Writing articles is an excellent way to promote your website. Links from your articles drive traffic to your site. They aid in your search engine optimization efforts. These two facts lead to the simple conclusion that the more an article is redistributed and republished, the more traffic a site will acquire.
A few well known methods for ensuring that your article is republished are:
- Writing unique and useful content
- Writing articles between 600 and 1000 words
- Optimizing your articles for high traffic search engine keywords
These are all excellent methods, but much like a glass of orange juice, scrambled egg and slice of toast aren’t “complete” without a bowl of Cheerios, neither is your article submission without HTML.
Below are 4 reasons why you should be using HTML every time you submit.
1.) More Traffic:
Internet readers are lazy. According to renowned web usability expert, Jakob Nielsen of Useit.com, readers are much more likely to read web copy if it is “scannable.”
Scannable web copy:
- Bolds important points in paragraphs
- Breaks long paragraphs down into shorter ones
- Makes use of bulleted lists
- Clearly marks off new thoughts with section headers.
Text that is scannable will yield readers that get to the end of that text, which in turn will yield more clicks on your links i.e. more traffic! The scannability of your text is severely limited without the use of HTML.
2.) Formatted Text is More “Publisher Friendly”:
Publishers are looking for scannable web copy in the articles they publish. Take for example this excerpt regarding preferred formatting techniques from one of the Internet’s most trusted domains, About.com.
“Avoid lengthy paragraphs and provide the [article] in Web reading format where people tend to scan and read less. Include bullet points and sub headings to make reading easy and enjoyable. Please provide additional links to web sites that a reader may explore the topic in greater depth.”
This particular About.com subdomain boasts a Google Page Rank of 7 as well as thousands of visitors every day. Along with other standard submission techniques, HTML in your submission will give you the best chance of getting featured on this site.
3.) Control of Anchor Text:
Anchor text is one the most influential factors when it comes to search engine rankings. By using HTML in your article submissions, every link that you acquire will be fully optimized for the search engines.
Without HTML, your links can not be optimized to the same degree. While it is true that the text surrounding an active link is taken into consideration by search engine algorithms, it is not weighted nearly as heavily as the actual anchor text of that link.
Anchor text can only be manipulated using HTML.
4.) Speed of Submissions:
Most article submission software or automated submission services will speak to the contrary of this point. They do not allow HTML formatting in their mass submissions and they generally cite two reasons why not:
- Most article directories don’t accept HTML
- With all the variances in article submission sites, it’s too slow to submit HTML
Both of these statements are false. Submission software and services haven’t taken the time to compile the proper resources that make these statements true. Fortunately, I have.
I have compiled a list of 80 HTML-friendly article submission sites, complete with statistics detailing Page Rank, domain backlinks and more. Using that list and a plug-in for the Firefox Web Brower called “Fireform,” I am able to submit to all 80 of these sites in about an hour.
Both of the resources I use to submit to all of these sites are free.
A Few Notes on HTML Submissions:
- When submitting, make sure you use only simple HTML. I stick to a, br, b, u, i, ul (not ol), li, and blockquote.
- Nobody likes p tags. Don’t use them.
- Make sure you close all of your tags.
- Test your HTML in a simple text editor before you submit it.
- Put the entirety of your HTML on one single line for faster submissions.
HTML-formatting is to article submissions what Lucky Charms is to “this complete breakfast.” While a tall glass of orange juice, slice of toast, and ruby red grapefruit half are pretty good, it just isn’t right without those purple horseshoes, yellow stars and red balloons.
Likewise, make sure you are writing fresh content, using keywords, connecting with your audience, writing articles between 600 and 1000 words, AND formatting using HTML to make the most out of your article submissions.