Articles have a very special role in the overall functioning and ranking of a web site.
- get your site traffic from the search engines
- increase the ranking of other pages on your site
- get you recognised as a leading expert in your field
- build confidence in your visitors
- funnel visitors to main pages where you are selling products
- easily make income via Adsense (or similar)
- establish your site as an authority in the niche
Note: I started by saying “articles can", not “articles will". The reason for this is simple. Done badly, or incorrectly, articles wont rank well, and can even get you into trouble.
So what is an article?
The basic idea with articles is to create informative content that ranks well for a range of keywords, and provides your visitors with useful information.
These articles can then guide your visitor to any of your main pages, to try to get a sale. If the article was useful and informative, your visitor will have more confidence in your recommendations on the main pages.
Its not easy to immediately rank well for highly competitive keywords, so the place I always start in my keyword selection for articles is at the bottom (low competition, often low number of searches keywords).
Once your site starts to mature, it becomes more realistic to target more competitive phrases. The phenomenon known as the Google Sandbox, can often mean new sites wont rank well for several months, but adding high quality content does appear to shorten this “quarantine".
So how do you decide which phrases to target as articles?
Let's look at an example.
I did some quick keyword research back in 2003 on barbecues. The research resulted in 1942 phrases relating to BBQs.
Filter your phrases so that you only see those with 100 or fewer competing page, and 5 or more daily searches.
My research returns 81 keyword phrases.
These are the phrases I would start off targeting for articles. These 81 phrases represent a total of 546 daily searches at Google. That means, if we can rank well for these low competition phrases, we can get a reasonable amount of traffic.
If 81 sounds too many to target initially, why not change the filtering criteria.
Try 10 or fewer competing pages, and 5 or more daily searches. I have 39 that meet that criteria (representing 238 daily searches at Google).
One of the problems with this approach is it is often difficult to write interesting, informative content on some of these phrases. Your content needs to be high quality, and something that the visitor is actually interested in reading.
This article represents part of a strategy detailed in a freely available eBook. Download your free copy of "Creating ‘Fat’ Affiliate Sites" today. Keyword phrases were manipulated using Keyword Results Analyzer .