Backlinking is an essential part of ranking high in Google for any topic from long distance to RC cars. Building a website just isn’t enough anymore-it’s only half the picture.
I’ve been marketing products on the Internet for over a decade and stated simply: traffic equals money. The better targeted the traffic is, the more you stand to make. So how do you get reliable traffic flow without working yourself to the bone or offending Google with spam?
The PAD Technique
I created the PAD Technique (Professional Article Distribution) at the end of the link sharing era back in 2004 when it was clear that something fresh was needed to catch the search engines’ attention.
It is not article marketing. You’re not mass spamming the Internet with duplicate content (which search engines will penalize you for) but instead you’re creating quality, targeted links that are more likely to bring you top rankings, and prospects (and ones that are likely to convert).
The 4 keys to effective traffic building through the PAD Technique are:
- Finding excellent websites on which to host articles
- Creating excellent articles (content is still king)
- Using the right anchor text for your links
- Being “picky” about the whole process
Getting a PAD campaign up and running does take a little work but once you have the groundwork laid you’d be surprised just how smoothly the process can go.
Step 1: Identify Suitable Sites
Because the PAD Technique uses targeted article distribution, the most important step is finding suitable sites on which to have your articles. “Suitable” does not mean “similar.”
When you approach competitors and ask them to publish your articles on their site, you’ll most likely get turned down.
Instead, what I do is find relevant and related websites not competitive ones. For example, if you’re marketing (I.e. long distance services), don’t approach other long distance sites, but rather look for sites that are relevant and related to your topic.
A few examples:
- You might search for websites that market cell phones with an article for their audience about how they can save money on long distance roaming charges.
- You could search for websites that talk about family with an article for their audience offering tips on how they can better connect with love ones by using Skype.
- You could search for websites that talk about saving money with an article for their audience sharing advice on reducing long distance expenses.
In all three examples above the topics are relevant and related but not competitive.
Step 2: Create Your Article
If you’re an expert on your topic and can write well, you could easily be your own best resource for creating these articles. However, I prefer to outsource-it saves time, effort, and allows me to be more productive by handling multiple projects at once.
I use inexpensive services like Elance to find copywriters able to produce excellent articles quickly and efficiently (for roughly $15-$17 per article).
It’s very important to have guidelines in place before handing the project over to a freelancer. See Step 5 for more on crafting great content.
Step 3: Identify Two Landing Pages on Your Site
The pages you link to from the articles you are distributing should be well designed, created with the call to action in mind, and lead the visitor to do what it is you want them to do.
- For subscriptions put the opt-in form “above the fold.”
- For direct sales send them to the review page.
- For return visits give them something to keep them interested.
Step 4: Develop
Your Anchor Text Link List
This is a key step for ranking high with search engines (including Google) for any topic from car insurance quotes, to lift chairs, inflatable boats, wood routers, Bowflex dumbbells, doll houses, even P90X workouts. The whole point of the PAD Technique, after all, is to get your links out there where they’ll get the most attention from Google.
I try to imagine what the type of people I want visiting my sites would type into Google when searching similar products or services. (They might use the term “long distance services” or than “long distance plans.”)
To help me with this, I use Google AdWords’ Keyword Tool. It’s free and helps me find all the keyword alternatives. I choose five or six of the best as the base for each PAD campaign.
(Quick Tip: You should have at least two links in each article. Some websites might restrict you but try to get two if you can).
Step 5: Write a Great Article
Whether you write the article yourself or outsource, content is still king. The articles you’re distributing should be high quality, offer helpful information, and be easy to read.
- I ask the webmaster for article topics if I don’t already have one in mind.
- Tailor the article to fit the website it will be on (webmasters appreciate it).
- Use bullets, subheadings, short paragraphs, and plenty of white space.
- And . . .
Step 6: Have a Killer Headline
If you can’t get your readers to get through the headline, they’re never going to read the rest of the article. Be informative (and/or witty) and brief-no more than 10 words at the most.
P.S. The webmasters you’re targeting will be your first readers–keep that in mind!
Step 7: Include Anchor Text in Your Article
It’s easy to get caught up in the act of writing and forget about the anchor text. Make sure the text is relevant, in a spot in the article that makes sense, and doesn’t get omitted or changed when the webmaster gets around to publishing your content.
Step 8: Create a Rapport with the Webmaster
The PAD Technique is not a one-shot deal. It is important to keep your momentum up if you want to rank highly in Google and other search engines for lift chairs, inflatable boats, Bowflex dumbbells, long distance or whatever your field may be. The more a webmaster likes you, the more willing they will be to publish your material (or let you have another link.)
Step 9: Follow Up
Life Happens. People get busy, distracted, and forgetful.
I give the webmasters a week to get my articles on their sites. If they still haven’t posted the content, I send a friendly reminder. Don’t always assume the worst-90% of the time they just overlooked it.
Also, it might do you good to send a thank you note after the content goes live.
Step 10: Rinse and Repeat
I’ve learned that the secret to the PAD Technique (and to Internet marketing in general) is repetition. When I get the first 10 articles out there I don’t stop. I make sure I get 20 more before I take a breather.
It’s also important to look at how your current articles are performing. Analyze what went right, what went wrong, and then start all over again with a new PAD campaign.
PADding Your Way to the Top
I’ve used and taught this technique for since 2004 and I can attest to its success. If you follow these steps to success you’ll build your traffic, increase your conversions, and create a steady income no matter what your field of interest.
James Martell is a successful author, podcaster, and speaker. He’s a leading expert in affiliate marketing and outsourcing as well as a specialist in SEO. James is host of the Affiliate Buzz podcast on WebmasterRadio.FM (the first ever and longest running podcast in the affiliate marketing industry), and creator of the Affiliate Marketers SUPER BootCamp. He lives in White Rock BC, a seaside suburb of Vancouver on west coast of Canada with his wife, Arlene.