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Link Building Techniques – Article Marketing

Author's avatar By Chris Soames 12 Jan, 2011
Essential Essential topic

Introduction

Article Submission SitesFollowing on from my two previous posts on link building techniques I want to take the time to look at the use of article marketing as a tool to help generate inbound links. Article marketing is quite an intensive tactic though as with my previous post on forum marketing it can impact various KPIs such as brand searches, referral traffic as well as generating links.

Benefits

  1. Aids becoming a thought leader in your industry (great for your brand)
  2. Generates new traffic sources
  3. Builds new pages / content for engagement on your own website
  4. Starts conversations with your target audience
  5. Creates inbound links with specific anchor text
  6. Gifts your audience something of value for free & for them to share

Considerations

As with everything there are efficient ways to do things, article marketing is no different. The key to this is:

  1. Creating a process that works for your business / resource
  2. Understanding your audience
  3. Only distributing to relevant areas of the web, the more sites you post to doesn"€™t mean more success

Article Marketing Process

Understanding your audience

Key to marketing as a whole but when it comes to article marketing understanding what your potential customers would find valuable or entertaining is key to the creation of the content. Use your existing database & readily available tools (Survey Monkey, Kampyle, 4Q etc) to help you understand your audience & market place. This way when you move onto the next steps you will be creating content you audience want to engage with.

Creation

By far the most resource & time intensive part of article marketing but the more thought & effort put into this area the more likely you are to see results. After understanding your audience we need to create the articles for them. The best way to structure such a process is to :

  • Create a theme / campaign that multiple articles can hang off. This should link to a product or service you offer to create the link back to sales
  • Create the titles for the relevant articles
  • Create a calendar for the creation & launching of each article
  • Write the articles & move onto the next steps

Launch on website

The article you create should be launched on your own website first & foremost. When launched on your website you should:

  • Ensure people can find it easily
  • Include on your next newsletter mailing
  • Make sure it is easy for people to feedback / comment
  • Ensure visitors can share the content with their network easily

Each article should also have relevant downloads / freebies / CTA on the page where visitors can further engage with your brand. This could be:

  1. Signing up for a full ebook / brochure
  2. A relevant product / offer
  3. A webinar / event sign up which takes the article to new levels

By thinking this in this way you will ensure you do not create dead ends on your website and also encourage further engagement with your brand whether that is visitors actively sharing your content or signing up for more information or even purchase.

Tweak content & distribute

There are a large amount of services on the web that allow you to publish your articles for your wider audience to view. This is one way to generate inbound links off the back of your content. You will however need to tweak your articles to ensure they optimised for each network. Overtime this is something you will learn through analysis but a slightly different audience will visit each of the sites you can distribute on and therefore messaging / copy will need to be refined for them. The process for each of these sites is:

  1. Identify most relevant sites (checkout a select few article marketing sites here)
  2. Create an account
  3. Tweak article to make as relevant as possible for the article site
  4. Enter any relevant tracking URL"€™s into your article
  5. Publish your article with a relevant link back to more information or additional content
  6. Repeat on each site

Analyze

Using your in-house analytics / free tools a week / month after posting your article analyze:

  1. Traffic / sign-ups / sales from each external source
  2. Traffic to the article itself
  3. Number of times it was shared / bookmarked
  4. Additional links generated to the website as a result of the article (you may have to wait longer than a week for this)

After you have published articles for 2-3 months it is well worth delving deeper into the data around your articles. Understanding which articles got you the most traffic or generated the most buzz. Understanding this will help you to craft your future articles to ensure more success as you move forwards. At this point you can also refine your process and list of sites you are active on.

Author's avatar

By Chris Soames

Chris Soames is a Smart Insights blogger and consultant, he has worked in digital marketing for over 6 years with the last few years managing international web strategies for a leading travel brand. Now the Commercial Director at First 10, an Integrated marketing agency, he helps clients get clarity on their marketing strategy and create campaigns engineered to engage with their consumers to help drive sell-through. Most of all, Chris enjoys working with talented people who want to create great (& commercial) things not just tick boxes.

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