For many marketers, article marketing is simply a get-links-quick scheme that they use periodically to generate a few home page links from the article directories. For marketers who know the pages on their sites that convert as well as the keywords these pages target in paid and organic search campaigns, article marketing can be far more.

Especially if they're developing both great content and relationships with site/newsletter editors who publish their content regularly.

This article presupposes that you know what the important pages in your site's sales funnel are as well as the keywords you're targeting for these pages.

Some key pages in your site's sales/conversion funnel could be:

  • Landing pages for your paid search campaigns
  • Pages that show in your log files as getting the most views
  • Pages one step away from the shopping cart for your most popular or profitable items
  • Naturally high-text pages such as FAQ pages, newsletter sign up pages, free trial down load pages
  • Non-home-page pages that drive organic search traffic

When you have identified which pages are the most important to your site's sales funnel (try starting with your top 3 most important), begin writing articles that target keywords for these particular pages.

These articles should be quite different from each other, and the links in the author bio should be directly to the important pages you identified and include the top keyword for those pages in the link text.

To illustrate what I'm talking about let's take a look at Frank's Fish Shop, an online retailer of live fish for fresh, salt, and brackish aquariums as well as ponds, who decided to implement a more sophisticated article marketing campaign.

Frank's Fish Shop Gets Smart About Article Marketing

Frank's first 900 word article, on how to select the right fish for your tank, linked back to his home page with his main home page keyword, "Aquarium Fish." He saw some definite link increases, and even a little rank improvement, especially in Yahoo and MSN, for that keyword. More importantly he got a few questions from new aquarium owners that in turn got them newsletter subscribers and sales.

So now he wants his marketing team to expand the article marketing campaign and they determined that the following pages are most important to their conversions:

  • Newsletter Sign Up Page
  • Shrimp-Tail Blue Moobly Fish Page (new, very popular fish, high margins)
  • Aquarium Lighting Paid Search Landing Page

Now Frank has already employed the services of a professional search marketing company, so he has a list, per page, of the key terms he's targeting.

Here's how he figured out his article strategy for these important pages:

The Newsletter Sign Up Page

Frank recognizes that business is all about building relationships. He loves talking about fish with the customers who come in his shop, and he found early on that expanding this informative and helpful dialogue online is crucial to his sales.

And so he publishes a bi-weekly newsletter on the latest tips and advice for people with aquariums, and most importantly he answers his readers' questions.

His newsletter sign up page has text that describes the newsletter, some reader testimonials, and a link to his newsletter archive, which is on his site in its entirety.

His keyword phrases for this page include the word "aquarium" as a base and include variables such as "maintenance," "help," "advice," "how to," "newsletter," "guide," "beginner," and other terms his keyword research revealed.

To develop more targeted links to his newsletter sign up page he simply breaks out the articles he's already written for his newsletter, all based on reader/site visitor questions, and creates an author bio with link text that targets the sign up page.

He then submits to the article directories and begins getting links back to his site that really work to position him both in the search engines and to the readers of his articles.

The Shrimp-Tail Blue Moobly Fish Page

The Blue Moobly is an old brackish aquarium favorite. The newly-bred Shrip-Tail variety has a curious looking tail that drives aquarium enthusiasts nuts.

Because of the high margins and the fish's popularity, Frank wants to promote this particular fish. Competition has sprung up, and is especially fierce in paid search.

Frank's main keyword here is simply "shrimp-tailed blue moobly."

He writes 3 articles to target the blue moobly page.

The first covers the introduction of the blue moobly to brackish aquariums, because they have some problems with razor-faced clams.

The second covers the breeding of the shrimp-tail blue moobly, because many see it as a profitable practice, and heck, breeders have to start with a breeding pair, which Frank is more than happy to sell them.

The third is an interview with the shrimp-tail blue-moobly's breeder, Augustus Clayhorn.

All of these link back to the url http://www.FranksFishShop/Brackish/ShrimpTailBlueMoobly with, you guessed it, the link text "Shrimp-Tail Blue Moobly."

Aquarium Lighting Paid Search Landing Page

Aquarium lighting is big in the aquarium business. Frank's landing page for the paid search term "aquarium lighting" is a major point of entry into his site and a major money maker.

Above the fold on his landing page he focuses on images and navigation so that folks coming in from his paid search ads can find exactly what they need, buy it and get back out again.

Below the fold he has a little text about each of the articles he's written about aquarium lighting, from proper set up, to installation, to "artistic" lighting (to Frank and fish enthusiasts aquariums are lit with the attention and care typically reserved for live theatre and movie sets).

He submitted each of these articles to the article directories with author bio links to his lighting landing page from the text "aquarium lighting."

Article Marketing at its Strongest

Article marketing is at its strongest when you combine knowledge of the keywords people use to find your site, the pages that are most important to your site's conversions, and content that serves your prospects and your industry.

It's the last part though, serving your prospects and your industry, that's the most important. It's the willingness to be helpful, complete, detailed, precise and honest in your articles that will deliver not only conversions, but the kinds of relationships that bring you long term business success.

Discuss this article in the Small Business Ideas forum.

November 30, 2005

Garrett French is the co-founder of Ontolo, Inc., and co-creator of the Ontolo Link Building Toolset, which uses your target keywords to find and grade link prospects. The Link Building Toolset reduces link prospecting and qualification time, letting you focus on the most important part of link building: relationships.

Search Engine Guide > Garrett French > Targeting Your Article Marketing Campaign to Your Site's Key Conversion Pages