I‘ve been marketing products and services online full-time since 1999 and one truth has remained constant and that is search traffic = sales. The more targeted the search traffic the better the sales. And the best way to get targeted search engine traffic is through backlinks.
You simply can’t ignore backlinks.
They are the backbone of the Google algorithm and are used to help determine exactly where your pages are going to rank (or not) in the search results.
And it simply doesn’t matter if your site is about golf lessons, dental, optometry, or chiropractic services, or free car insurance quotes, if you want targeted traffic from the search engines, especially Google, you need to have quality backlinks linking to your pages in order to rank in the search results.
Professional Article Distribution (PAD)
Back in 2004 I developed the PAD technique as a way to tap into qualified audiences of other websites. Even way back then backlinks were important to Google when determining ranking in their search engine. As it turns out Google now places more importance on the quality of a backlink as opposed to the quantity and because I was placing backlinks on selected quality sites over the past seven years, my pages have enjoyed a significant increase in their ranking.
The PAD system basically involves trading quality content for quality backlinks. It differs from article marketing in that the content only appears on publishers that are relevant to the website that I want them to link to. These articles are NOT published in an article directory for consumption by the masses, but rather are designed to provide real value to my website partners.
The 4 basics of the PAD system are:
- Careful selection of websites whose audiences would make good potential customers for my websites.
- Creating content that is designed specifically for those audiences.
- Carefully selecting the keyword phrases that I want to use as anchor texts in the articles.
- Developing relationships with Webmasters to ensure that my articles are always welcomed.
Getting one of these campaigns up and running does take some effort however, the long-term benefits both in traffic and increase sales are well worth it. Here’s how I do it.
Step one: selecting the right sites.
Basically what I’m looking for are sites that have audiences that will have an interest in the product or service that I’m promoting. That means if I’m selling routers them going to look for woodworking sites, home-improvement sites or maybe do-it-yourself sites as all of those categories will have audiences that may have a need for a router.
Finding the sites and creating a list is the key element in making the system work.
Step two: creating killer articles.
In order to convince a webmaster that he or she should wish my article I have to provide some fantastic content in return. If you’re competent writer and you know your subject and you can certainly handle creating the content yourself. However, if you’re like many struggle with writing you can always outsource the task and a freelance site like Elance.com.
Personally that’s why do with almost all of my articles. It allows me to free up my time to work on multiple projects and do what I do best. Outsourcing, if done right, can ensure you’re getting quality content to the webmaster.
Step three: deciding which pages the backlinks will point to.
Finding the sites and creating the content are really the two most important and difficult tasks. Certainly don’t want to waste that effort by having the anchor text point to a page that does not have a call to action. Make sure the landing page is a page that encourages the visitor to do something like sign-up for a special report or actually make a purchase.
Step four: selecting the best keywords for anchor text.
Using the right keyword or keyword phrase is your anchor text is not only effective in the article but also has a significant impact on your ranking with Google. Google looks to anchor text when it’s trying to determine what a particular page is really all about and how relevant pages to researchers inquiry. Anchor text goes a long way in determining just where your pages going to appear on the search page.
To help me select the correct anchor text I use Google’s AdWords keyword tool. It’s free and is easy to use. You simply enter your main keyword or keyword phrase and it will crank out 100 alternative phrases until you happy people are searching on each of those phrases.
Because you’re submitting the article to multiple websites you want to change the content enough so that you’re not getting duplicate content. That means you need to use different keywords or phrases for your anchor text. From the keyword tool list of the best keywords for each page that you’ll be distributing.
Step five: writing for the webmaster.
When you submit an article to the webmaster for distribution you have to keep in mind that it has to fit the look and feel of his website. For example if the articles on his website typically average 1000 words in your articles a 3000 word opus you need to do some cutting. Other techniques that you can use to make your article more website friendly include
- Asking a web master what types of topics would you like to cover.
- Make your article easy to scan. Use sub headers and bullet points, plenty of white space and short paragraphs.
- Following any format instructions provided by the webmaster.
Remember your first reader will be the webmaster and if you’re article looks good and reads good your chances of getting it published are dramatically increased.
Step six: writing a great headline.
Writing headlines is selecting anchor text for your article a separate skill set and another argument for contracting out article writing. However, if you’re giving it a go yourself then remember that the headline has to be eye grabbing and engaging. The headline should give a short summary of what the article is about but it also has to be compelling enough to get the visitor to move on to the actual article. The best content in the world won’t mean a thing if it’s never read.
Headlines need to be brief typically no longer than 10 words. They need to be informative but if you can make them witty at the same time that’s all the better. Over a period of time you’ll find out what types of headlines perform especially well for your typical articles.
Step seven: selecting anchor text for your article.
It’s easily get so wrapped up in creating content that you forget to add the anchor text. When that happens you have to remember two things.
First that anchor text has to fit naturally into the article it can appear to be forced or Jane. The use of the keyword phrase has to have meeting to paragraph where it appears.
Secondly is the placement of the anchor text. Generally it’s a bad idea to include anchor text in the first paragraph of an article. It’s also a bad idea to have anchor text stacked on top of anchor text, keep at least a paragraph separating the two links. Also take into consideration where a link might be omitted by the webmaster for example in the last sentence or paragraph.
Step eight: working with the webmaster.
The PAD system calls for an ongoing relationship with the webmaster. After all once you found a good site you’ll want to continue to contribute articles to it and build your back linking base. In order to do this you and the webmaster have to be on good terms and the best way to achieve that is to provide quality content so that he or she is always looking forward to your next contribution.
If you want continuous quality backlinks pointing towards your dental, chiropractic, optometry or online auto insurance quote website and you want to become fast friends with the webmaster who is providing the opportunity for those backlinks.
Step nine: following up with webmaster.
If you have your own website you know how many things you have to deal with in order to keep it updated and maintained. The webmasters that you post your articles on are no less busy than you are. If your articles are published immediately after you submit them don’t go into a panic.
I usually give a publisher about a week to get an article up and if it isn’t published I’ll send a gentle reminder that usually takes care of the situation. A little nudge provided via e-mail is often enough to get the webmaster to focus on getting the content published.
Step ten: Once you’re done do it again.
This PAD technique is not going process that once you have one campaign up is time to meet Lee start working on the second. Always keep an eye out for websites that would make a good fit to your distribution network. Always schedule time to create excellent content. This process works best when is repeated over and over again.
Following the steps will not only greatly improve the ranking of your pages but it would also promote your brand. In addition, and here’s a real benefit, you’ll get a significant influx of qualified targeted traffic and a significant increase in your conversion rate.
About the Author
James Martell discovered the lucrative world of affiliate marketing in 1999. He is a self-taught Internet entrepreneur and a leading expert in affiliate marketing, outsourcing and SEO. James is the host of the “Affiliate Buzz”, the first and longest running affiliate marketing podcasts in the industry. James is the host of the “Affiliate Marketers SUPER BootCamp”, a popular affiliate marketing training series very well known for turning affiliate newbies into success stories. James his resides in White Rock BC, a seaside suburb of Vancouver on the West Coast of Canada with Arlene and their four children.
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