Contributed articles are time-tested and proven PR techniques.
By writing articles that leverage their industry experience and expertise, business leaders establish themselves as thought leaders and subtly promote their companies.
Although most contributed articles are placed through direct contact with editors and publishing houses, the Internet has opened up a new world of placement opportunities. With great content just a mouse click away, some editors use search engines (e.g. Google or Yahoo) to identify contributed articles for publication.
If you're a business leader who relies on contributed articles as part of your PR strategy, you should continue to pursue article placements with targeted publications. However, you should also include SEO in your contributed article placement arsenal.
SEO can make your article or online content more visible to publishers and editors. To get there you just need to implement a few basic SEO techniques:
- Include links to your article in social media. By now both you and your company should have an established presence on social media websites like Twitter and Facebook. After you create an online article include a brief description and a link to it in your social media feed. Inbound links (a.k.a. back links) are the most effective way to attract the attention of search engines.
- Reference the article in other PR venues. Include frequent references to your article in other online PR venues like press releases, white papers, interviews, email marketing pieces, etc. Your goal is to include a link to your article in as many online vehicles as possible.
- Use keywords in the title and main body of the article. The most important place to include targeted keywords is in the title of your article. Resist the temptation to get fancy or creative with titling – instead, maximize SEO by using words editors are likely to search for when they need an article like the one you've written.
- Send an email to your clients. If your article topic appeals to your customers, sometimes it makes sense to send an email to your customer base that describes the article and includes a convenient link to the article on your website. Sure, they'll benefit from the article's content. But more importantly, many of them will click on the link – and when they do, they'll increase your article's search engine ranking.