If you own a local, brick and mortar business, you may be wondering what role online marketing (specifically article marketing) can have in bringing attention to your business. After all, your customers are local–What good does it do you if someone in Morocco is viewing your article when your business is in Miami?
I can totally understand how there is a lot of confusion on this matter, because marketing in the offline world is totally different from marketing online. In this article I’m going to answer some of the most common questions that local business owners have about how business article marketing can work for them.
First off, you should know that when you market online, the thing that you are marketing is your website. Of course, your website is all about your business, so in a round about way you are marketing your business, but when you submit articles, your goal is to draw more attention to your website.
Specifically, your goal is to make it so that your website gets a high ranking in Google and the other search engines when people search for certain phrases related to your business. Your ultimate goal is to be in the number one spot, but it’s also great to simply make it on to page one of the results lists when people do searches related to your general topic.
Does that make sense? That’s a crucial point that is often misunderstood. When marketing online, it’s all about positioning your website so that it is viewed by people who would be interested in your topic.
How does article marketing accomplish this?
You write articles on your niche. If you are a dentist, then you will write articles on oral health care. If you are a real estate agent, then you will write articles on how to sell or buy houses. You get the idea…
In the article you won’t mention anything about your business or your website–you’ll simply write an educational article that teaches your reader about something or how to do something related to your niche.
Along with your article you’ll also submit what is called a resource box. A resource box is rather like the author bios you see on book jackets–it’s a little bit “about the author”. In the resource box you provide your name, share a little about your business, offer a good reason for the reader to visit your website, and then give a link to your site.
The article is essential in getting your content picked up by publishers, and your resource box is essential in making those publications work to your benefit. The link in the resource box helps you in two ways:
1 – When your article is published on a website, the resource box with the link is published as well.
The object is for your article to be republished on many sites–every time your article is republished, more links are generated that link back to your website. Those links play a significant role in how Google determines where your website is ranked. By getting a higher website ranking, more people will be funneled into your website from Google and the other search engines.
Think of Google as being a referral service–people come to it and say “can you help me find such-and-such?”. And Google says “Yes, let me give you a list of web pages that I think have the information you’re looking for.”
You’ve probably already guessed this, but people use Google to discover information even more than the telephone book. When they need a local provider of some service, they “google” they thing they need, and they find the service provider through the website. The main idea with article marketing is to get your website high on Google’s referral list.
2 – A secondary benefit is that when people run across your articles, they click the link in your resource box and are taken to your website. That is direct traffic from the articles. It’s a perk, but the big payday you’re going for is traffic from Google.
Now, with this in mind, let’s go back to the original question:
You know that websites are viewable from anywhere in the world–how do you know if your article is being viewed by people who are in your town?
Answer: Your concern is not for the individuals who are looking at your articles, but rather for the effect that your article publications are having on your website’s search engine ranking.
The people who look at your articles could be all over the globe, but that’s okay. Your customers will find your website when they do a Google search for phrases associated with your business and your location. By using those phrases in your resource box you basically tell Google to associate your website with those search terms.
So, it’s the website ranking that’s the key–don’t worry about people from all over the world randomly finding your articles. By consistently marketing with articles, you position your website to receive referrals from Google for people who are in your town who are looking for your specific type of service or product.