20 September 2008

Article writing to improve website traffic

Writing articles and submitting them to article directories is one of the standard methods that webmasters use to improve their exposure to the search engines and drive more Internet visitor traffic to their sites. Writing a good article is something that most people can do but you must understand that there is an art to writing a good piece for submission if you want it to have as much impact as possible and drive traffic to your site. The same writing skills that you develop when writing an article for submission should used when you write something for your own website or blog.

Website content is what drives traffic to your website!

You will read lots of things about fancy techniques to improve the traffic to your site. Some of these do really work but if you haven't attended to the fundamentals then this will be like the icing on a non-existent cake! Your website MUST have good content if you want the search engines to rate it and send you visitors. You can get away with using a small amount of other peoples articles from article directories on your website but what you really need is your own original and unique content. That content should be related to the topic of your website and it should be written in a way which ensures that the search engines rank it well. This means attending to keywords and the way that you write.

Don't stuff your articles with Keywords

There was a time, before Search Engines such as Google got smart, when s called keyword stuffing was all the rage. You will still see some spammy sites that try to use this approach but it is no longer very effective. What you want is quality traffic and lots of it, including in most cases returning visitors. Nothing will put your visitors off more than articles which have simply been stuffed with keywords in the hope that the article will rank higher.

Write for your visitors not the search engines

Always think like a customer. If you were visiting your own site what would you be looking for? Give your visitors useful information in your writing and they will spend time on your site and are more likely to return. This applies also to the way that you write. Most people are looking for something that is easy to understand. Try to write in a relaxed informal way - almost as though you are speaking to your visitors. People find this much easier to read.

Use header tags in your articles

It is a good idea to break longer articles up and make them easier to read by using header tags. Not only does this benefit the reader but the search engines also use your header tags as they try to understand what your article is about and identify keywords. Header tags h1 to h3 have the most influence on how your article is interpreted by search engines. Don't feel you cant use other header tags if you need them for your readers sake, just don't expect them to have any influence with the search engines.

Write good English

You will come across some sites and blogs by people who don't have English as their first language and where the English in the articles is fairly poor. This can be a real problem and is likely to deter visitors. If English is not your first language and you want to have good quality articles in English on your site then you should think about either a) paying someone to write the article or b) writing the article yourself and then having someone who is good at English tidy it up for you. Option b) is likely to be the cheapest and you might even find a friendly blogger who is willing to do this fairly cheaply.

The benefits of writing for article Directories

You may feel that if you have put a lot of hard work into writing an article then it would be silly to give this hard work away for free by submitting it to an article directory. You would be right. You should think carefully about what you write for your own site and what you write for your an article submission service. Generally I would advise that you keep the longer and best constructed pieces for your own website. Then you can prepare a shorter more summarised version for the article directory. That way you get the best of both worlds.

But why submit to an article directory at all? Well the fact is that when you submit an article you leave a back link to your site or sites along with the article. This has a number of benefits. First because a lot of people visit the article directories you will get some traffic from those links when people read your article. Then if people use the article for their own site they are usually expected to also use your link with the article. This gives you further backlinks. When people read your article on their sites a proportion will follow your links and so you get another stream of visitors. This is why article writing or article marketing is such a popular method for improving traffic to your website.

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