November 26, 2007
All online business owners want to attract as many targeted visitors to their websites as possible. Their favorite kind of visitors are the free ones and the best source of free targeted website traffic is article marketing. The concept is simple: you write an article, it gets distributed in ezines and posted on other people’s websites where potential customers will read it and click through on a link to visit your website.
The articles you write will also be used as additional content for your own website, and this is valuable for SEO purposes as well as for attracting visitors. Your articles are more than just reading matter for visitors, though; you could think of article pages as mini-sales pages.
When you are adding content to your website, look at each page you complete as if you are a visitor entering the site for the first time via that page. Is there an obvious way for the visitor to find the home page, site map, contact details etc? You might think it is easy enough to scroll to the bottom of the page and squint a bit to see the small text hiding against a camouflaging background, but then you knew it was there all along, your visitors won’t see it because they won’t go looking for it.
It is a big mistake to expect visitors to hunt around for links; they won’t bother to work that hard when it is easy to hit their “back” button and find a more easily navigable website. Place the links where they will be seen easily by any visitor. It is best to make the links obvious by having a contrasting background to make them easy to read. You can have all kinds of fancy roll-over effects for links but these are not essential. The best way to deal with links is to have them underlined because everybody is accustomed to underlining indicating a link.
At the very least, you should have a link to the home page but you can also induce visitors to explore by having a link to your site map or a “you might also be interested in…” menu and providing a bookmark button is good way to encourage return visits.
Having a search box at the end of an article page is an easy way to earn some extra money from the page and you can make more money by having some Ad sense (or similar) advertisements on your article pages.
Another great way to make money from your online article pages is to embed your affiliate links into the body of the article. This creates a real “mini-sales page” but it involves a little extra work to create and to keep up to date. Links embedded in articles offer a natural-looking way to introduce your long term affiliate programs to visitors. Dead links create a bad impression, so this type of contextual linking is not something I would recommend for affiliate products that are liable to be changed or discontinued at short notice, unless you are very organized and are prepared to make regular changes.
An easier way of incorporating links into your article text is to use context advertising links, such as the system provided Amazon. All this requires is for you to copy and paste a small script into the foot of your web page. The software will automatically pick out keywords and link them to relevant products.
Visitors to your website won’t all arrive in an orderly fashion via your main index page, your article pages will be additional entry points from which you can steer visitors to your home page or sales page, or even make a sale right there on the article page.
Author: Elaine Currie is the owner of a Free Work At Home Directory and author of the book Ezine Article Writing – 10 Steps To Success