Where to Post Articles to Get the Most Bang From Your Search Marketing Bucks
By Shari Worthington
Research shows that about 70% of all search engine activity results from clicks on natural search rankings. The remaining 30% are clicks on advertisements and sponsor links on the search results page (typically these are the three-line ads down the right-hand side of the page).
The two ways to get your web site to the top of the search engines is: (1) Optimize your site for better natural rankings: have lots of keyword-rich content on your site and encourage other sites in your industry to link back to your site, and (2) Pay your way to a higher bid position in the pay-per-click (PPC) ads.
Now let's assume you've written a new article or white paper that's going to take your customers' breath away! It's full of facts and figures, demonstrates your expertise in the subject matter, and is filled with keywords that are relevant to your business. Now what? Where should you place that article to maximize your search marketing dollars?
Cover Your PR Bases
First and foremost, make sure you get this article placed in a relevant industry magazine. For maximum search results, aim for a magazine that ranks well in the search engines itself. Try searching for phrases in your industry and see what publications tend to get the highest rankings. For instance, I did a search for "high power laser diodes" and Laser Focus World magazine appeared on the first page. Books like this are the ones that the search engines value most. And links from their sites to yours will best boost your search position. Yes, in search, who you know counts! :)
If you can't get the article placed, try issuing a press release about the article and providing magazines with a link back to the article on your site. It's lower visibility, but you might be able to get more placements out of one article. Some people try to use free press release posting services to increase their visibility on the search engines. So far, this has proven of limited value. The search engines are looking for sites with deep content in a particular subject area. Broad press release sites don't have the depth needed to make much of a rankings difference.
Add to Your Site's Knowledgebase
Once your article has appeared in a trade magazine, now you can use it more obviously in your own promotional programs. Add the article to your web site's knowledgebase, whether it's your Technical Library or Resource Center. And add a link to that article from the "What's New" section of your home page for a month or so to give it more visibility when the search engines spider your site.
Integrate Into Your PPC & E-News Program
Even in the digital ether, offers make a big difference in an advertisement. Use your great article as an offer in your PPC ad program. Highlight it in the text of the ad or, at a minimum, make sure it's prominent on the ad's landing page. Also add the article to your e-newsletter program to encourage pass-along readership and cross-posting on other sites in the industry.
Place with Partners
Encourage your channel and technology partners to use the article, too. This will provide more in-bound links to your site. For best results, ask them to link the full title of the article to your site, not just a "click here" link. For example, have them link:
Where to post articles to get the most bang for your search marketing buck
Where to post articles to get the most bang for your search marketing buck. Click here.
This gets the keywords form your article's title into the link, definitely a bonus for higher search rankings.
For more information on how to get the most out of your search engine marketing program, see Telesian's Search Engine Optimization Service and Pay-Per-Click Advertising Program.