Article marketing is one of the best marketing strategies for boosting your online audience and building valuable backlinks. It does wonders for raising awareness about your brand and can serve as a cheap and lasting advertisement. If you have decided that this is something from which your business may benefit, then the following few basic strategies will definitely come in handy.
Let’s start with 2 easy ways of finding great PR article resources.
First method: GOOGLE Search
For the sake of context and creating a concrete example, let’s assume your business has recently started operating and is selling game-changing ergonomic bike saddles. You are looking to popularize your product through various pages and would like to find some resources both in terms of examples, as well as potential publishing platforms.
You can use the above example to find top-ranking pages, which host articles on topics that you could be interested in. For your comfort, you can use the “SEOquake” plugin, which can help you export all SERP results with just one click.
Second method: Competitor BACKLINKS
Your competitor backlink portfolio is an opportunity goldmine. If somebody offers a similar product and has already established themselves as a force in this niche, then it’s likely that they have also gone through the process of article marketing, meaning you can find valuable backlinks you could use for your own strategy!
Step 1: Google your own product and find potential competitors, with established pages and stores. In this case, let’s try “Ergonomic bike saddle”.
For this example, let’s choose http://ergon-bike.com, as it appears among the top results.
Step 2: Let’s check their backlink portfolio. There are multiple tools you can use to check site backlinks (Moz, Ahrefs, SEMRush, etc). In this example, we use ahrefs.com.
Using this tool we found plenty of resources that we can export with just one click and do media outreach to.
Note: sites with higher DA and UR data usually have higher organic traffic.
Naturally, we recommend using both methods to build a strong list of sites to outreach to. The results of doing this should be a list of well-ranked pages, for which you could write some content to be published.
Questions to ask when doing Media Outreach
When you are doing media outreach, there are 5 key questions that need to be asked. They will help you evaluate resources and get more cost-effective price offers.
- Where will the article be published (category, sub-category, listing)?;
- What is the average monthly traffic in the past 3 months that this category, sub-category, listing page is getting?
Note: General monthly traffic that a page gets is not the same traffic (impressions) that your article will get.
- Do they create the article themselves?
- Can you use trackable links in your PR articles?
- Can they offer a 20% price discount or offer a bundle deal for 2 articles: “Article price x2*80%”?
Note: Don’t just buy a service, build relationships. With such an approach and mindset you will be able to get better deals more often than you think.
Now, once you have outreached to all the resources and got back pricing offers, it is time to pick the best resources to post your PR articles to. But how can you evaluate which resource is the best?
Evaluating PR Resource Traffic
Remember to never blindly trust traffic numbers that anyone sends you. Your potential partner will try to put their best foot forward and dazzle you with incredible numbers and while big, established sites will be upfront about their statistics, smaller blogs, for example, might twist the truth or sometimes even outright lie. This can manifest in many different ways, from sending statistics only about the best month of the year to the traffic being bought & bot-generated. To give an example of shady practices — a potential page Scandiweb was in contact with referred to bounced traffic as “potential investors”. They touted 15k potential investors that our article would reach, yet the reality was 7k impressions … at best.
Thankfully, there are tools we can use to evaluate each resource traffic. For instance, similarweb.com has been a very insightful one. (Check under Marketing Mix category — look for all traffic the site gets and then check how much of it comes from Social and Organic channels.) Here’s a look at one potential resource:
For example, the bicycle-oriented site road.cc has 70.85% organic traffic and 5.23% social traffic. Combined they have 76.07% of all the traffic, just from these 2 channels.
The golden rule here to remember is — both of these channels combined need to have more than 50% of all the traffic. (This strategy basically outsources the resource quality evaluation task to Google ranking algorithm and FB social proof.) These 2 are much harder to manipulate.
Note: this last step secures that you are not buying an article in a resource with bot traffic. (Don’t trust any resource that has just Direct traffic.)
Don’t forget about tracking
And lastly, since now you have a list of well-evaluated, promising resources for your article marketing, the last thing to take care of is tracking. You should track as much as possible.
“If you can’t measure it, You can’t manage it!” (Peter Drucker)
And even more so, you can’t calculate ROI from your marketing activities. That is why in your PR article you should use links with UTM parameters (or at least bit.ly links) and readable, beautiful anchor texts.
For UTM link building you can use this free resource from Google: https://ga-dev-tools.appspot.com/campaign-url-builder/
Implement these few tips (Research, Evaluate, Track!) into your marketing strategy and you will get the most out of your PR promo submissions.
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