog out there, this article marketing tool is guaranteed to be the best thing that ever happened to your article marketing strategy. And you can see just what it does by trying it for nearly a full week, for FREE!
One of the most important techniques in the field of search engine optimization (SEO) is article marketing.
Even for those bloggers who are merely putting up a blog about their daily jogging activities, or perhaps their personal photo-blog as an early attempt at photography, they certainly wouldn’t mind if as many people as possible would land on their pages, right?
Well; unless you embrace the idea that for every blog post you write, you will almost certainly need to write at least ten articles based on that post (and this is for low competition keywords; for high competition the number of articles will climb into the hundreds just to rank), your blog will only be able grab a depressing trickle of traffic.
You always want to write great content, because your site will eventually need the staying power that it provides; but you must also market your content; and for that, you need backlinks; using viable techniques of link-building.
The great utility of article writing and article marketing is that for each article you successfully submit to a high PageRank article directory, it is as if a webmaster totally unknown to you found your article in the vast expanse of the World Wide Web and liked it enough to put it on his/her site.
For the really well-regarded article directories like Ezinearticles, Articlesbase or Site-Reference, articles accepted here are better than pretty much any random webmaster’s site, because they have such high PageRank (there aren’t too many PR5 and PR6 blogs floating around that will publish your guest posts or articles unless they are of damn good quality; and, sometimes even that isn’t enough – they’ll ask for payment or have a policy that doesn’t include guest posting).
With all this said, it can be somewhat daunting for the beginner to try and tackle writing an extra ten unique articles about a single blog post. An indispensable tactic I’ve learned that has gotten several of my own websites ranking highly is to simply Google the keyword(s) for which you wish to rank; then, visit and really read all the top pages – out to maybe page 3 of the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).
If you’re blogging about ferrets, for example, read what the top pages have written about these animals, and use the wealth of information to not only write new articles, but also to perhaps shore up your own knowledge and post, and make it as good as possible, because Content is King.
You must have a blog post that’s as good as possible so that your visits are meaningful and your pages won’t have high bounce rates; which just means that many people may be coming to your site, but they’re leaving very quickly once they don’t see what they want.
Consider these very good article directories that accept article submissions and are time-tested to help websites rank very well in the search engines. For a keyword with medium competition, for example, you might try and submit 5 articles to a handful of these to see a noticeable change in your search engine rankings; often, you will see a big change, such as moving from maybe the 20th page of Google to the 5th.
That should motivate you to know that very soon, with a little more work, you can get to the first and second pages and cause your number of visitors to skyrocket. For a little more information on getting your website highly-ranked, check out my page on getting backlinks.
Check back regularly; I’ll have updates as well as goodies for you; specifically, better information in the near future on how to gauge how many articles you might need for a particular keyword in order to rank well.
Please comment below!
As for how to increase your Alexa ranking, the most important thing to know is that only people who’ve downloaded the FREE Alexa Toolbar will count towards the visitor tally that improves your Alexa rank.
As such, you should try to encourage them to download Alexa somewhere in your posts or pages – preferably a high-traffic region. As a note, the higher the Alexa rating, the worse it is – so aim for lower numbers! Alternatively, high PageRank is of course better than lower PageRank.
The amazing thing is that, even though I will provide you with several steps to increasing Alexa ranking below; the single act of downloading the toolbar and surfing the web with it installed in the browser made my Alexa ranking go from 890,000 to under 400,000 in less than a week! It’s one of the few easy ways to help out your search engine optimization program and gain a little extra website visibility.
So – as you might have been wondering – what’s the point of an Alexa ranking? Frankly; it raises the profile of your website.
By keeping track of the number of visitors (or more accurately; the number of visits, since you can drive up your ranking by installing the Alexa toolbar and visiting your own site), it helps you move up in the search results pages a little.
This ultimately brings in true visitors who will do what you really want: actually interact with your site, instead of merely dropping by. As always, Content is King, so be sure there’s the ultimate reward of informative content awaiting your audience.
Keep in mind that Alexa and Google PageRank work together, because none of them are singularly perfect for assessing a website’s popularity.
PageRank depends on backlink popularity, with the attendant negative reality that high PR links can be bought to artificially raise PageRank.
Alexa; on the other hand, measures direct visits – with the attendant reality that the owner of a website can visit her own site to raise its profile. So if you see a blog with a high PageRank but an Alexa rating way out there in the numerical netherland, then chances are there’s some manipulation going on there. Which isn’t a big deal, really; as long as the content is good – backlinks will arise naturally..
As always, comments below are appreciated and encouraged!
No matter what business you’re in these days, chances are that the bulk of your marketing program has shifted from whatever offline medium you were using, to fostering an online presence using a website as your company’s portal to the masses.
If you are a new company, then it’s likely that your marketing department has only ever worked with social media, search engine optimization, and any of the other exclusively 21st century methods for widespread visibility for relatively low cost (far lower cost, actually, than for similar numbers in the past).
With this wholesale transition to internet marketing, you might want to ask yourself first just how important website maintenance is to your company. If the bulk of your business comes from cyberspace, then your website deserves as much, or maybe even more, as you would have spent on an alternative primary method in years past (before the days of mass internet consumption). It is the platform via which you will pitch your company’s message, service or product, and from which it will receive customer feedback and a chance to liaise with new, mutually beneficial business partners.
Beating Back the Technical Attack
There are, of course, underlying technical reasons for keeping your website well-oiled, so to speak. As the engine that drives your business, it can easily fall into disrepair without upkeep, especially given the viruses and malware that pervade cyberspace. And with the ability of an online business to stay “open” at all hours of the day and night, every moment your website goes down means a loss in potential visitors or conversions. Google Webmaster Tools does admirably well, in my experience at least, in outing any attempted site hacks if you’re on the blogspot domain.
Optimize or Have Your Website Die
As a further reason for the need to commit to maintaining your website, think of the primary avenues of search engine optimization, some of which have bigger respective market shares than others in the website ranking algorithm for which the search engine Google is so famous. Content marketing, social media, etc are the current big wigs in the specifics of this ever-evolving ranking system. More importantly, these happen to be vital to the maintenance of a website, because your traffic expects to encounter a professional, crisply rendered and up-to-date business when they land on your web-pages.
Professionals can provide you with a suite of management services, from system defense and repair, to software and hardware upgrades and overall system improvements.
The cost for all of these services should be looked at in perspective; after, your website is the face of your business in the platform where metrics show that most people are searching for services.
Professionals can help you keep tabs on other important, but specialized details, such as hyperlink construction for keywords, making sure that there aren’t any lasting problems with the hosting service your website is using – or that problems will be quickly cleared up to minimize the loss in traffic.
Because hosting expires every couple of years (actually; this varies among hosting providers), you will need to be certain your domain name is renewed in a timely fashion.
You have a business to run, and can’t be bothered with numerous mundane technical facts of maintaining a healthy online presence. Just keep in mind that your competitors are always improving, and that you can’t afford the cost of remaining stagnant, or of opting to go without sufficiently robust maintenance and management services that will leave you open to adware, spyware and more debilitating subversions of your systems.