Many websites are finally beginning to understand the importance of article optimization. In a sense, you can think of optimization as the ultimate way to “market” that article to search engines. Most companies understand the importance of marketing to customers, so now it’s time to make marketing to search engines part of any marketing department’s strategy. Naturally, there are do’s and don’ts of article marketing that must be followed if you want to make sure you stay in line with the SEO rules.
The Do’s of Article Marketing for SEO
When you think of article marketing, you want to think about selling your content to the search engine. What will it take to let that search engine know what to expect from the content? What will make that search engine think that the content is quality? The following are a few ways to answer these questions:
- Keywords – I cannot mention keywords enough when talking about SEO. Think of one word that describes your article and then utilize that keyword in your Meta tag, beginning of your title, first paragraph of your content, headings, of course the Meta description. Keyword density (how many times that keyword appears in the content) is important, but the best thing you can do is to just make sure your piece sounds natural. All of these clues will help a search engine know what your article entails. While you have to keep keywords in mind, don’t force them in. If it doesn’t flow naturally then don’t do it.
- Social Media – Google+ is quickly becoming one of the most important social networks when it comes to article marketing. This point overlaps with marketing for users as well as search engines (and no coincidence—this is Google’s latest attempt at improving the search engine). With more people sharing your content on Google+, the better chance you have of potentially reaching the top of a SERP; especially a SERP of someone who has your company in his/her circles.
- Images – Search engines like to see images just as well as your website visitors, but search engines don’t actually see the picture—they like to see how you’ve optimized the picture through alt tags and your title. You can also optimize your images by keeping the number of images to a minimum, having an appropriate file size, and formatting them as jpg. When writing the ALT text, you should be providing an accurate description of the image and if you have the opportunity to include a keyword then you can consider that a bonus.
- Linking – The more pages that link back to your content, the better it looks in the eyes of Google. After all, if you have an article that everyone is referencing, it must be great. Internal linking, so linking to pages within your website, also shows Google that the article helps people navigate your site and gain even more relevant information.
The Don’ts of Article Marketing for SEO
Google is not afraid to discount the value of your site or even penalize a site that tries to market articles incorrectly, and penalties can take a long time to reverse. Google Panda has been weeding out a lot of this bad content and you don’t want to get attacked by the Panda. Consider below some of the don’ts of article marketing:
- Spun Content – Putting spun content on your website is not good. This is the process of taking an article that has been written and replacing numerous words with synonyms of each other and even moving paragraphs around. Fresh unique quality content is the way to go each and every time. Google is getting very good at sniffing out spun content.
- Scraped Content – Copying someone else’s articles or even large chunks of articles won’t get you very far. This is another thing that Google has cracked down on. Once again it is about fresh quality unique content.
- Writing Off Topic – Many websites are guilty of this. You might be a blog about nail polish and then write a random article about refrigerators. Always try to stay on topic. It helps maintain the relevancy of your website to your chosen topic. This could also potentially send the wrong message to the search engines thinking that you are selling blog posts on your website.
- Random Linking – Linking out to sites that aren’t related to the content of your article is never good. Let’s use the nail polish blog example again. If I were writing about a new color of nail polish called ice box, I should not link an instance of the keyword “ice box” to a refrigerator company. This looks spammy and it could make it appear that you are selling links within your articles. Don’t put yourself in that position.
Article marketing doesn’t have to be difficult, and in most cases great content will get you where you want to be in terms of SEO. Great content is an extremely important aspect of SEO as a whole, so marketing your articles correctly will get you far (even if it takes a few months to see results!).