How to Top Google by Writing and Submitting Articles

by Glenn Murray | SEO Copywriter & Article Submission specialist *

Search engines determine their rankings based on two things: 1) Is your site relevant? (Optimized for certain keywords) 2) Is your site important? (Many links back to your site from other sites) Only when you address both of these considerations are you guaranteed of making an impact. Your degree of success depends on how hard you try and how many other people you're competing against (and how hard they're trying).

Optimizing your site for keywords is the easy part. Generating links back to your site is much more challenging and time consuming. But it can be done; and you don't need a huge budget. One of the best ways is to write and submit helpful articles and let publishers of newsletters and ezines use them for free on the proviso that they link back to your site.

People who publish ezines and newsletters are always hungry for quality content. And there are many websites out there dedicated to giving them just that. They're referred to as 'article submission sites', 'article submit sites', and 'article distribution lists'. If you submit a well written, relevant, helpful article to one of those sites, you can have thousands of newsletter publishers ready to snap it up. Then you just sit back and watch the links multiply!

TIP: This method is beneficial in other ways too. Readers of your article will see that you know what you're talking about, and because you're published, they'll see you as an authority. You'll find web traffic and requests for quotes increase after every article.

Here's how it works

STEP 1) You're an expert in your field so you possess knowledge that other people want.

STEP 2) You write a helpful article sharing your hard-earned knowledge and expertise (without compromising your income stream).

STEP 3) You submit your article to recognized and highly trafficked 'article submission' sites on the World Wide Web.

STEP 4) Publishers of online newsletters, ezines, etc. gather content from these article submission sites for free.

STEP 5) Helpful, well written articles are snapped up by thousands of publishers from all around the world in virtually every industry.

STEP 6) The only condition is that they must publish the article with a functioning link to your site.

STEP 7) If 300 people publish your article, you get 300 links back to your site. And the best part is that every link is relevant (and you even get to choose the link text!)

Article writing and article submission FAQs

Below are some FAQs about article writing and article submission that will help you write and submit your articles and manage your campaign.

Q) What should I write articles about?

A) Write about what you know. Make sure it's related to your business (so you can use the keywords you want to rank for) and helpful (so it gets published). For example, if you're a manufacturer of industrial plastics, you might write an article - or series of articles - on how best to handle Teflon tubing prior to installation. Once you get thinking about it, you'll probably find there are hundreds of articles you could write that are helpful. You may even have some of them partly written already in your instruction manuals or installation guides, etc. Another good idea is to think of all the questions you get asked by customers and potential customers. These questions show you what people are interested in. If you write an article answering every one of these questions, you'll get published, and you'll also show yourself to be a credible expert. (You may even cut down phone support time!)

Q) How long should my article be?

A) The best articles are only as long as they need to be. Keep it short and sweet there's nothing wrong with a 400 word article. By the same token, if you need 1500 words to say all you need to say, that's fine as well (but I'd still be thinking about how to break that into three parts and get three times as many links!).

Q) How often should I submit my article?

A) Whenever you write an article, you should submit it to your entire list of article submission sites.

Q) What kind of writing should I use?

A) Simply write in a style that your audience will be comfortable with. If they're from the old school, don't write like I am. Don't use contractions, don't end sentences with prepositions, and don't start sentences with "and" or "but". But if they're not old school, just use conversational English. In fact, the more of yourself you include in the article, the more engaging it will be. The key is to make it readable.

Q) Should I focus on keywords?

A) Yes! Yes! Yes! Optimize your articles just as you optimize your website. (In fact, as you'll probably post the articles on your website, you're really are writing for your website, anyway.) If possible, turn a few keywords into links back to your site. And always try to include keywords in the headline and byline of your article. And don't worry about being seen as Spam; if your article provides good quality information and guidance, it won't be seen as spam by the search engines even when it's keyword-rich.

Q) Do I need to vary the byline?

A) There is some evidence to suggest that the search engines prefer varied anchor text in links back to your site (otherwise they may view the links as artificially generated - i.e. SPAM). Therefore, it's probably a good idea to vary at least the anchor text of your byline (without departing from your keywords).

Q) Should I always use link to my home page or should I also link to other pages?

A) Link back to whatever page matches the keywords used in your article. If your website only targets one keyword, simply link back to your home page.

Q) Should I always use link to my home page or should I also link to other pages?

A) Link back to whatever page matches the keywords used in your article. If your website only targets one keyword, simply link back to your home page.

Q) Where should I submit my article?

A) There are hundreds, if not thousands, of article submission sites on the Internet. Too many to include here. Do a search for "article submission", "free reprint", "article submit", "submit article", "free content", "article bank", "where can i submit articles online", "publish internet articles", "article submission directory", "article submission sites", "publish your article", "online article submission", "publish articles", "submit articles", "article submissions", etc., and just find the ones that are most applicable to your industry and offer the most subscribers.

Q) How long does it take to submit a single article?

A) It all depends on how many sites you submit it to. As a guide, it will take a full day to submit a single article to the just 50+ article submission sites. Each has its own unique interface, rules, and constraints. Some article submission sites accept HTML, others accept articles pasted directly from MS Word, while some accept only plain text.

Q) Who will publish my article?

A) Generally people publish pre-written articles because they want "eyes on paper". In other words, they want to generate traffic to their site. Helpful articles are one way of doing that because they're keyword-rich and they enhance the publisher's search engine ranking. Expert, helpful articles also make the publisher seem like a credible authority on a particular subject. And, of course, they develop customer loyalty. There are hundreds of thousands (maybe even millions) of companies publishing online newsletters, ezines, and article pages. No matter what your industry, you're bound to find quite a few who are interested in what you have to say. In fact, once a few publishers recognize you as a good source of content, they keep coming back looking for more (and even email you asking if you can send them directly).

Q) How will I know when my article has been published?

A) As one of the conditions of publication, you can request that the publisher notifies you when they use your article. Of course, most don't bother to do this, so it's a good idea to set up a Google Alert (http://www.google.com/alerts) which notifies you when your URL has been published on a web page. Google doesn't pick them all up, but it picks up a lot. Whenever you receive an alert, you can visit the page to make sure the article is unchanged and the link back to your site is functioning.

Q) How much cross-publication of a single article is acceptable?

A) It doesn't matter. I have some articles that have been published on many different websites (probably hundreds). These articles still get good coverage on reputable sites with good PR.

Q) Will the publisher change my article?

A) No, generally not. Changing articles is just extra work. In fact, that's why publishers like good articles and consistent content providers because that means they don't have to do any extra work. I've had my articles published thousands of times, and don't recall a single instance of an article being changed without my permission. If you're worried about it, you can include an instruction not to change the article in your conditions of publication.

Q) Will the publisher pay me?

A) No. It's a mutually beneficial exchange. The publisher gets good content, ranking, credibility, authority, traffic, etc., and you get the link back to your site (which increases your ranking). Article submission works so well purely because the articles are free for reprint.

Q) Should I post my article on my website?

A) Yes! Articles are solid, keyword-rich content. Search engines and visitors alike love them. Add a new page for every article, and link to each from a top level articles page (see our Article Summary page for a working example).

Q) Can I get an SEO copywriter to write and submit my articles?

A) Yes. Any SEO copywriter should be able to write keyword rich articles and submit them to a number of high traffic article submission sites.

Q) What kind of information would I need to supply an SEO copywriter to write my article?

A) You'd need to tell your SEO copywriter something like, "We want to write an article which helps people install Teflon tubing. The kinds of people who'd be doing it are... They'd be doing it because... The benefits of our tubing are... The difficulties they'd face are... Here are the key steps to successful installation ..." Using this information, your SEO copywriter should be able to put together a very readable article which would be bound to get published.

Q) Will my reputation suffer if my article appears on a dubious site?

A) It shouldn't. Most dubious sites will either be unrelated or have very low traffic. If the site is unrelated, the publisher won't go to the effort of publishing your article and/or your target market won't see it. If it's related but has very low traffic, very few people will see your article there anyway. And besides, even if your article appears on a dubious site, it probably won't be changed because dubious or not publishers don't create extra work for themselves. So your original presentation, content, and intent will be unaffected. Write a good article, and it always reflects well on you, no matter where it's published.

Q) How long will it take for my ranking to increase?

A) There are no guarantees in SEO. It all takes time. For a start, the search engines can take up to 2 months to update their index of pages. And a single inbound link generally won't have much impact. Depending on how much competition you're facing for keywords, and where the links are coming from, even 100 inbound links may not make much of a difference. So don't expect anything to happen too quickly. But if you're dedicated, and you're prepared to write and submit quite a few articles, you'll definitely see results within a few months.

Happy writing!

* Glenn Murray is a director of PublishHub.com. He is a renowned SEO copywriter and an article submission specialist. He can be contacted on Sydney +612 4334 6222 or at glenn.murray@publishhub.com.

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