There are a lot of ways to build quality links to your site – some more effective than others. For the average business’ website, however, article writing for SEO is one of the most immediately effective. These are born out of your own knowledge and experience, and their only cost is your time in writing them. While the article site itself may or may not pass on any valuable PageRank for you, these articles are repurposed by other blogs and websites, and can therefore publish your links as well. If your content is interesting and needed, it’s a great way to get links and exposure.
The process is fairly simple. First, write your article. Most sites will have word limits of roughly 1000, but unless you’re really long winded you won’t go anywhere near that. You definitely shouldn’t anyway, as most readers on line don’t spend that long reading anything, unless you’re giving them a tactical step-by-step on how to either get sex or money. So shoot for 400-500 words.
Then insert the keywords you want to rank for in the article. This is important – DO NOT put the phrases into the article as you are writing it, unless they natually fall into the page that way. If that happens on it’s own, great! But if not, you’ll end up writing gibberish just to work in a phrase you need, which will limit the number of people who read it all the way through, and possibly even keep people from republishing the article somewhere else.
Next you’ll have to find the article sites to place them on. There are a few good ones, though they change their policies often. You may find one site is very giving in the number of links you can insert, only to find the next month that it doesn’t allow any, or perhaps that they want you to pay a fee.
If you come across any site that either won’t let you leave a link or wants money from you, move on. The purpose of this is to get inbound links, not give a site free content. Sometimes a site will allow links in the author’s bio or resource box. I personally stay away from these as well, since blogs and websites aren’t in the habbit of including this information as well. If you find yourself hard up for places to post your work, however, you should experiment and see if you get a return for your effort.
Also you shouldn’t have to pay anyone to place an article, ever. If their site is quality, they can make money off of their traffic. If they need your money, no one is using the site. (There are likely exceptions to this, but it’s true enough to just stay away from anyone wanting your credit card number.)
Look at this article on used motorhomes – the author has writen a conscice piece on the subject, with a relevant link to his site at the bottom. The link is anchored with the phrase, which is what search engines look for when they’re counting a link’s vote for a site’s authority. The site it’s on, ezinearticles.com, only allows a single link after the first three paragraphs, so the author was limited in how many to insert. To get around this, several articles were written for several different keywords, each with their own link similarly placed at the bottom. This creates the opportunity for several links to the page, for several keywords, on a site that has quality traffic, (ie, it’s free,) and doesn’t scrape all links off of posted content.
The one thing this example does that I would object to is that the link, while properly anchored, simply refers back to the site’s main URL. Before writing articles for links, you should have a page on your site optimized for each phrase you are writing to. If the phrase is, “used motorhomes,” then the page being linked to should have that phrase in the page’s meta tags, the page title, and especially in the page content. Marking that phrase with an H1 tag is also very helpful in showing Google how serious this page is for the phrase in question. Be sure to include the phrase in the page’s URL as well, such as: http://www.exampleRVsite.com/used-motorhome.html. Many schools of through currently hold that the URL is one of the most important markers of SEO value for a page.
Another example is this article for client Cruise America. Here, an extra link is inserted, so it comes in just under ezinearticle’s limit. While the “rv inventories” link does not refer to an “rv inventories” page, the camping trailers link does.
Also the content is not specifically about camping trailers, but what people can do with one if they are interested in camping in Arizona – so it appeals to two possible segments, people interestedin camping trailers and people interested in Arizona camping options. The content has a more emotional appeal to the reader’s sense of fun, rather than technical information about a product, so either group is more likely to repost the content. The client this was written for did indeed see a dramatic increase in inbound links when this was initially posted.
Which is a final lesson on articles for building links: Remember that they do not last forever. While other sites will publish your content if they find it, they will also publish other content, pushing your own down the ladder. This means you should construct a content calendar and stick to it, one where you plan on which phrases you will generate articles for, and then submit them, preferably each month. Keep notes on the sites you submit to that are quality, add new ones as you find them, and trim others if they change their policies to the point they’re no longer useful.
You do not need to worry about similar content issues here, as the article site in question is not where you’re hoping to get your link juice from. (You might get some, but they aren’t the end game.) Instead you’re hoping to get your content – and links – in front of as many webmasters’ eyes as you can, and therefore it needs to be in as many places as possible.