The Effectiveness of Article Submissions on SEO in 2011

There are a few methods of search engine optimization that never seem to go out of style.  These are the basic methods like directory submissions, article submissions, blog commenting, social bookmarking, press release distribution and forum links. We will look at one of these today: article submissions.

How effective is article marketing in terms of seo? That depends on how many articles we are talking about and how many article directories we are submitting to.  I use Article Demon to do my “article runs”.  I have 600 directories loaded in the database, but based on categories, it usually only submits successfully to about 60 directories.  That’ll give you an idea of how many directories I am talking about in this post.

Before we get into the exact results of my latest article run, let’s talk about why article submissions still work as an effective seo tactic.  If we write our articles correctly, and that means  to keep it topically relevant to the target page (keyword rich), then we will get a link back from a relevant page.  This is great for seo.  The quantity and quality of your site’s incoming links is very significant in determining how your website will rank in the serps.  One of the main characteristics that determine a link’s quality is the degree of relevance to the target page.  So if your site (that you are trying to SEO by writing and submitting articles) is about purple pocketbooks, then a link from another site about purple pocketbooks is a very good link.

It’s better to have a link from a relevant page than from a non relevant page, even if that non relevant page has high pagerank. So we take advantage of this information when we write our articles. We make sure to make the articles extremely relevant to the target (the client’s website, or our own “money” site) page.  We must make sure to include the target pages keyword in the title of our article. The title of a page speaks loudly to the search engines.  They listen to what the title says, to a point.  Search engines know that titles indicate what kind of information should normally be on the page.  So we make sure our articles have good, keyword rich titles. This makes them more relevant.

We also make sure that they keyword density is correct.  I like to make sure that the target page’s keyword is at about 2% to 4% on most articles. Search engines can see the keyword density too.  Some article directories allow tags.  We can choose what to name the tags.  We will of course use keywords as names. You can usually add 4 or 5 tags to each article. If we do all of these things then we will have a nice relevant page linking back to us, as soon as this article is published.  When adding your target website’s link (in the resource box) we always use the target page’s keyword as the anchor text. This is the whole point of article marketing in terms of SEO.

So now that we know why article writing and submission is effective at all.  But how effective is it?

It’s effective. Let me elaborate.  Last week, I was working on a client’s seo campaign.  The client is a lawyer from a local, nearby town. The town has a population of about 35,000 people, so it’s not exactly a geographically competitive area – like New York City for example.  However, it’s still a little competitive as far as seo is concerned.  Anyway, the point is that I got this client’s site on page one (google) for the term Personal Injury Lawyer Cityname.  I wont say what city it is, just that it’s not super competitive like London, LA or NYC.  I did only one article run with Article Demon and used only this keyword.  In a few days, after the articles were publish and indexed, my clients site shot straight to page one for this moderately competitive word.

One thing I want to mention is that I spun the article quite heavily.  This takes the original article and substitutes synonyms wherever possible. Consequently we can create hundreds of variations of just a single article. The content starts to sound a little funny though. It looks like it was written by someone who speaks English as a second language, and badly. But, the upside is that it makes the articles more unique.  Goog will index more of these articles than if I didn’t spin them. Before, when I was a noob, I never spun articles. If you don’t spin your articles then they are all duplicate content. The result is that even if you post successfully to 200 article directories, you’ll only get 4 (or so) long term links back.  Spinning gets you better results.

We called the client as soon as we saw this movement in the  serps and he was very happy. This was already his second campaign with us, but he was excited when he saw this movement in the serps too.  He knows his phone is going to ring more, and that means potentially BIG MONEY as he is a personal injury lawyer.  He ended up upgrading his campaign (ie we make a whole lot more money). All of this because of one article run with Article Demon.

In summary, you shouldn’t expect to get rich just doing article runs. Neither can you expect to rank for “credit cards” by simply submitting articles.  Having said that, they are still a very effective part of basic seo link building. In certain cases you can snipe out valuable keywords with a single article run.  How valuable? Well, “personal injury lawyer cityname” (without quotes) is a longtail, but it’s valuable. This is the kind of keyword that has real money behind it. A great longtail. I think this gives us a pretty good feel for just how much can be accomplished with article seo compaigns.

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