As we all know, digital marketing is an ever evolving industry. It’s rare for a day to pass without some form of industry developments or new strategies to consider – which leads nicely onto article marketing.
Since the panda update last year, there has been much talk of the effectiveness of article marketing as an SEO tool. In addition, there’s been plenty of discussions about the way in which these sites have had to comply with Google’s new guidelines, which now sees a stronger emphasis on quality and effective content. It’s not so much a case of article marketing no longer being relevant, but more about having a strategy to make your article marketing work much better.
Panda and the quality of content
First of all, to contextualise the impact on article marketing sites, it’s important to have a look at how these sites have fared since panda hit – on the surface, it doesn’t make good reading. In the initial days post panda, Sistrix listed 25 sites that were hit as the image below identifies:
Notably, article marketing sites like ezinearticles, suite101, hubpages, articlesbase and findarticles were all hit substantially. For example, ezinearticles lost rankings for approximately 130,000 keywords, displaying a percentage change of 90%. For any site, that’s a substantial loss, and ezine responded by improving their own standards and the standards of the articles to which they receive [See: Google Algorithm update: Quality Content is King]. This is what Panda is all about – ensuring content is well written, and of a quality standard.
As a result, the quality of your writing needs to be improved, and you also need to think a little outside the box when establishing titles. Blatant advertorials just will not be accepted, so consider useful advice and tips for readers, such as how-to guides and top tips for the specific industry on which you’re writing. However, an improvement in title ideas and writing style will only go so far. So, how do you make your article marketing work better, and not get lost in the ether?
Give users what they want
This may sound obvious, but there is a lot of value in giving users what they want and finding solutions to problems is the best way forward. Search the forums and chat rooms and see what questions people are asking. Write a post that fits within the guidelines of each specific article site, and if approved, ensure that you join in the discussion and link to your post.
Interact and share with users
This will generate a little a bit of interest initially, but there’s a great deal more that you can do to promote your article. Use social media to your advantage and make sure your article get’s out there and promoted. You could either set up specific profiles tailored to the industry that you’re looking to get a foothold in, or use a generic profile. Either way, social signals such as +1s, tweets and likes are becoming hugely influential in SEO, so it’s important that you take note.
Link with other content
If you’re just relying on article marketing, then you’re missing a trick. Don’t forget other content marketing platforms available to you, such as hubs, lenses, and blog posts. Simply uploading a variety of content to these platforms with just a link pointed towards the site you are looking to optimise really isn’t doing enough. With something like a link wheel, you can be sure that your article will be working harder for you. Create a variety of themed link wheels, so that each one focuses on a specific area of the industry on which you’re writing.
As always, with any content that you write, it’s also essential that you bookmark it using strong profiles, so be sure to work on your bookmarking profiles. This will help your articles gain more authority, and again work much harder for you.
There are a variety of useful content marketing strategies that many working within SEO use, and whilst more emphasis may be placed in creating Hub Pages, blog posts or even guest posts, article marketing still has a place within any content marketing strategy. You just need to think a little tactically with how you’re going to use it.