If you've been in the internet marketing world for a while, you’ll know that article marketing is generally considered a low quality strategy. Back before some of Google’s search engine updates, SEO companies would just spin thousands of articles onto cheap article sites to get thousands of fake and cheesy links. This practice worked once upon a time, but now it just poisons your reputation and is not worth ever considering.
Article marketing, however, is still around and can be an effective strategy if websites play their cards right. It takes the form of press releases, news articles, blog posts, guest blog articles, and even just articles, and it has the potential to reach a lot of new customers.
The Article Marketing Conversion Rate Truth
Marketers often get so hungry for sells and conversions that they quickly move away from strategies that don’t produce results. This means they will look deep into their web analytics and notice that traffic from the blog is just not converting. These numbers may convince them to discard or otherwise change their current efforts.
Article marketing has this wonderful reputation of not producing sales online. Businesses small and large quickly get discouraged with article marketing because they spend their time and energy pumping out article after article while the conversion rate just gets lower and lower to the point where it seems like they’re throwing money out the door by using their time poorly.
The simple truth is that very few people are looking to buy something when they’re reading through some informative articles. There’s a time we get on a search engine to go buy a product, and there’s time we get on to just learn something about a service or a product. Most of the time we’re searching to learn something.
This doesn't mean these visitors don’t provide any value for your company. You have a huge opportunity here to welcome the traffic that only wants an education from you. Don’t get discouraged and stop producing for them.
Capture the Email if Not the Sale
A lot of people are willing to give their email instead of their credit card number. Email marketing has a
higher conversion rate than article marketing, and both marketing strategies can complement each other and piggy back off one another. If you’re looking to have a killer article marketing strategy, make sure you have a killer email marketing strategy.
There are plenty of websites that produce amazing content for their blogs, but fail to capture an email address they can use later. Once you have that information, you can keep those visitors engaged over time. They may have found you through a blog article, but they will keep coming back through email. If you have their email you can pitch content and promotions and increase the chances they will eventually become a paying customer. This strategy involves patience and a quality form in the right place at the right moment to capture their information.
Capture the Social Share if Not the Email
Very rarely will people share website homepages on their social platforms or even category pages. Articles, however, are readily shared across the social web, which means that your content should complement your email marketing strategy as well as your social media marketing strategy.
Great, high-quality articles can build viral social traction to your website if you have the social buttons in the right place. If you can’t win their sale, or their email, win a presence on their Twitter or Facebook wall. Get their friends and followers to come see your article and capture their email.
Social referral traffic is not known to be the best converting traffic, but if your email marketing is right on the mark, and your article content provides real value, it will all come together to complement your overall strategy.
Capture the Link if Not Sale, Email, or Social Share
Link building has turned into the art of “link earning” because the search engines have gotten so strict on the type of links they consider valuable. There are still webmasters and bloggers looking for good-quality, credible content to reference in their own posts and articles to add more value to their site.
Make your articles credible by referencing the right sources in the right places. This will help convince other websites that you’re the best source for them to link to. As you build powerful and convincing articles on your website the links will come. Once the links arrive, the referral traffic will come, followed closely by the organic search traffic. Your website and brand will build more authority which is the precursor to more sells and wins.
Promote, Promote and Promote Your Articles
Researching and creating your article is a small part of the battle with article marketing. Sadly, many websites get in this habit of creating articles and then just leaving them to sit and hope for a miracle that a search engine will launch the article and promote the content for them.
This will work if you’re a huge brand and your website naturally gets over a million unique visitors a month. Their website alone is a powerful promotional tool. For smaller websites, promotion is everything. Promoting your articles through email marketing is a good start, and promoting them through the brand’s social platforms is a must. Eventually search engines will begin to naturally discover and highlight your content as you work hard to promote your articles.
Be aggressive with your promotions, don’t be shy about showing off your content, and do all that you can do as if your traffic relied fully on these efforts. It will pay off.
Quality Content is King and Quantity is Queen
We’re obsessed with kings. Internet marketers across the world love the statement that content is king. They miss the whole picture with that brief statement. Content is king, and this king will be more powerful if the content actually offers some real value. There have been too many kings in our world’s history that would be modern-day losers because they offered no value, and nothing of substance. This kind of article marketing means your articles have to zing into the hearts of your readers.
The queen is always ignored in internet marketing, but yet the queen holds access to the king’s heart (well kind of). Quantity is a powerful aspect of article marketing because you can begin to qualify for more long tail organic search traffic.
When we talk about quantity, we’re not talking about the old methods of producing as much as you can for as many sites as you can. We’re talking about a consistent stream of quality content. We’re talking about a reason for your readers to come back and visit every day.
Live in the Long Tail
This year there will easily be over two trillion searches on Google, maybe even close to three trillion. With those trillions of searches, Google is focusing more and more on relevance.
Gone are the days when web pages with 200-300 words could rank for two to three hundred different search terms. With a variety of high-quality articles, though, your website can still rank for a variety of different search terms.
The population is getting more mature and familiar with search engines because they’ve been around for so long. With this maturity, for the average searcher is getting more search-engine savvy, and they’re typing in longer phrases more frequently than ever before. Article marketing is where you will capture the long tail traffic, and, frankly, where you should live if you’re doing it right.
Re-purpose Your Content on Other Major Websites
Converting your article into a video will add value to your YouTube channel. Converting it into a brief slidedeck on Prezi or SlideShare will help build your presence on those websites. There are many other ways you can re-purpose your content into search-engine-indexed digital real estate.
There is a reason for all this repurposing. Sometimes your website will get outranked by your YouTube channel or your Google + page for certain terms. You can make sure the content that shows up in those searches is some of your best.
Article marketing can be extremely effective for your traffic and conversions if you’re doing it right. If it’s not working for you, chances are you’re still stuck in some of those old strategies and techniques. Quality article marketing is not a cheap experience and it requires more than your money and time. Search engines love and feed off of articles, they want you to write, and they want you to write as much quality content as possible.
Don’t run away from article marketing once you realize the sales aren't there at first. Time and time again small business owners and webmasters fall into this trap. Great marketing requires a marathon-running mentality, and in this case a marathon with an obstacle course.