Friday, 25 May 2012

Article Directories and Publishing Articles

As part of a search engine optimisation (SEO) strategy, many companies go down the route of writing articles to publish online. The theory is that unique, interesting content can draw visitors to your site along with boosting the site’s ranking on search engine results pages. In fact, article publishing is held in such esteem that any SEO company you enlist the help of will likely suggest it as an integral part of your optimisation process.
The dilemma for many companies is whether to publish the articles on their own site or use dedicated article directory websites.

The benefit of using an article directory is that your quality articles will be exposed to a large audience; potentially far larger than your company’s site currently reaches. The general idea of the directories is that website owners publish content for others to use and copy. It is usually free or at least cheap to publish the articles and in return you receive links back to your website.

On the other hand there are some potential drawbacks. Firstly, if you publish a top notch article through an article site, the majority of internet traffic it generates will be for the article directory site itself. Readers of the article are much more likely to link the content with your company if it is published on your own website.

Moreover, the users of your website will actually have to navigate away from your site to read the article.

Finally, anyone that links to that article from their own site will only be improving the search engine ranking of the article directory and not your site!

So is there any point in using article directories at all then?

In a nutshell, yes there is. Despite the potential drawbacks, if you submit content sensibly there is no reason you cannot benefit from submitting your articles to online directories.

Firstly, keep the best content for yourself, particularly if it is likely to generate incoming links. Post your good content on article directories and never publish anything that has been copied or is poorly written.

In addition, check that the article directory you are using includes a link back to your own site somewhere in the article. This way there is at least a chance that your articles will generate traffic towards your website.

Finally, do not publish individual articles in more than once place as search engines tend to use only one version in their rankings. If someone copies your article then fine, do not lose any sleep over this. Reposting your own content though is a waste of your time.

To conclude, article directories can certainly be used as part of an SEO strategy if treated with caution and care. For a full SEO package, consider enlisting the help of an SEO company or talk to leading marketing companies who will be able to draw up a comprehensive plan to increase your search engine ranking. Meanwhile, if you are looking for somewhere to start, article directories like Ezine Articles and Buzzle are widely regarded as two of the best.

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