Article campaigns are an excellent way to receive valuable traffic and reputation from other relevant websites by writing authoritative articles on subjects related to your core business and linking back to your website. An article campaign is similar to a ‘traditional’ website marketing campaign in that it should be planned, maintained for a sustained period and focussed on a specific website you want to market. A good level to aim for is 1-2 articles per month. There is also some similarity to a political campaign, in that the ultimate aim is to improve the reputation of your website, so keep this in mind when choosing potential places for your articles to appear.
Quality, SEO friendly content
Write good quality content focused on a relevant subject. The same rules on relevance and keyword density apply as for writing content on your own website. Don’t write an article you wouldn’t be happy to post on your own website – your name will be associated with it, so your reputation (and that of your website) is at stake.
A snappy title
As with page titles on your own website, create a descriptive, snappy title, including relevant keywords and tempting visitors to read on.
Make it unique
The articles you write should be unique – if you distribute an article that’s already on your website or another website, search engines will see it as duplicate content, which means your exchange partner will receive little or no credit from search engines for the article (you’ll probably lose them as a partner if they find out) and you won’t get any additional credit for the link back to your website. Having said that, it’s perfectly acceptable to write articles about similar subject matter covered on your own website (don’t just recycle an existing article and change a few words though – search engines will see through this).
Write the article in such a way that it naturally, in as unobtrusive a way as possible, links back to relevant pages on your website. You may be able to provide a link back to your own website, but linking back amongst relevant content is better for SEO. It also means that in the event unscrupulous website owners don’t credit you with link back to your website at the start or end of the article, you should at least get links back from the body.
The technique of article exchange refers to making arrangements with owners of other websites in your area of business to write articles (including one or more links back) and display on each other’s pages.
Free article sites
In addition to submitting to or exchanging articles with complementary sites, there are a number of free article websites that allow you to submit articles. These websites stand to gain articles that will help them rank well and in turn, you will get exposure and a one way link
Good for users and search engines
Sharing authoritative content can add value to all websites involved in an arrangement and although it leads to 2 way links, won’t be penalised to the same extent as link exchanges, since search engines can identify the links are amongst quality related text and recognise the benefit to users.
How to arrange article submissions and exchanges
Finding relevant websites
A good bet is to search for the same keyword phrases you want to be found under in your favourite search engine. The top ranking websites are exactly where you want to feature. Of course, in the majority of cases, your direct competitors will not allow you to advertise links back to your website from theirs, so it’s worth discounting them quite quickly and concentrating on complementary services. For example, if you sell car stereos, look for
In all liklihood, the top ranking websites will have got there by using long lasting, legitimate techniques, which predisposes the owners to be ‘above board’, but have a look at the websites, check the Pagerank (you can do this with the Google Toolbar) and you’ll soon see if they look like a good authoritative website in your chosen area. Only pick websites that you are happy to have your name and your website’s reputation associated with.
Get in touch
Find the ‘contact us’ page and send an email to the owners asking if they’re willing to allow you to submit or exchange articles. Be honest, explain your intentions clearly, provide a link to your website and ideally send a short article (with the assurance that it’s unique) attached to your email to start the ball rolling and assure them you’re genuine. If you’ve interwoven links to your website within your article, as mentioned above, it will be harder for webmasters to unscrupulously remove the links without rewriting.
Become a guest blogger
Some websites may allow you to become bloggers on their websites once you have earned their trust, which gives you an excellent opportunity to write frequent articles on a respected website, linking back to your website where relevant. You will most likely need to offer the opportunity for an author on your partner website to be a guest blogger on your website. Don’t abuse their trust by constantly linking back to your website – only do so where it adds value.
Article Exchange networks
There are some article exchange networks that (normally for a fee) allow you to submit articles to a database and choose others to feature on your website in exchange for yours being featured on others. This is a nice idea, taking the legwork out of finding article exchange partner sites, but you won’t get as much control over the websites your articles are going to appear on, nor the websites you’re going to be linking to. You may end up penalised if you link to a website that employs untoward SEO practices.
Article Writing Services
There are many companies around offering article writing and possible even submission services. This is a perfectly valid & ethical service, so if your time is at a premium, it may be worth doing. Make sure you do your research and find a reputable company, or you can waste money and harm your reputation.