Photo courtesy of House of Sims
Article Submission Table of Contents:
Article submission and syndicate services are an effective way to build anchor text links to your deeper pages. Building deep links can be one of the most difficult parts of SEO, especially for product pages. The effectiveness of article submission for inbound link building and ranking is often debated in the SEO community, but I’ve seen plenty of instances of ranking changes that I can attribute directly to syndicated article submission links. But as with everything in SEO, it's best to test the theory yourself.
One of the other benefits of article submission is the articles themselves can rank on the first page on Google, often for mid or long tail keywords, and drive moderate traffic. So if your site/page is already displaying on page one for target keywords, getting an article also listed helps with brand management and controlling additional SERP real estate.
Getting your article accepted at an article submission site and picked up for syndication isn’t a slam dunk. Most of these sites have pretty strict standards (the good ones anyway), which is really what you want for your articles. Sites that accept plagiarized or garbage content and have loose editorial standards don’t get articles distributed as widely or as frequently. So it’s important to align yourself with good sites.
Here are some of the best practices I’ve found for getting your articles accepted and syndicated:
- Don’t add links in the body of the article – Links to your site should reside in the bio or “about the author” section.
- Keep links in the bio to three max – More than three and you can/will get rejected
- Don’t promote your company in the body of the article – Save that for the bio section
- Don’t plagiarize – Editors at article submission sites aren’t fools. The good ones only print original content. However, you can “repackage” your own content. For example, if your site already has good content, you can repackage it. Come up with new titles, rework the content and make sure it passes the engines test. Run queries on the random lines of content and make sure your original article doesn’t show up in the SERPs.
- Don’t keyword stuff – Many sites (Ezine Articles) have a pretty strict “keyword density” (ugh...) rule of no more than 1.5%, so you need to adhere to these guidelines and not be spammy or they'll reject your article.
- No misspellings or grammatical errors – This is pretty self-explanatory.
I’ve gone through dozens of submission services and a lot of trial and error searching for article submission services that offer the best distribution channels, customer service, value and potential for syndicated, followed links. Here's a list of my favorite submission sites and services.
iSnare – Great site, in my opinion. iSnare has a vast distribution network and majority of partner sites follow links. iSnare uses a “credits” system where you can buy bulk credits for roughly $2 per article submission to over a 1000 sites. The more credits you buy, the cheaper the service. The downsides to iSnare are getting an article approved for distribution can often take a month. Also, they’re pretty strict with submission guidelines and will often reject your article without notice or reason, which can be frustrating after waiting a month to get it published.
RCP Links – RCP Links offers another great service. They submit initially to Ezine Articles--one of the more respected article publishers--and an RCP representative works with you directly to make sure your article passes the Ezine guidelines and gets accepted. Recently, RCP made a minor error in submissions and credited me the next round free. Pretty cool! Price: $25 for 100 links
Submit Comfort – I’ve been using Submit Comfort (formerly SEO Creations) for six months now. They have a nice partner network and nice distribution channels. My only complaint is lately they’re distributing to publishers that nofollow links. Hopefully, this is only temporary and they clean up their act. Price: $30 for 100 submissions.
Submit Shop – Submit Shop is another good submission service that gets good distribution. You can log into an account and track your articles and download submission reports. Price: $35 for 100 submissions.
If you’re submitting articles to build deep links, it's important to vary the linking sources to create a more diversified and natural linking profile. To do this, I recommend submitting to a variety of different submission services because they use different distribution channels. This way, you're casting a wider net.
Keeping track of all your submissions and which links you’ve used for which services, especially if you got a site with hundreds of pages of content you’re building links to can get confusing. I use a few different documents for this. One records articles submitted, including titles, which service I used and dates submitted and accepted.
Another tracks my link building efforts in a spreadsheet like this:
This method keeps everything organized, so you don’t duplicate your link building efforts or miss out on opportunities. For example, I can clearly see that “dog training collars” can still be used in articles for three out of the four services I use, whereas “leather dog collars” has been linked through all. This level of organization is extremely helpful when you're dealing with hundreds of pages/links.
In addition, I track where the article was reprinted through Yahoo Site Explorer, so I can see which articles and services get the most syndication and links to inform my future submission and content creation efforts.
If you decide to use article submission services, be aware that many sites will scrape your original content, reprint it on their sites and dump your links. It's frustrating, but it’s par for the course with content theft across the Web.
My suggestion is that, as you track your submissions with Yahoo Site Explorer and you do find sites that have scraped content and dumped your article links, shoot the site owner an email and ask if they would replace the links. Sometimes it works.
Finally, if there are any article submission services you use and recommend that I’ve left off the list, feel free to share them.