__"What's your goal when writing and publishing articles?"__ "To get more links." __"Why?"__ "To boost my search engine rankings." __"Why?"__ "So more people will visit my site." __"Why do you want more people?"__ "Because I want to make more sales [get more newsletter sign ups, generate more leads, etc.]."
Do you see what happened? The initial thought about getting better rankings quickly changed to a goal of getting more conversions. You can't have conversions without people. So your ultimate objective is not to use article marketing for search engine purposes. That's simply a means to an end. What you really want is people. So that begs the question: why are you writing articles designed strictly for search engines? Many people get so caught up in the link building aspect of article writing that they completely forget the fact that people will also be reading these pieces. What's more, it's the people who will take action by either clicking to your site or shuffling off to someone else's web page. So yes, include a few keyphrase mentions in strategic places for the sake of the engines, but don't clutter your article with writing designed solely to attract search engine bots with no meaty content for human beings. No search engine has ever clicked a link in an article bio then proceeded to sign up for a list, purchase a product or fill out a lead-generation form. But your potential customers will. Which is exactly why they should be the first consideration during the creation of any article you write. Search engine link building should be secondary. ## 4 things to consider before writing another word More often than not, people sit down, put fingers to keyboard and begin rambling on about what they want to tell their readers. Little or no consideration is given to what the readers might want to learn. Additionally, even less thought is given to who your specific readers (target customers) are. That usually makes for some pretty generic material that doesn't really spark a flame with too many people. The result? A so-so article that nobody is especially thrilled with and few people want to republish. Not the way to build links or drive people to your site, for sure. So, before you write another word, I encourage you read this excerpt from my new Wordtracker Masterclass ebook entitled [__Article Marketing: The Write Way to Build More Links__](http://www.wordtracker.com/ebooks/article-marketing). Imagine yourself sitting down at your computer to write a new article. The topic? Laptop computers. What would you say in your article? You might start by explaining the benefits of laptops vs desktop computers, the features available and the newest technological advances. But if you stop to think about these three points, you’ll quickly see that they radically change depending on which of several types of people the article is written to. For instance, laptops are now available in a huge array of sizes. From handheld devices to 10” netbooks to 20” desktop-replacement models, laptops run the gamut of dimensions. Sure, you could include information on every size and give tips on who might choose which, but that would produce a really broad article that wasn’t of particular interest to anyone. What good is that? With a bit of research and forethought, you would quickly be able to write a piece that piques the interest of one specific group of people (your target audience or a segment of your target audience). Which do you believe would achieve the best results long term? A shallow article with little useful information (mostly a wide range of fluff and keywords)? Or an article written with one group of people in mind, aimed at answering their specific questions and at giving them detailed information that is especially useful in their decision-making process? I think the question answers itself. Let’s look back at our broad laptop computer example. How would that article change if it was written for senior citizens (generally people over 55 years old)? First, you’d need to outline the concerns and preferences senior citizens have with regard to laptops. What does the older set want from a laptop computer? What do they hope to avoid? Many seniors are hesitant about technology: what concerns or fears does your reader have? Regardless of the article topic, you need to outline these four things before you write. 1. __Who__ is your reader? 2. What is his/her __relationship__ to the subject matter (how experienced are they)? 3. What is your readers’ __attraction__ to the subject matter (why are they interested in it)? 4. Does your reader have __fears__/skepticisms/anxieties about the topic (what makes them hesitant about it)? See what a difference using this process makes? Just from those 4 questions you've got a lot more detailed content ideas running through your brain, don't you? And it will show in the quality of the articles you write after giving due consideration to your audience. The more you know about the target audience the more engaging your writing will be to your readers. And the more engaging it is to your readers, the more clicks you'll get and the more your articles will be shared and republished. Now that's the __write__ way to build more links AND impress humans at the same time. Like this article? Then you might also like [__Why article marketing still rocks for link building__](http://www.wordtracker.com/academy/article-marketing-link-building), also by Karon Thackston.
About Karon Thackston
Karon Thackston is President of Marketing Words which provides SEO & web copywriting services plus professional copywriting training.
Copy not getting results? Want to learn to write natural-sounding SEO copy yourself? Check out Karon's complete copywriting course, keyword optimization guide, and other books today.
If you prefer, contact Marketing Words for a web copywriting quote.