She laid bare a lot of myths and truths about article marketing, and opened my eyes to it’s potential impact. But I was still suspect, so I issued her a public challenge to take a site that I owned and get it ranked high up on google for two of the top search terms in the niche using article marketing.
It was all up to her, I didn’t want any involvement.
Even though Elysia had set me straight on a lot of article marketing lore, I have to confess to not expecting a whole lot. Man, was I wrong.
Here’s what she accomplished in 60 days:
- Search ranking for the top keyword in the niche (approximately 130,000 searches a month) moved from position #9 to position #2 on the first page of google.
- Search ranking for the second keyword went from being buried way back on some undetermined page to ranking #3 on the first page of google search results.
- Daily search-driven traffic doubled.
Wow, those are some pretty stunning results!
So, I circled back to Elysia to debrief after the challenge and to ask her how she did it. And, here’s what unfolded:
JF: I’ve gotta be honest, I didn’t expect such a strong improvement in my search rankings in such a short period of time, especially when the two keywords we chose were the most searched one and a second reasonably competitive one AND the website you were working on has been largely dormant. Okay, now, the big reveal…what did you you do make this happen (in as much detail as you can share)?
EB: Search engines use a number of different factors when determining where a website should be ranked. We discussed this in the previous interview, but just briefly one of the major factors considered include: the number (and quality) of links coming back to the web page.
Keeping that in mind, we wanted to build as many high-powered and high quality backlinks to your site as we could.
This process involved:
1) Creating informational content (search engine optimised) based around the two major keywords JF selected for the challenge. This content was prepared in a variety of different formats including tips, general info, methods etc. As suggested in the previous interview, we stuck to 300-350 words – in my experience, there’s no need to go above that word count.
2) Hand submitting this content, every day or so, over the 2 month period to a select group of high PR article directories including Ezine Articles, Go Articles and approximately 10 other carefully selected (and high powered directories).
3) Sourcing a number of guest blog posts on authoritative websites in related markets. These blog posts contained 1-2 links back to the website with keyword-targeted anchor text.
And a few other extra goodies that I might have to keep as classified Pajama Team tricks of the trade.
JF: And, why did you do what you did?
EB: I did this because I wanted both fast, and long lasting results. To be honest, I could have probably gotten you the same results even faster if I hadn’t been concerned about how long the rankings would “stick” after we finished this challenge. But, obviously I wanted the SEO effects to be felt long after I completed the challenge.
With this in mind, I focused my attention on link building efforts that were “viral” in nature. Both links that would continue to grow in value as they aged – and methods with a syndication element that would continue to spread them like wildfire around the web.
JF: Are the results you generated from me via article marketing typical of the results you’ve seen from your own campaigns and those you run for clients?
EB: I’ve had great results with these methods in many different niches from smaller affiliate style niches to corporate business markets. That is the beauty of content-based link building – you can tailor it to any niche and with the right keywords produce similar results.
The major factor that varies between clients is the speed at which you achieve front page rankings. The speed can be influenced by a few elements, some within my control and others outside of it:
1) The existing age and authority of the client’s domain. Google looks far more kindly on sites that have been around for awhile and have established a presence in a given keyword market
2) The amount of work we’re able to do. The size of a client’s budget determines how much of the work we discussed earlier we can perform and the more we can do, the faster the results will be.
JF: Have you noticed any recent changes in the way google ranks sites that people who are considering article marketing should be aware of?
EB: If you are doing content marketing legitimately i.e. producing quality, unique content and hand distributing it in the right places then I don’t think you have to be scared of changes at the big, bad Google. The updates that they make are only ever to weed out spammers and improve the quality of indexed sites in their search engine. If you are doing things right, and really serving your market with your content marketing strategy, then you have nothing to worry about.
JF: I’ve noticed that even though my rankings went way up, I’m still not getting a whole lot more traffic from these keywords. What do you think might be the reason?
EB: It can take time for all the Google servers to update across all the different locations around the world. As that ranking solidifies over the coming month or two I’m sure you will start to see more of an increase in traffic.
Also, one really underrated part of SEO is the on-page optimization. Often people don’t realise that ranking on Page 1 and getting traffic aren’t always the same thing. It’s almost like there is two sciences to SEO: 1 is getting your site ranked on page 1 and the 2nd is actually getting people to click through to your site. They require 2 completely different skill sets.
When it comes to click through’s, there are certain things you can tweak with your on-site SEO in order to increase the traffic coming through to your website from Google.
We don’t have time to fully go into it but you mind find it to be the case that small improvements to your page titles and descriptions will increase the click through rates and amount of traffic you receive to the pages. That might be something we need to handle on the next challenge.
JF: If I do change the actual listing content to increase click-rates, will that mess with my ranking, considering that ranking likely comes at least in part from my own content?
EB: No, as long as you don’t for some reason take the keywords we were targeting out of the titles and descriptions then updating it shouldn’t hurt your rankings at all.
JF: And, if I do, will that eventually get re-spidered and pulled into the SERP?
EB: Yes definitely. The content marketing we performed will increase the amount of spider activity your site gets and thus increase the speed at which the changes you make will get re-indexed and updated in the SERPs.
JF: Okay, last question…so, this public challenge worked out really well for both of us, but when I asked you to agree to it, what went through your mind?
Once I had researched the keywords and got a feel for your competing market I was pretty confident. I’ve been perfecting my SEO system for awhile now and have got to a place where I can apply the same methods across basically any market and see similar results.
Although, the idea of failing in front of your JF-lovin audience was a good motivator for sure!
And, speaking of your community…
I’d love to offer your tribe a 10% discount on my services. Just tell them to mention your name.
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