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SEO for article marketing

September 20, 2010

Article marketing is a communications strategy to help build or achieve recognition.   With the advent of the Internet and more recently the creation of online communities of interest and social media that enables those communities to exchange ideas, article marketing has really taken off.

Wikipedia describes article marketing as an approach to communications that “allows writers to promote themselves and their company by writing articles and making the content freely available for reproduction on other Internet sites.”  Writing multiple articles on a specific subject can help establish you (or your firm) as an expert.  If done correctly, it can help augment more traditional marketing efforts designed to promote services or brand perception. However all of this is moot if it is not visible to the audience you are trying to reach online.

Before I address some best practices that I try to apply to my writing, I would like to admit that I recognize the following.  First, I don’t always follow the advice I’m about to so freely give.  Second, I continue to hone my writing skills and while I’m better now I still have plenty of room for improvement. Third, the rules for SEO are changing and what worked previously may not in the future.

There may be factors you have no control over which work against you with search engines. Challenges aside, there are still tips everyone should consider and best practices to follow when writing articles.

  • Get the title correct.  Writers always want to show their creativity with titles, but search engines actually penalize this. The golden rule is to write your titles the way people will search for them. Alliteration, metaphors and industry lingo generally counts against you.
  • Brevity wins online so say it up front, repeat it and don’t waste words by building up to your main point.  There are no bonus points for style of expression online. Excessive content essentially dilutes your article’s ability to be found.
  • Leverage popular search engines like Google and Bing to select key terms you are contemplating including and be sure to include sites like twitter – using the search function to further determine popularity and refine key terms.    

To successfully write articles online that will be found by search engines requires writers to re-think how they present content.  Following these steps does not guarantee that your article will jump to the top of a search page, but these are solid writing and research techniques for online articles.  Online business communications continue to evolve and marketing communications professionals must adapt.

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