By John Eberhard
Today I believe that the successful combination of actions for website marketing is:
- Blog: Post an article or shorter post once per week, then notify (called “pinging”) the blog search engines.
- Optimized Press Release: Writing a press release once a week that contains the top keywords you are targeting, posting this on a separate blog that is just for your releases, then ping the blog search engines. Then submit it to several online PR sites.
- Social Media: Post your articles on a Facebook corporate page, Squidoo, and HubPages, then bookmark those pages on Delicious, Digg, and Stumbleupon.
- Article Directories: Write a new article at least twice a month (once a week is better) and submit it to article directories such as www.goarticles.com. Recently we have found a number of directories that allow you to create links within the article body, to your web site, called “anchor text.”
- Email Newsletter: Send an HTML newsletter to your in-house email list of clients, prospects and subscribers, 2-4 times per month.
- Pay Per Click Advertising: Advertising on Google AdWords and other pay per click providers gives you immediate response.
I have been finding that this combination of actions is very powerful. But you have to keep all these actions in.
First of all, this combination of actions requires a continuous stream of content, which of course takes work to create.
But if you follow the above recipe, you can see that you can write one article per week, 500-700 words, and use this article for your article blog (#1 above), social media sites (#3), article directories (#4), and the email newsletter (#5). So you write one article per week but you put it to use in a variety of media.
Then you write a press release and put it up on a blog, then submit it to online PR sites. Most of these sites require that the release be at least 300 words.
You’ll notice that the first two items on the list above are blogs. I am recommending a blog for your articles, and then another one that is geared to press releases. The advantages of using blogs are numerous.
- There are a group of search engines specifically geared to blogs, and it is easy to notify these search engines about your latest blog post, by pinging them using one of the sites that pings them. Also some blog services such as Typepad and WordPress can be configured to ping these search engines automatically when you save your post.
- Blog posts seem to find their way into the regular search engines very fast when you ping the blog search engines.
- When you enter your post, you can create a link from some of the words, to your web site. A link from a word or phrase is called “anchor text.” Some sources say that anchor text pointing to your site is the most valuable thing you can get on the web, in terms of improving your search engine rankings. You make sure you include some of the top keywords that you are trying to rank for, and link those to an appropriate page on your main site.
- Particularly if you use one of your target keywords in the headline, you will often notice you rank very well shortly thereafter for that keyword on Google News or in Google.
- Blog services usually create an RSS feed automatically when you post something. Without a blog, in order to create an RSS feed you have to create an XML file by hand, and it’s a bit of a pain.
- It is easy to add photos or videos to a blog post.
You can add various elements to a blog, such as thin columns on the right and/or left side of the main column where you posts go. You can add pictures of and links to books or other items you’re selling. You can link to various pages on your web site. You can link to your MySpace and Facebook corporate pages. You can put a newsletter subscription box. You can put a customized masthead at the top. You can also buy a new web address and then set that up as your blog address.
I think it’s important to add features like this to a blog and it makes it look a lot more professional. My preference for a blog service is Typepad, but WordPress is very good too. My Typepad service is $15 per month which allows me to create an unlimited number of blogs. I have four running now, including an article blog, a press release blog, a political blog, and one for my son for his writing.
Currently, aside from Google AdWords, my blogs are referring more traffic to my site than any other source.