In the land of internet marketing, one word reigns as King.

That word…     CONTENT

In fact, content is so critical that in November, Google altered its algorithms via the “Freshness” update to put a higher emphasis on new, freshly written content.  But in today’s world of high-tech functions, software, graphics, and html coding, capturing rankings, traffic, leads and sales comes down to primarily one thing-  quality content.

Web surfers are looking for information and those that do the best job of providing it capture the gold ring- followers.  The more people that follow you and read your content, the more opportunity you have to market your product or service and earn business.

Gone are the days when you could build a website and then ignore it.  Having fancy graphics and a pretty website might capture someone’s attention, but without quality content that attention is short-lived at best.

So how do you leverage articles properly to market your business successfully?

#1  Identify your target audience and what they want.

A properly written article addresses the needs of your potential client/customer base.  Then, rather than throwing them a sales pitch, you provide useful and stimulating content that helps them to solve a problem or answer a question they might have.  Doing this not only earns you the respect of your reader, but also establishes your expertise within your niche and likely leads to a prospect that will return for more information later, and perhaps even buy your service down the road.

#2  Post your article content in as many places as you can.

In addition to posting your articles on your website or blog, you want to syndicate them to as many article directories as possible.  There are hundreds of high ranking websites that will allow you to post your articles for free, as long as they are well written and meet the guidelines of the site.   The more directories you submit to, the more likely your content is to be found.  Obviously this takes time, but unlike traditional advertising, posting an article on a directory is a permanent function.  Your article will likely stay there for years and could be read by thousands of people.  That’s free marketing for you and your business.

#3  Link your articles back to your website

Syndicating your articles to directories is only half of the process.  The other half is making sure that you properly link the articles back to your website.  There are two benefits of linking.  First, a reader can click on your link and find their way back to your website where they can learn more about you and your business.  Second, and perhaps even more importantly, the search engines see all of those links and use those links to rank you.  Typically, the more links you have, the higher your site will rank.  The search engines love one-way links with anchor text (links that use your desired keywords).  Those are the exact type of links that you get from article syndication.  So not only do you make your readers happy, but you make the search engines happy at the same time.

Even if you are not a writer, don’t have time for it, or just flat out dread sitting at the computer and typing, article writing is so key to having success online and improving your search engine rankings that no business can truly expect to gain much from the internet without engaging in article writing at some level.  There are services available that will write and syndicate articles for you and the cost is far less than traditional print advertising in the newspaper, magazines, or yellow pages.  In fact, it is probably one of the least expensive forms of marketing and given its permanence and effectiveness, it is likely one of the most economical form of marketing.

If you haven’t started an article marketing campaign yet, I encourage you to get started.  You can go to one of the most popular article directories, eZine Articles, and set up a free account in just minutes and begin writing today!