I recently wrote about the difficulty we face in attempting serve two masters in article marketing.  In a nutshell, the problem is that we frequently want to use links in our articles to our “money pages” for the purposes of optimizing for search engines, but the readers are not yet at the purchasing stage in terms of their mental set as they are busy gathering information (the reason they found our syndicated article)..  In that article, I combined that conflict with another related issue:  With good website design, each page should have a single purpose.  That purpose is to satisfy our visitor’s desire.  In other words, we should not [deliver a prospect to our money page until they already want to go there–in other words, they’re ready to buy.]

Simply bringing the problem to the attention of article marketers was my goal in that previous piece.  With this article, I’ll try to bring some resolution to the dilemma.

Two ways to solve the problem present themselves.  One is to violate the rule of website design by letting our linked page offer two alternatives (both learning more and buying) for our readers who click through.  The other is to provide two kinds of links in our articles.  One link option or type leads to a landing page filled with valuable, additional content (and an opportunity to learn even more by signing up for our newsletter); the other type of link leads to our “money page,” primarily for the purpose of search engine optimization.  Of course we must make clear from the context of the link what the landing page will offer.

When presented with these two options, I recommend the second.  Allow me to elaborate on why I endorse this approach and what the respective landing page for each type of link will contain.

Remember that our distributed article attracted the readers because those readers intended to gather useful information.  If we want to entice them to click a link to actually come to our site, we must promise even more information that is pertient to them.  Of course, we always follow through with our promises or we shall immediately lose credibility.  In order to encourage our readers to actually click our link, we must give them truly interesting and valuable information the first time, while simultaneously leaving them with the impression that there is still more to learn.  Hence we link to a content page.

We also want to move them along that decision making continuum by implying that there is a product or service that will provide the ultimate solution to their current problem.  By making the implication that our product or service will be their ultimate solution, even after they have gathered all the necessary information, we have justified linking to our product or money page.

It is easiest to achieve the task of incorporating these two types of links within articles that we syndicate directly to other sites within our niche, because we can place those links contextually.  On the other hand, when we publish on article directories, we must make the connection between our informational link and our selling link more quickly as it must fit within our resource box and not within the article.

On of first type of linked page, we will move our prospects along the decision continuum.  Remember that the visitors have already been persuaded to accept our initial offer by clicking on our link, so they are in an agreeable frame of mind.  They are no long “just readers,” they have become serious prospects.  Consequently, we make our link to the actual buying page very prominent on this content page, but we really put most of our efforts into getting them to give us contact information in exchange for a free buyers guide, a free report, or a free short course. 

We establish ourselves as experts in our distributed content, so we are “selling” that expertise to our readers.  What we sell on our linked (landing) page is our integrety, by establish our credibility.  Once we have their contact information we can begin selling our product, subtly at first and then with increasing urgency.

Remember that the other type of link takes the clicker (or the search engine robot) to our page where we directly sell our product or service.  Since the purpose of that link is primarily search engine optimization, it is especially important that our anchor (linking) text is at once an accurate description of the selling page and a useful long tail keyword with implicit commercial value.

We have different roles as marketers and authors.  Wearing the marketing hat, our foremost goal is to make a sale, but as writers we worry about the flow of our prose even above its financial reward.  First we sell the article readers on their need for more information and convince them that they can find that information by clicking our link.  Second we sell the search engine spiders on the accuracy of our description of our selling page by making sure that the linking text and the page match in meaningful ways.

About Ryan Perry

Ryan Perry has taken his 10+ years of business ownership and hands-on marketing skills and focused them on online marketing. In April of 2009, he started Simple Biz Support with an emphasis on Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Ryan is propelling local business websites to the top of Google, Yahoo and Bing resulting in increased market exposure and revenue for his clients using a variety of internet marketing tools including blogs, article submissions and video. Additionally, Ryan speaks and vlogs (video blogs) about internet marketing, educating business owners how to effectively use various SEO tools and techniques to promote their business on the internet. Ryan currently resides in Santa Rosa, CA. Connect with Ryan on Google+