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Thursday, October 11, 2007

Links Range from Good to Bad to Ugly: Ride Your Links to Success

Links Range from Good to Bad to Ugly: Ride Your Links to Success
By Frederick Townes (c) 2007

As a site owner, it's important to devote what link building time you have to creating connections that count ? really count ? as far as search engine spiders are concerned. In fact, there's a range of site link types ? links diversity. Some are more valuable than others. Spend your time and resources building the highest quality links and you'll quickly see the value of these efforts.

Hosted Content

Hosted content, also sometimes called pre-sell pages, makes your site look very good. The problem is, there are usually costs involved. Here's how it works.

You, the content expert, write an article. It should be longer than 600 words but no longer than 1200 words. It should be well-written, completely researched, edited, re-edited and finally proofed so that it's letter perfect. Okay, now you have host-worthy content.

Hosted content is content that's placed on another site for a fee. In other words, you rent a page on another site to display your work. Now, what do you get for your money?

First, position your article on a site that's (1) related to the topicality of your site and (2) has a tons of one-way links to content that's "deep" in the site (in other words sub-pages that rank well in SERPs based on their title tags, for example). These two factors are the best way to measure and quantify the strength your page has in the target site, and ultimately, the link love it creates passes to your site. As you already know hosted content creates editorial inbound links, also known as pure gold.

Second, because it's your article and you're paying for the space, you can embed text links directly to specific pages of your site. This does a couple of things. First, you spread your web net further. Links to your site now appear on other sites ? some several incarnations removed from your own site. This, ultimately, increases your site traffic as people read your interesting commentary and click on those embedded links to see what else is on your mind. That's good. More hits. More page views. Higher conversion ratios.

Third, if you spread your words across the web, you start to develop some name recognition within your niche. Unless you're Dan Kennedy or Skip McGrath, it's tough building name recognition. However, by crafting numerous, informative articles you'll start to be recognized. And wait until you Google your name and find 15 SERPs because your articles appear on dozens and dozens of sites.

The downside is the cost. Site owners charge you for the use of their space. If you're well capitalized, no problem. Spend the money to spread your words. If money is a problem, choose your host sites carefully. Use Google Analytics or ClickTracks data to determine not only number of unique visitors you create from these pages of hosted content, but quality of traffic as well. Look for sites that match the two criteria above. Very important.

Article Submission

Okay, money is a problem. You don't have a lot. You can still get your name and your opinions out there through various article submission sites.

Once again, site owners need great content and many rely on article submission sites to pick up fresh content for free. Here's the deal. You write an article and go through the same steps of researching, editing and proofing until the piece is pristine and makes you sound like a savant. Perfect.

Now you place that piece on sites like or for free use by other sites. The plus side is, if the content is solid, you'll get picked up by literally hundreds (even thousands) of sites. And in return for the free use of your written brilliance, the sites that display your content are obliged to include a link back to your web site. So, you put out 10 articles on topics related to your business, each one gets picked up and used by 20 other sites and you've got 200 non-reciprocal inbound links. Well done.

But isn't this the same model as hosted content except it's free? No. There are two key points to consider. First, with articles you syndicate it's much more difficult to embed editorial links to your targeted web site. Instead, you take advantage of the target link and anchor text in your bio box that appears at the end of the article.

What does this mean? Ultimately syndicated articles are not unique content like hosted content is, and ultimately it's more challenging to place links to your own site editorially without appearing to be hyping your goods or services. So there's a tradeoff when you go the article syndication route. The key, just as with hosted content, is to have killer, useful information in order to entice webmasters to repurpose the article for their communities and give you credit, a bio and a back link.

But, it doesn't cost you anything but your time, assuming you can string words together into cogent sentences, or at least your brother-in-law can.

If you're good at syndicated content or article submission, you control the anchor text ? the actual links readers click on. You can also embed editorial links in syndicated content. Now, these aren't links directly back to your site, but they will take the readers to a target page that you want them to read, so if you're building links for other sites in your portfolio, this approach has a proven track record.

Reciprocal Links

Sites still exchange links. The concept isn't moribund, but it certainly doesn't have the impact a non-reciprocal link has. Reciprocal linking is simply an exchange of links. You link to my site; I'll link to yours. And since spiders follow links, it's not a bad arrangement.

A couple of warnings, however. Any site with which you exchange links should be related to the topic of your site. If you're selling baby clothes on your site and you've got a link to a transmission fix-it site, you'll get nicked by the search engine. Remember, the whole purpose of a search engine is to provide useful, relevant content to users so any links you exchange should be considered from the point of view of the site visitor. Is that link going to further the search of the site visitor or is it a dead end?

If a site appears to have a significant number of back links, and better yet, ranks well in the SERPs, it's a likely candidate for a link exchange even if it's a PR 2. Look for quality sites, or at least quality characteristics.

One-Way Link Building

This comes in several forms. First, there's the ever-popular 'link begging' where you contact a site owner (you can find that information in Whois, if it's not on the contact page) and basically plead your case to have that site owner accept your link. This is a tough sell because, naturally, the site owner wants to know what's in it for him or her. Custom written, tailored emails tend to do better than form letter emails, obviously, and there's definitely nothing wrong with a telephone call provided you make it abundantly clear what you have to offer.

There are paid links programs. For example, lists web sites willing to sell links to your site. You can bid on the cost of the link, agree to the length of time the link will appear and where it will appear. There are other programs that will hook up sites ? usually with decent PRs ? with site owners looking for good deals on paid links. Again, don't forget to buy links with relevance to your site.

You can pay to advertise on another site with banner ads, though this has been shown to deliver lukewarm results unless you know your market very well. Do a competitive analysis and see what's working for the competition. The click-thru rate on banners is less than 3% but they aren't usually too expensive.

Finally, you can post your thoughts and opinions on forums and blogs related to your site. Each post will create a back link, but one that spiders will recognize as a blog back link ? not a bad thing, just not a gangbusters way to build site credibility, especially considering that most links have a nofollow added and forums capable of giving any link love tend to moderate (and eliminate link sp@m) quite heavily. Don't be fooled though, links even with a nofollow attached still have some magic ? even on Google.

From hosted content to blog posts, anybody can get a little recognition on the web. And if you've actually got marketing capital, you can pay for hosted content and watch your site grow quickly.

Very quickly.

Signs It's Time To Redesign Your Website

Signs It's Time To Redesign Your Website
By Erin Ferree (c) 2007

Designing your first website is a stressful undertaking. It requires you to dig deep into your business in order to write the copy for your site. You need to work with a designer and go through the process of creating a site that looks unique and works well. Plus you'll end up investing a lot of time, energy and money. And finally, after all that, you're finished and it's time for the site to go live. What a relief!

Many business owners go through this same process. By the time the process is finished, many entrepreneurs are very glad that it's over - and don't want to do it again anytime soon.

Unfortunately, websites don't last forever. Even if you plan your site to work for the current vision for your business, you can't accurately account for the entire future of your business.

Eventually you'll have to make some changes to your website. Some of these changes can be accomplished with simple maintenance, and by making updates to your site. But there's only so far that patching and revising your current site can go. If your site is particularly outdated, or if it's not working well for you, it's probably time to consider a full-scale site redesign.

Some signs that it's time to redesign your site include:

Your Business Has Changed or Grown

If your business is no longer the same as it was when you designed your site, chances are that you should redesign your website to reflect that. If you've only had a few small changes, you might be able to just update your current website. But, if you've changed your business direction, decided to provide new products or services, or if your company has grown significantly, it will pay off to redesign your site. Reconsider how the changes to your business should be reflected or addressed in the structure, design and strategy behind your website.

Your Site Looks Like It Was Designed in 1995

Some signs of an outdated web site include: chunky, slow-loading graphics, old-style "framed" coding, where the site is divided up into panes that load separately, little animated cartoon clip-art throughout the site, and text created as images instead of in HTML. Having any of these on your site could reflect poorly on your business, making you look 'behind the times'. It can also make you look like you don't care enough about your business or about technological advances to keep abreast of them. Keeping your company's website looking modern will improve its credibility.

The Information on Your Site Isn't User-Friendly

If you cringe when you read your site text, or if you regularly get questions on your site text from visitors, re-structuring your copy or rewriting it can help to fix these problems. If you've been adding to your site over time and the navigation has become unwieldy or confusing, restructuring your navigation could be another pressing reason to redesign your site. You want visitors to be able to easily find their way around your site and to be able to access all the information you have within a few clicks. Laying out your site to make that possible can make your visitor's experience on your site a lot easier.

You Apologize for the Site When Referencing It or Handing Out Your Business Cards

Your site should be a source of pride. It should provide your clients and prospects an easy way to get a lot of information about your business. And, if you have to apologize for out-of-date information, broken images, poor design, difficult navigation or anything else on your site, it makes you look unprepared and unprofessional. Make sure your site is in top shape and looks impressive, so your clients believe your business is in good shape too.

You're Not Getting Good Results in the Search Engines

Poor rankings in the Search Engines can be a result of not optimizing your site well. Poor search engine ranking can also be a result of bad design choices or coding on your site. Make sure that your site isn't designed using frames and that the text is coded in HTML. Flash sites are also more difficult to optimize for Search Engines.

It's Not Bringing in inquiries and Helping You to Make Sales

If your site was designed long ago, then there's a good chance that it was designed as "brochureware". This means that the site was designed just to act as an online brochure. This was very common a few years ago, when websites were new. But recently businesses have realized that a website can do a lot more than just impersonate your brochure - it can help you close sales, bring in new prospects and make your business easier to run. To bring in more inquiries and make more sales include the following when you redesign your site:

* Calls to action to encourage your visitors to take specific actions - like purchasing something, contacting you, or signing up for a newsletter.

* Forms, scripts, or programs to make your business easier - like contact forms, project estimating tools, and an autoresponder email series that can help you keep in touch with your clients and prospects. Including a shopping cart or Paypal buttons on your site can also help you to make more sales without any additional work.

* Downloadable information packets, articles, questionnaires and white papers can answer a prospect's questions about your products or services and help them to move closer to buying. And, if you require the prospect to enter their email address or other contact information, it can help you to grow your prospect list as well. These are just a few of the functions that your site can perform for your business. To get ideas for other ways that your site can help you improve your business, look at the other sites that you visit and note the functions they perform.

Your Site is Costing You a Fortune to Update

If you're racking up huge bills because of changes and still have a lot to go, it might be time to consider a whole site redesign. Make a list of everything that you want to do on your site and consult a web designer about redesigning your site with those changes in mind. Often, if you have extensive changes to make to your site, it can be less expensive to just start over.

If your site is designed in Flash or coded in such a way that you can't maintain it yourself, redesigning and re-coding your site could allow you to do so. Having the ability to make changes and update your own text will let you make revisions quickly, at no expense. And you can play with your site and make revisions to see what will work best for your business and clients.

If your site has any of the problems mentioned here, it's time to redesign. The steps needed to update and revise will differ depending on the problems and issues that your site has - you may not have to start from scratch. But, do make sure that you address all of the problems that your site has so that you won't have to redesign again any time soon!

New Website? It's Time To Think Links

New Website? It's Time To Think Links
By Matt Jackson (c) 2007

Link building has long been the staple dietary topic for SEO and Internet marketing experts, but with good reason. This is hardly ground breaking news but having a powerful link profile will help you to rank well in the search engines. Having an especially powerful link profile will also drive traffic directly to your website.

As the webmaster of a new site, there are several things you must do. First, you need to create a genuinely useful website filled with equally useful and informative content. You need to ready yourself to add fresh content on a frequent basis, in order to retain existing site visitors and to attract the search engine spiders. You also need to start building links ? a good link profile takes time to develop so it is essential that you start as soon as possible. Below are some of the more and less effective methods of building quality inbound links to your new website.

Create Quality Content

OK, we've already mentioned this in passing, but it's important. Linkable content will get linked to (eventually). You may not have the traffic base to command links organically in this way yet, but you will do soon. Unique, informative, and even controversial content will ultimately see other sites willing to link to your own.

Video marketing has become especially popular because of its viral nature. You can create a good video clip, embed it into a page of your site and include "email to a friend" links. Also ensure that it is well branded so that everybody knows where the video first came from.

Free Directory Submissions

You should submit your site to a lot of web directories over time. If your domain is brand new then you should attempt to limit the amount of submissions you make in the first month. Google is believed to penalize sites that build too many links too quickly in this way. However, free directories can take days, weeks, or even months before they get round to accepting your submission so do start early.

As well as general category directories for your search engine link profile, you should research industry specific directories. These will also help your search engine ranking, but they can drive excellent levels of targeted traffic to your site. Consider paying some of the bigger and more influential directories for an annual submission.

Paid Directory Submissions

Free directories typically only allow you to link to the main page of your website, but most also allow you to choose the title of your link. This gives you the opportunity to build your links according to your keywords, which is an essential component of link building for search engine rankings. Paid directories, on the other hand, also usually allow deep linking to individual pages of your website.

Consider paying for one or two annual subscriptions to the better directories. Yahoo is perhaps the most expensive at $299 per annum but it commands a lot of respect and a lot of traffic. isn't much cheaper ($199) but is almost on an equal footing. Less expensive directories include Best Of The Web and Uncover The Net.

Join Forums And Post Relevant Comments

Forums are, in reality, becoming less popular. The advent of the oft discussed web 2.0 means that the forum is seen as something of a dying trend. However, a lot of people do still use them and they do offer the opportunity to garner your website with some traffic and provide you with signature links.

Join forums that are relevant to your industry, create a signature link using your more important keywords and then browse. Find topics that genuinely interest you, or areas where you can offer assistance. Post comments, without linking to your site, and rely on your signature link to do the rest. If you provide genuine, helpful information then you may find that you pick up some very interested leads along the way.

Request Links

You don't get anything if you don't ask. Find relevant websites, though not in direct competition to your own site, and request a link. Point out a particularly useful section of your website content that is easily linkable and offer the HTML code to provide a link.

This isn't, in all honesty, the best way to spend your linking time. It can take many attempts with various websites before you get an acceptance and a link to your site. Webmasters will usually link to sites they have genuinely found themselves, or else sell their advertising spaces. Alternatively, they may only link to other sites within their own network.

Tagging And Social Bookmarking

So, you've read all about social bookmarking and tagging, but don't know how it can help your site? Well, the principle is fairly simple ? join the social bookmarking sites, create a list of useful sites including one or two of your own, and then publish them. Some search engines are known to be particularly fond of using links found in this way. Also, if your list is genuinely useful then you should find some traffic diverts to your own site as a result.

Blog Commenting

Find blogs that are relevant to your industry and your site and sign up. Most blogs provide the opportunity to link to your site via your name so pick a name that includes relevant keywords. Like forums, only post relevant content and comments. Answers like "me too" do not count. If you don't have something valuable to add, then don't add anything, and move on to the next link building venture, please!

Article Syndication

Write articles, or have them written for you, and submit them to syndication websites. GoArticles and EzineArticles are among the more popular syndication sites and the article pages typically rank well. You have the opportunity to include two biographical links with most article directories, and these should point to the relevant pages on your site and include keywords as the anchor text.

Article syndication is a very good method of building links, but only if you can create article content that is appealing to visitors and to webmasters. However, one good article could generate many links and hundreds or even thousands of visitors to your website.

Offer Content To Other Sites

This is similar, although more specific, than article syndication. Contact webmasters of websites that operate in the same industry as you. Offer unique content in exchange for a link or links to your website. Again, if you can write well, then you shouldn't find it too difficult to find an avenue for publication of your work.

A lot of sites actively look for submissions in this way, so keep an eye out when you are next browsing the web.

Press Release Submissions

Press releases have been around a long time, and are still going fairly strong online. Again, press releases offer the opportunity to drive interested traffic to your website and some PR wires allow authors to include links to their website. PRLeap and PRWeb are among two of the more popular and beneficial sites to submit your PR to.

Reciprocal Links

I find myself sitting on the fence when it comes to reciprocal links. Once upon a time, a reciprocal link campaign was the most popular way of building links. You exchange links with another website and you both benefit. They do still have their place, if you can negotiate a well placed link on a relevant website with a lot of traffic. However, in terms of SEO, reciprocal links are known to have been devalued by the search engines. Consider every reciprocal link opportunity based on its own merit and, in most cases, ignoring the search engine optimization possibilities.

Don't Spam Blogs And Forums

Above, we have detailed a couple of link building methods that include posting on forums and blogs. Please, don't spam. Spam is the scourge of the online world and something that every site owner could do without. Spamming will make you unpopular, may get your site delisted, and it sure won't make you any friends.

Don't Use FFA Link Farms

A FFA (Free For All) website enables any website owner to place their link on a web page. Don't do it. Search engines despise this practice and you will not gain any benefit in any way from the use of this kind of site.

Avoid Any Dubious Link Building Practice

If you see a link building opportunity that looks dodgy, ignore it. At best you will waste your time, but at worst your site could be penalized and you may never be able to recover. If it looks too good to be true... you know the rest.

47 Simple Ways to Build Trust in Your Website or Blog

47 Simple Ways to Build Trust in Your Website or Blog
By Miles Galliford (c) 2007

If your website does not create a sense of trust in your visitors, all your efforts will be in vain. Your online business will not succeed. That's the bad news. The good news is that it is very easy to create and build trust in your online visitors. Below, I have listed all the techniques used by the hundreds of websites I have helped launch. If you have additional techniques, please add them to the líst.

As the old saying goes, you have only one chance to make a first impression. Building trust cannot be achieved by one single action. Trust is achieved by hundreds of little things you do throughout your website that, when taken together, give readers a sense of honesty, legitimacy and stability.

The other bit of good news is that few website owners focus on building trust in the minds of their visitors. If you do it well, it can become a real and sustainable competitive advantage.

Here are 47 simple actions you can take to get started.

1. Trust is built by lots of small actions on every page of your website.

2. Your website design is the first impression. Make sure it is professional and relevant to the subject matter.

3. Navigation must be intuitive. If visitors can't find what they are looking for easily, they will question your competence in providing what they want.

4. Make the website personal by giving it its own tone and voice. People buy people.

5. Follow the HEART rule of creating online content. (Reminder: HEART stands for Honest, Exclusive, Accurate, Relevant and Timely.)

6. Use language that is appropriate to the audience. It will build empathy.

7. Regularly add new content to your site. It shows that the business is alive and kicking.

8. Review all links. Doubts will quickly form in your visitors' minds if links don't work or, worse still, take them to error pages.

9. Good grammar and spelling matter. Errors give the impression of sloppiness and carelessness.

10. Don't make outrageous and unbelievable claims, like "Read this blog and you'll be a millionaire by the end of the week." People are used to scams, get-rich-quick schemes and rip-offs.

11. Publish REAL testimonials and third-party endorsements. Try to always use real names and link to websites where possible. Some sites show images of letters sent by happy customers.

12. Publish case studies about customers you have helped, who use your product, etc.

13. Don't put down, curse or insult competitors. It's unprofessional. It is better to offer an objective comparison of competitive services or products.

14. Focus on building your long-term reputation, not on making quick sales.

15. Write articles for humans, not search engines.

16. Make your 'About Us' page personal and comprehensive. It plays an important part in making visitors feel comfortable that real people are behind the site.

17. Publish your photo or the photos of the key people involved with the site. Again, this reinforces the fact that there are real people behind the screenshots.

18. Clearly identify who is behind the site. Nothing creates more suspicion than a site that tries to hide the identity of its publishers.

19. On the 'Contact Us' page, provide an email form, telephone number, fax and address of the company. In Europe, it is a legal requirement for sites taking funds, but even sites driven by advertising will benefit from openness.

20. Provide a telephone number that people can call and talk to a person.

21. Provide Web addresses linked to the website domain, not addresses from free webmail services such as Hotmail and Gmail.

22. Don't lie to make money. The most common way is to write a glowing report about a product or service to earn affilíate revenues. It is very short-sighted to lie to visitors to sell them rubbish. They'll won't come back or, worse still, they'll actively condemn your site on forums and blogs.

23. Think carefully about reciprocal links. If your site is about organic food and you have links to Party Poker, people are going to question your integrity.

24. Think carefully about the adverts you display on your site. Ensure that they are relevant to your subject and audience.

25. Be explicit when you are being paid to endorse a product or service. An advertorial is fine as long as it is transparent. Paid-to-post is corrupting the Web and will experience a user backlash. I don't read websites that accept payment for posting.

26. Write and publish your privacy policy. Be clear about what you will and will not do with any personal data you collect. State that you adhere to all data protection laws. Make it easy to read and don't use legal gobbledygook.

27. Write and publish a security policy. State what measures you take to ensure that all transactions are secure.

28. Ensure that you have a security and privacy policy which is linked from the footer on every page. Make the link more prominent on all the order pages.

29. Clearly publish your guarantëe. I would recommend making it a 100% money-back guarantëe if possible.

30. Clearly state your refund and returns policy.

31. Piggyback off reputable brands. If you use PayPal, put the PayPal logo on your site. If you have a merchant services account with a major bank like Citibank or HSBC, put its logo on your site.

32. Use Google search on your site for two reasons. First, it is a great search solution which will help your visitors find what they are looking for. Second, having the Google name on your site instills trust.

33. If there are well-known industry associations for your subject, join up and put their logos on your site.

34. Have a forum on your site and respond quickly to questíons. Have the attitude that you are happy to help others without receiving immediate reward. As the old saying goes, 'Givers always gain.'

35. Allow people to comment on articles. Interactivity and an exchange of views build community and a sense of involvement.

36. If people provide constructive criticism or comments in the forum, don't delete them, but respond with your point of view.

37. Put photos on the website of the owners, publishers and/or team. Let visitors know there are real people behind the business.

38. Put images of the credít cards you accept on every page of the order process.

39. Use the words 'secure website' whenever you try to get any information from visitors, including newsletter sign-ups, forum input and payment.

40. On every page, state, "We take your privacy and security very seriously." Link the statement to the security and privacy policy.

41. Remember, reputations take years to build and seconds to destroy.

42. If you are selling a subscription, offer a low-cost, entry-level option. This could be a one-day taster, 'a week before billing starts' or a monthly tríal.

43. Use a high level of security when processing credít cards. Make sure you make your clients aware of all the steps you are taking.

44. Don't send credít card information or personal details over the Internet unencrypted. Tell your customers that their data will be encrypted.

45. Only ask for information from customers that you really need. For example, for an email newsletter sign-up, the only information you REALLY need is an email address, so that is all you should ask for.

46. If you have pricing on your website, make it transparent. I recently went to buy a book which was advertised for $10. When I checked out, they added tax, post and packaging, and the final bill was $19.50. I didn't buy it as I felt they had deliberately tried to mislead me.

47. Keep your SSL certificate up to date. Let people know you are using SSL encryption and who the provider is.

You can't do too much to build trust. Most of it comes down to common sense and good business practice. To ensure that you are continually improving your trustworthiness, every time you go to a website, ask yourself whether you trust it or not. Then ask yourself why you have formed the opinion you have. Continually try to learn what makes a site trustworthy or untrustworthy and implement the relevant changes to your site.

If people trust you, the revenue will follow!

How to Find Free Content for your Web Site

How to Find Free Content for your Web Site
By Kalena Jordan (c) 2007

I see a lot of webmasters complain in forums and chat rooms that they don't have enough content on their web sites, but they don't have the means or the knowledge to find more.

There are actually many ways to obtain more web site content. You could hire someone to write it for you. You could purchase some ready made content about your site topic or you could spend some time and write content yourself. But did you know that there is a way you can get hundreds of pages worth of high quality, fresh content every day without paying a cent? There is. It's called article syndication.

Article Syndication

Articles relating to thousands of topics are freely available for syndication on web sites. Authors provide them for this purpose to gain a wider audience and achieve more back links. Generally, the only requirement for webmasters is that the author's by-line, resource box and link are included with the published article. In terms of copyright, you simply need to follow the author's publishing guidelines when republishing their article. This usually involves an "About the Author" paragraph at the bottom of each article with a sentence and link to the author's site. These syndication requirements are generally specified in the article itself.

How to do it:

1) Browse the Internet to find articles you can syndicate. I use the article announcement groups at Yahoo Groups, but you can also find them at sources such as Submit Your Articles.

2) View the articles being distributed by the group and review their freshness and quality. 3) Join the email list or subscribe to the RSS feed of any article groups that seem to be distributing content relevant to your web site.

4) Go through your email or feed reader regularly to browse and select new articles.

5) Cut, paste and publish the articles into your web pages, giving credit to the author as requested in their syndication guidelines.

6) Voila! Fresh, daily content.

Articles for Blogs

If the article content is to be used on a blog, there is an even quicker way to publish it. Depending on what blog software you use, you can simply forward the email containing the article directly to your blog control panel using the publish via email option and then edit the post to correct any formatting issues. The other advantage of this method is that search engines LOVE blogs and tend to index them more often than regular web pages.

I use blog article syndication quite successfully for a couple of my clients. One is in the travel industry and the other has a large wedding portal. I simply subscribe to articles on travel and wedding related topics and publish them to the blogs belonging to each client. My clients supplement these with articles and blog posts written by their own staff or hired writers.


There are a number of advantages to using article syndication:

Relevant, Timely Content - You can choose content that is closely geared to your existing content and of interest to your audience. For example, if you sell airline tickets, publish travel articles about exotic destinations. The idea there is that persons reading travel articles might be thinking about traveling themselves and need to be reminded to book their plane tickets.

Cross Promotion - You can choose content that gives you the opportunity to up sell to your own products or affiliate products. For example, if you sell scented candles online, you could choose to publish articles about increasing the romance in your marriage and then include a link at the end of the article to your candle sales catalog (would you like fries with that?).

SEO Value - Apart from the obvious value of having fresh content regularly available for indexing, there are other SEO advantages to article syndication. Most articles are keyword-rich, meaning that they contain a lot of keywords and phrases that people might use in search queries. Publishing these articles means that your site has a better chance of being found for related search queries. One of my clients noticed their syndicated article pages ranking in the top 10 Google SERPs for target keywords within two days of publishing! You can also embed links within the articles or at the end of articles to related areas of your site using keyword-rich anchor text.

Increased Traffic & Sticky Content - It's not only search engines that love fresh content. You'll find that you'll attract more visitors when you publish relevant articles. Provided you find ways to interact with your new visitors such as allowing them to comment or sign up for your article feed, your site will become stickier and retain those visitors more easily.


There are really only two disadvantages that I can think of about using article syndication. One is that the same article published on various web sites can sometimes be treated by search engines as duplicate content. So generally, a search engine will try to determine the original source of the article and index/rank that page while ignoring all other versions. If you publish a fresh article quickly enough, you can sometimes be lucky and have your version of the article picked up and treated as the *original*. The other disadvantage is that it can be time-consuming to trawl through the hundreds of new articles announced daily and choose the ones you want. You also have to scan them carefully to ensure accuracy of facts and to ascertain if the author has used correct spelling and grammar usage. But compared to the costs of paying somebody to write articles from scratch, I think this is a very minor inconvenience.

Want to get the jump on your competition and improve your traffic? Use article syndication to publish fresh, relevant content on your site every day.
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