Article marketing is just one tool you should have in your website promotion toolbox.
What is Article Marketing?
Article marketing is the practice of posting keyword-focused articles on article sites that then syndicate your content. The reason this is an important website promotion technique is because some of these article syndication sites have a significant readership following.
Most article syndication sites allow you to post your content for free. Once published, your content becomes available for all to see - and potentially reuse. When done properly, articles you post on syndicated article sites can then become "link bait" for other sites. For example, let's say you own a home business that sells closet organizers. If you or your web content writer write an article about organizing your office, others who may want to post a blog entry about organizing your office may link to your article, getting increased exposure for your writing and your subject matter, especially if the article site gets a great deal more traffic than your own website, which is fairly likely.
Some article sites will allow you to include HTML links in your articles. You can then link your keyword phrase to the page on your website you're trying to promote for that keyword - a highly effective search engine optimization technique. Others won't allow you to do that, but they'll have no problem with you including links in your resource box (your profile or signature information used to let people know who you are), which adds important one-way backlinks to your website.
Article syndication sites also typically allow readers to conditionally include your article on their site. Conditions typically include the requirement that whoever reuses your article must cite you as the author and must retain any links in the article. As you might imagine, this provides additional opportunities to increase your site traffic and get the buzz out about your article.
Even if you have to pay to have the article ghost written for you, it's usually fairly inexpensive to have a good article written by a knowledgeable ghost writer and you still get the credit! Therefore, article marketing can be a very cost effective means of website promotion for your home business.
Keyword Research is Important in Article Marketing
Before you go about writing the article, you'll want to do some keyword research. Keyword research is the practice of balancing the popularity of a keyword or search phrase against the competitiveness of the keyword phrase. You certainly wouldn't want to spend a lot of time and money targeting keywords and phrases that no one is likely to use in a search. Likewise, if 80 million plus results come up when you search for your keyword phrase you may have a difficult time getting ranked for that competitive of a keyword.
Balancing frequency against competitiveness results in what SEO Specialists refer to as the Keyword Effectiveness (or Efficiency) Indicator (or Index), shortened as KEI. KEI is a number with two to four (and sometimes more) decimal places. Words that are rarely used in search will have a very small KEI (near 0) and keywords and phrases that are extremely competitive will also have a very low KEI. The higher the KEI the more likely it is that you can achieve top rankings for the keyword or phrase and it will be worth your while because enough searches are conducted to warrant giving the keyword some attention.
By knowing which keywords you want to focus on, the subject of your article will become apparent. Additionally you 'll know which words to work into your text (don't overdo it) and you will also use those keywords as the anchor text (the words clicked) for any links in your article or your resource box.
Finding Good Article Sites Using Google Alerts
There are a number of good article syndication sites available and you will have no trouble finding several that you like to work with that are also effective in getting your article noticed. One way to see which articles sites are getting good exposure in Google is to subscribe to [http://www.google.com/alerts]Google Alerts for your targeted keywords.
With Google Alerts you just specify the keyword or keyword phrase for which you want alerts sent to you. You can choose to receive alerts for news articles, blog postings, web pages or groups, or you can select Comprehensive, which will give you the alerts for all of the selections combined. Article sites are included with the Web selection, so you'll want to either choose Web or Comprehensive to receive alerts from postings on syndicated article sites.
Your alerts arrive via email and you can choose to be notified once per day, once per week, or as it happens. You'll see a listing of items that include your selected keyword phrase. Among the listings you're likely to see one or more article syndication sites. Click the news item to visit the site where the article is posted, sign up and you're ready to go.
Article Sites Want Good Material
Syndicated article sites want good material. The emphasis being on good. Many sites won't publish your content if it's not well written. Be sure to proofread your articles and have them spell checked before submitting them for syndication. Even if the article site accepts your poorly-written article for publication, you want to project a good impression for your home business, so it's critical that the article be compelling and grammatically correct to shed the best light on your business and to encourage others to link to your article and even republish it.
Take the Article Marketing Plunge
If you haven't tried it yet to promote your business and/or your home business website, I encourage you to take the idea of marketing information online by way of articles to get your home business or your website the kind of positive public relations exposure on which all home businesses and Internet businesses rely.