3 Arguments for Adding Articles to Your Website

24 September, 2011

web content, web copywriting

CarsDirect.com, Mortgage101.com, and Nolo.com are three good arguments. All three (owned by Internet Brands) consist of a front-facing transactional customer landing page and feature large sections devoted to “research articles.”

  • CarsDirect.com is an “online car buying service and research portal.” Site traffic has rocketed to over 1.8 million unique visitors a month. Behind its car-buying interface, is a large library of relevant research articles. In fact the site has set up an RSS feed specifically for its article directory.
  • Mortgage101.com targets visitors looking for mortgage calculators and while there also offers a stable of “research” articles by the dozens. Monthly traffic: ~75,000 uniques.
  • Nolo.com offers prospective customers legal forms, legal books for sale, and a directory for looking up attorneys. The site is clearly content heavy, with a blog and article repository, and attracts 588,000+ visitors every month.

Smart or stupid of them? Yes, they had to pay a lot of additional money to web content writers, but what’s the potential ROI? What are the advantages to offering this type of deeper and more resilient content?

Is Your Site Too Skinny?

All 3 sites I mention above would be pretty anemic without their additional content libraries. Three reasons why the article libraries are a good idea for many sites:

1. The SEO value cannot be emphasized enough. With the addition of research articles, informational or educational articles, white papers or whatever you’d like to call them, you have the automatic ability to add many many more pages to the site. Each page is yet another one or two keywords/phrases and another opportunity to rank higher in the search results.

2. Educational/Research articles keep users on the site longer. Users that stay on the site longer can be served exponentially more ads, Calls-To-Action, therefore increasing your chances of driving revenue. Articles and related content that are internally linked may also extend the user experience and boost conversion.

3. Opportunity to monetize with Adsense and other advertising. With each and every webpage you add to your site, the more real estate you have for serving ads. All of these sites carry similar ads throughout (mortgage calculator, lawyer finder, etc.), but they also allow space to serve Google Adsense, which can display ads that match a page’s content.

I said 3 arguments, but there is a #4: Fattening a customer interface, product site, transactional site with research and educational articles can help make you relevant in your market. By “relevant” I mean you become a knowledge source, an expert and an authority. But here’s the thing: if you have  _# of other competitors with the same strategy, same “tone” and style, and similar  articles, your challenge becomes doing it bigger and better on all counts and content can help distinguish you from others.

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