I had a conversation with a potential client this week about her article marketing SEO efforts. She had hired someone to submit her articles to article directories and social networking sites, but she wasn’t getting the results she expected. I took a quick look at her articles on one of the article directories and quickly discovered the problem. The articles were not tweaked for the search engines, or SEO (search engine optimization). Instead of using a primary keyword by which this business owner wanted to be found, the articles were being distributed with cute, kitschy titles that work well in an ezine but don’t work well as all when the article is being distributed online.
How much traffic are you losing because your articles aren’t ready for Internet prime time? I became acutely aware of this after purchasing a WordPress plugin, SEO Pressor, which grades me on the SEO potential of each article I post in my blog. Trust me, my grades were pretty low! However, due to what I’ve learned by using this plugin, I’ve greatly improved my blogsite traffic.
It all begins with picking a primary keyword. It’s really tough to optimize a 600-800 word article for more than one keyword. So, pick one by which you want to be found. A “long tail” keyword is better for your results, as these are the ones that have a fair amount of monthly searches (over 1000) but don’t have as much competition as the more heavily searched keywords. And, despite the SEO goals you want to achieve, don’t forget you’re still writing for humans, not just the search engines. This means that your article needs to be easily read and understood by your target market.
1. Keyword in title. The first 4 words of an article title are the most important for article marketing SEO. I usually title my article with my keyword, and then use a subtitle to give a bit more detail of the topic of the article. Take a look at the title of this article. Can you guess what my primary keyword is?
2. Keyword in description. Whether you’re placing an article on your blog or submitting it to an article directory, you’ll be asked to create a short, 450 character summary of what the article is about. For best article marketing SEO, be sure that your primary keyword is contained in this summary.
3. Keyword list. Even though search engines ignore the keyword meta tags, you’ll be asked for a list of keywords/keyword phrases (not to exceed 10) for your article. For your blog post, these can be placed in the keywords option of your WordPress SEO plugin, as well as in your post tags form. Don’t forget to include your name, your web site URL, and your business name or tagline in your keyword listing.
4. Keyword in content. As a rule, your primary keyword should appear in both the first sentence and last sentence. For best article marketing SEO, sprinkle it in naturally 3-4 times in your content, as well.
5. Header tags for your keyword. This tweak is for your blog post, rather than your article submission. Look through your blog post and see where you have inserted your primary keyword. Go to your formatting screen and create H1, H2, and H3 header formatting (will bold an entire sentence in larger font sizes). Try to do this naturally, as though you are creating subheadings for your article. Again, keep in mind that humans will be reading your article, and the formatting should enhance their experience rather than detract from it.
6. Format your keyword. Go through your article on your blogsite and alternate the formatting of your primary keyword between bold, italicize, and underline. When the search engines scan a site, they “see” formatted text first, so be sure that they “see” your primary keyword.
7. Keyword in your image. Adding an image to your article on your site not only makes a pleasant read for your visitors. You can also use the alt image tag feature to another article marketing SEO punch to your post. I always use the title of my article for both the title and the alternate text for the image. After all, my article title already contains my primary keyword, right?
Bonus tip: Keyword in your resource box. When you submit your article to article directories, or even as a guest on other people’s blogs, create an HTML version of your author bio box, or resource box, that includes your primary keyword in your bio, and be sure to link a page of your site to that keyword. I would suggest you link to a product related to the keyword, or a page on your site related to the keyword to help you build one-way backlinks to your site, which the search engines love.
Take a look at your article marketing efforts and determine if you can improve your traffic with these tweaks. Once you get in the habit of formatting and submitting your article sin this fashion, you’ll begin to see the benefits of your article marketing SEO efforts!
Best-selling author Donna Gunter works with successful business owners who are experts in their fields and established in their industry and are seeking a way to stand out from their competitors. Using her Ideal Clients on Autopilot System©, she helps them determine the exact strategies to generate more qualified leads and better-paying clients with automated systems. This proven system makes all their marketing easier and more effective and they find themselves positioned as the only choice for their clients.
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Article Marketing: How to Use Keywords to Optimize Your Articles for Greater Traffic