Originally uploaded by Darwin Bell
From time to time I’ll get an email from a person saying, “I’ve submitted several articles and I’m still not seeing results.”
My first questions to them are always–
* What type of results are you looking for?
* What is your means of measuring your results?
* How long have you been article marketing and how many articles a month have you been submitting?
Sometimes the person’s answer is,
“I don’t think I’m getting any results because I haven’t had very much of an increase in sales on my website, which is why I’m doing article marketing. I submitted 5 articles the first month, then I got busy the second month and didn’t submit any, and this month (my third month) I’ve submitted a couple.”
At this point I’m wishing that I had the ability to turn back the hands of time so that I could tell this person some very helpful tips before she started that would have eased her mind, helped her measure her results more accurately, and increased her success rate.
For anyone who has just stared doing article marketing, or is on the verge of starting, or who is considering starting, I’ve got 5 tips for you that will make your life easier.
Oh, and even if you’ve been submitting articles for a while now and didn’t have these tips when you started–it is never to late to do these! 🙂
1) Have a realistic time frame for results.
Although a article marketing can produce dramatic results right away for some folks (for example if your article gets picked up by a major ezine and sent out to tons of folks), it is generally a long term marketing strategy that usually does not show significant results for several months.
The reason for this is that Google and the other search engines don’t update your rankings on a daily or even a monthly basis–usually their cycles run every 3 or 4 months where they will re-establish the ranking of a website based on incoming links.
So, when you start article marketing, you may see a dramatic result right from the start if one of your articles gets picked up by a major ezine or something, but please do not expect to see immediate drastic results. Commit to doing your article marketing consistently over the long term, and know that it will likely take 4 months or so to see a noticeable impact.
2) Make a note of your traffic baseline.
Writing things down helps soooo much. It’s easy to say after the fact, “Well, I think I remember my traffic being higher than this previously” but if you aren’t conscientiously tracking things your memory may be a bit foggy.
There are stats programs out there to help us track traffic–use one of them! Then, create a spreadsheet where you insert your monthly traffic results. Or, if your traffic tracking program generates monthly reports, use those, but please don’t look at your stats and try to go off of memory for a few months back. We want concrete data!
For the last completed month, jot down what your traffic was. This is your traffic baseline.
3) Check how many backlinks you have before you start your article marketing campaign.
Google has a cool way of checking your backlinks. Just type this into the search box: link:http://yourwebsite.com (you would substitute the URL of your website after the “link:” part).
After pressing the “search” button, you should see a list of results that indicate the websites that are linking to your site. In the upper right area of the page, you can see the number of sites that are linking to your site.
In your notebook or spreadsheet, or whatever you’re using to keep track of all this information, jot down the number of your website’s backlinks. This is your baseline for your backlinks.
4) Check your ranking for your keywords.
This sounds like it might be technical, but it’s not! It’s soooo easy–just type your keyword or keyword phrase in the Google search box.
Where does your site come up in the results pages?
Are you at #5, #25, #357 or something else?
Whatever your ranking is, jot down that number. This is your keywords baseline. Repeat this process for all your keyword phrases and make a note of your rankings.
Oh, and what if you can’t find your website in the results listings?
Everyone has to start somewhere, and remember that even the #1 site on the search results pages at one time wasn’t visible ranked at all! You are just starting out–you don’t have ranking yet or perhaps you’re so low on the ranking that you’re not even listed.
This is fine–you’re starting to market your website at least–just make a note saying that you’re unranked. You’re about to change that! 🙂
5) Check your PageRank (click that link if you’re not sure what PageRank is).
It also isn’t hard to check what your website’s PageRank is–just install the free Google Tool Bar found at http://www.toolbar.google.com
When you install that tool bar, you’ll be able to see what your web page’s PageRank is by looking at the PageRank bar (it will turn green when your web page has PageRank). Hover your cursor over the PageRank bar and you’ll see a message similar to this:
“PageRank is Google’s view of the importance of this page (5/10)”.
In this example, the web page has a PageRank of 5– when they say 5/10, they mean that it has a PageRank of 5 out of a possible 10. Zero is the lowest and 10 is the highest. (We are all aiming for a 10, but it will take a while to achieve that!)
So, look up your PageRank and jot that number down in your stats tracking journal. This is your PageRank baseline.
If your web page doesn’t have PageRank yet the bar will be clear, and the message will say “No PageRank information available”
If that’s the case, no worries. This probably means that your site is brand spankin’ new, and you’re doing a great thing by starting an article marketing campaign!
Diversifying Your Eggs
As you can see, there are several ways that you can measure results when you start your article marketing campaign–if you become super focused on any one aspect to the exclusion of the others you will end up with a distorted view of your results, and you’ll get an “all eggs in one basket” effect.
When measuring our online marketing results we want to diversify our eggs–have several avenues for measuring results. Why?
Well, search engines are in a constant state of flux, so one area may be going great while another area is at a momentary stand still or has even taken a few steps back.
Just to give you an idea of what you can expect as you’re trying to build traffic and links to your website (and this is true whether you’re using article marketing or some other marketing tool):
A Day In The Life Of A Website Owner
You check your stats and notice that your PageRank has increased (yay 🙂 ).
Then on the same day you notice that you’ve moved down a couple notches in the search results for one of your keyword terms (boo 🙁 ).
But your traffic has increased (yay 🙂 ).
Oh, but there is not a noticeable difference in the amount of sales you’re making on your site (boo 🙁 )
Now, you can see that if you were only looking at one of these stats that you wouldn’t be getting the whole picture. This is why I measure several areas, because you won’t necessarily be seeing results for each of these areas at the same time.
I always advise people that when you’re starting your article marketing campaign to commit to it for at least 4 months. Submit your articles on a regular schedule, be consistent month after month after month.
Check your stats each month if you like, or just check them again at the en
d of 4 months. I do check my stats every month, but I don’t expect to see results for several months when I’m starting a new article marketing campaign.