Shareable content is a great byproduct of any effective content strategy, this same content is also great for your SEO. Shareable content impacts key off-site signals that are crucial to improving your organic search ranking, including backlinks, customer engagement, and brand awareness.
We all know that shareable content is good for your online marketing efforts but what constitutes sharable content and how can brands create shareable content?
Creating shareable content, or potentially viral content is typically a well-planned effort that requires planning and strategic content development. In this article, we’ll discuss why shareable content is good for your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy.
Here are three reasons why sharable content is good for your SEO strategy:
Increase in backlinks –
A couple years ago, Google disclosed that backlinks (links from other external domains) are one of their top ranking factors. These days, backlinks (aka external links) are still among the top correlated ranking factors for organic search.
Having shareable content increases the likelihood of gaining external links from other sites. Creating high-quality, engaging content is the backbone of any good link building strategy.
Increase in brand awareness –
Brand awareness is another byproduct of having shareable content and by having more individuals see your content. This can increase repeat visitors to your website and increase trust with your brand.
Google understands the percentage of branded and non-branded queries that users use to find your site (they have referral query data in Google Search Console). Having a stronger, more reputable brand can increase your visibility in search results and drive more organic search visits.
Increase in in engagement –
As one of the goals of any SEO strategy, driving engagement with your target audience can lead to more conversions and interactions with your brand. User engagement signals and user experience have become more important over the years for organic search ranking.
Particularly with user experience, Google has had algorithm updates over the past few years prioritizing site speed, mobile friendliness and intrusive pop-ups hindering user experience.
There’s also a known correlation between click-through-rate (CTR) and better ranking in organic search. Google can understand the “long click” versus “short click” from search results and prioritize results with “long click,” knowing users are interacting more with that particular piece of content.
How to discover shareable content topics?
Now we know why shareable content is so important, the big question is how do we discover shareable content topics? There are a few ways to research and plan new topics that are already popular to inspire your shareable content creation.
Using social listening can help determine what kind of content your target audience is interested in seeing what’s being shared and liked on social channels. This includes researching your social profiles as well as competitors to analyze user behavior.
Using third-party tools to see what is popular within a particular niche can be helpful. For example, searching in Buzzsumo will show the most shared and popular pieces of content for a particular subject.
Ahrefs is also a useful tool to see what content is most popular with your competitors. This can be used for specific ‘how-to’ and expert advice articles are among the most shared and linked pieces of content across a site.
Wrapping up, shareable content is important for improving organic search signals and should be part of any SEO strategy. Shareable content can impact your search engine optimization strategy by:
Increasing brand awareness
Increasing brand awareness
Discovering content ideas for shareable content starts with understanding your audience and what’s popular within your niche. Use third-party tools, such as Buzzsumo or Ahrefs, to find popular content within your target market or topic.
Google is dependent on good search results and makes it a priority to find the fest content for its search results. To do this Google is a totally automated search engine that relies on software called web crawlers that explore the internet regularly to find sites to add to their index. Many of the websites listed on Google’s search results have not been manually submitted to be included, thanks to these automated bots that crawl the internet periodically. In order to determine if your website is already on Google’s index by searching your website’s URL. Even though Google crawls and indexes literally billions of websites, it is possible that some get overlooked. When this happens, it likely one of a few reasons; Google may have received an error while attempting to crawl the site, the website design makes it hard for Google to effectively crawl the content, it’s a new site that hasn’t had time to be crawled yet, or the website isn’t well connected from other websites on the internet.
Google offers guidelines to help build a website that is crawler friendly. There can be no guarantee that a crawler will find the website, but when the guidelines are followed it makes it much more likely that it will be crawled, thus appearing in Google’s search results. Google’s Search Console is able to provide tools that aid in submitting content to Google, and are able to monitor how the website is performing in the search results. Search Console is even able to send website owners alerts on important issues that have been encountered with a website or mobile application.
Are You in Need of an SEO?
SEO stands for search engine optimization or optimizer, and hiring someone to do this is a huge decision that has the potential to exponentially improve a website. On the flip side, this can also potentially damage the website and its reputation. If you are thinking about it, you should research the advantages and disadvantages of hiring someone.
Many SEO agencies and consultants will provide useful services including but not limited to:
Reviewing a website’s content and/or structure
Information on specific markets and geographies
You need to realize that Google’s search results pages will include both organic search results as well as paid advertisements. When you choose to advertise with Google, there will not be any effect on the presence of the website within the search results—the money paid isn’t for increasing rank in search results. It is totally free to appear in Google’s organic search results pages. There are many free resources from Google to provide information about how to optimize a website for organic search results, like Search console, their discussion forum, and the official Webmaster Central blog.
While starting a search for SEO, work to become familiar with how search engines actually work. Also, the earlier in the process of creating a website that you hire someone for SEO, the better. This can be when launching a new website, or even if you are thinking about a website redesign. That way, the website will be search engine friendly from top to bottom.
What to Ask when investing in SEO
If you hire someone for SEO you need to make sure that they are trustworthy. Some topics to ask them about include previous work, their familiarity with Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, their marketing services, their experience regarding the industry and location of the site, their length of time in the business, and what is the best way to communicate with them. Those who work in SEO have the ability to provide valuable services, but those unethical SEOs have tainted the industry through overly aggressive marketing techniques and attempts to unfairly manipulate search engines. It is vital to know that anyone who violates Google’s guidelines will receive negative consequences, like a lower adjustment in search results presence or even total removal altogether.
These are some things to consider when looking for someone to help you with your SEO: there is no possible way that anyone can guarantee a number 1 ranking on Google. A company should not be secretive and needs to be able to clearly explain what they intend to do. You should also not never be asked to link to their firm.
Make Your Website Google Friendly
You will need to give your visitors high-quality information, this is even more important on the main page. If the pages of the site contain information that is useful, the content is likely to attract more visitors and even provoke other webmasters to link to your site on theirs. To create the type of information that will get this reaction, the content should be helpful and rich in information that accurately and clearly describes your chosen topic.
While you want others to link to your website, you should be linking other websites on yours as well. This helps web crawlers to find the website and then give it greater visibility in the search results. This is possible because Google uses advanced text-matching software to provide pages that are important and relevant to the search. Pages that link to each other are essentially a vote of confidence in one another and shows to Google as being more important. These algorithms have the ability to distinguish natural links from unnatural links. Natural links are those that develop as a normal part of the web when other websites discover your content and find it valuable and helpful to their audience. On the other hand, unnatural links are those that are placed with a specific strategy in mind in order to make a website appear to be more valuable. Do know that only those links that are natural are the ones that matter when crawling and indexing a website in order to determine the ranking.
A website needs to have a logical structure of the links. Each page needs to be reachable from one or more static text links. It is recommended to use a text browser like Lynx to review your website. Viewing it like this is similar to how many web crawlers will see it, so just in case any extra features keep you from seeing the entire site through it, you’ll know that it is difficult for a bot to crawl it.
What To Avoid
Do not stuff your content with lists of keywords, attempt to hide pages, or make pages only available to crawlers. If there are pages, text, or links that are not intended for visitors to see, then Google sees this is deceptive and could ignore the website.
You should also not feel obligated to pay for an SEO service. Some companies will claim to give you a higher ranking for your site, while others will realistically improve the content and flow of the website. It is vital to be able to distinguish the good from the bad when looking at SEO services.
Images should not be used when displaying important names, links, or content. The crawlers do not recognize the text within the graphics. If images are needed, you should be using the ALT attributes to give information about these graphics.
You should also not be creating more than one copy of a page under different URLs. Many websites opt to have text only or printer friendly version of their pages, and they contain the same information as their graphic-rich counterpart.
Appear as a Featured “In-depth article”
These are the articles that appear when searching for things like a specific person or an organization. They are highlighted in the search results, as they provide high-quality content that will help users to learn more about a topic. This feature is based on an algorithm, but there are certain steps that can be taken as a webmaster that will help Google to discover your high quality, in-depth content for users that are looking for it.
You should have all of the following features in place: a headline, alternative headline, an image that can be crawled and indexed, a description, the date published, and a body for the article. If the content is broken up into multiple parts, it should have proper pagination that will aid the algorithm in being able to correctly identify the extent of the articles. Also, it is very important to correctly canonicalize the pages of the content broken up into multiple pages.
A logo is a great way for any user to recognize the source of content in just a simple glance. Being a webmaster, there are a few ways that you can let Google know which logo should be used for your website. You can generate a Google+ page and then link it to your website. Here, you will choose an icon or official logo to use as the default image. Or, you can use organization markup in order to pinpoint your logo. If either of these things are done, it may take a little time for the changes to be reflected in the search results.
Follow these Basic Principles
Keep in mind your target audience and provide quality content for them and not search engines. You should not be working in a way that will deceive users that visit the page—more often than not it will also try to deceive the search engine as well. You should be avoiding tricks that are used to improve rankings in search engines. One way to think about it is to ponder whether or not you would feel comfortable explaining what you have done to the website to a brand that is your competition or to an employee of Google. Ask yourself, will this help my users? Would I still do this if search engines did not exist? Think about what it is that makes your website valuable, unique, and engaging. Your website should be developed so that it will stand out among others in the same field.
Additional Things to Avoid
Some of the things that seem like a good idea, really do nothing but negatively impact a website. This is because Google’s algorithms are privy to all of the tricks.
Here are some of the things that should be avoided:
Link schemes. This is when links are added with the intention of manipulating a site’s ranking in Google’s search results, including buying or selling links, excessive link exchanges, and large-scale article marketing/guest posting.
Cloaking. This is when different content or URLs is presented to the human users and search engines. It is a clear violation of Google’s guidelines.
Sneaky redirects. Sending a visitor to a URL that is different than the one that was originally requested.
Doorway pages. These are created only to rank highly for certain search queries. They will lead to many similar pages while each result will take the user to the same destination.
Text or links that are hidden
Scraped content. Copying and republishing content from a website and not adding any sufficient original content or value to it.
Affiliate programs that do not add sufficient value
Stuffing irrelevant keywords
Pages with malicious behavior (viruses, etc.)
Good Practices to Follow
Doing the right things is not difficult. You should always be monitoring your website for hacking, and then removing any content that has been hacked as soon as it is discovered. You will also need to work to prevent and remove any spam that is user-generated. These things may cause your website to violate Google’s guidelines, and they will take action on it. Once the problem has been taken care of, it can be submitted to be reconsidered.
Content is one way to demonstrate your brand’s integrity and help your audience trust you. 28% of B2B marketers & 30% of B2C marketers say content marketing contributes to business goals
The old saying that content is king might be one of the most overused phrases ever to grace the world of digital marketing; however, it’s fair to say that it’s hung around so long because it’s actually true.Content marketing seems like it’s going to be easy. You just write a few blog posts or add more pages to your site, right? But when you sit down to really think about it, it’s a lot more complicated than you originally thought. First, you need a strong keyword research plan. Buyer Personas. Bags of creativity. A no-holds-barred approach to writer’s block. A top-notch grammar game. And ideas by the bucket load. Then there’s the competition. A recent study counted three times leap in the amount of content created by brands in just a 12-month period, with one single brand creating a massive 29,000 pieces of original content in one year.
Despite the difficulties, brands are creating more content than ever before. But, why? Why is content marketing important? What does it add to a digital strategy? And more importantly, what does it bring to the bottom line?
Content is Used Everywhere and For Everything
There is no better long-term strategy than content marketing.” He gives a number of reasons for this view but what’s most compelling is his point that content is used everywhere and influences every other type of marketing strategy:
Your email content fuels opens and click-throughs
Your web content fuels rankings and encourages conversions
It’s essential for social media campaigns
Necessary for blog posts
And useful for creating trust, authority and establishing relationships with other brands and businesses
Content Gives Compounding Rates of Return
As your investment earns interest, your principal grows and you earn more interest with each subsequent round of compounding. Content works much the same way since it’s more or less “permanent.” If you publish twice a week, you’ll have 110 pieces the first year, so the first year you’ll produce 110 pieces and get 110 pieces’ worth of results. The second year, you’ll produce 110 pieces and see 220 pieces’ worth of results.” This compounding rate of return means your content is always available to you and can help to drive sales. If you create evergreen content in addition to news posts and trending topic-led pieces, you’ll also have a stockpile of information that you can turn to time and time again, whenever you need interesting, useful pieces for emails, slideshows, social posts, and other marketing activities.
Great Content Inspires Trust
In our annual local consumer review survey last year, we reported that 8 out of 10 consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation for a business, product or service. In his article for the Content Marketing Institute, Sujan Patel mused that the reason there is a such an appetite for reviews is that as consumers, we need to be assured that we’re going to get what we pay for. User-generated content, like online reviews, fills this gap.
He said, “Content is one way to demonstrate your brand’s integrity and, in turn, help your audience trust you.” With this power, it’s easy to see how content marketing drives sales. Simply by reassuring consumers, a well-placed piece of content can set your brand apart in a crowded marketplace.
Building this into a content marketing strategy can be done in a number of ways.
Work with an influencer or blogger to endorse your product
Create authority branded content
Invite a respected person in your field or industry to contribute their own content to your blog or website
Secure a guest post or column of your own on a respected website, blog or magazine site
Ask happy customers to leave reviews on your Google My Business listing or other review sites like Yelp or Foursquare
Content Builds Links
If your marketing or sales activity relies on any form of organic search visibility, you need content to help with rankings for specific keywords and link acquisition. Backlinks are an essential component of any SEO campaign, with a few high quality, relevant links worth their weight in gold. In today’s fierce battle for page one rankings, great links can only be acquired with the help of stellar content. Whether you create a great infographic, a thought-provoking blog post or must-read ebook, it’s the quality of your content that will determine whether or not other sites want to link to you. Top sites and influencers won’t risk sending their hard-earned traffic your way via a link unless your content provides something that is a must see or a must read. Short of buying links, strong content is the only way to earn those likes and shares that will see your site moving up the rankings.
Content Value is Measurable
The importance of any marketing initiative, whether it’s content or advertisements, comes down to how accurately and how easily it can be measured. Director of Editorial Content and Curation at Content Marketing Institute, Jodie Harris cites a CMI Benchmark report which found that 28% of B2B marketers and 30% of B2C marketers now say their content marketing activity has reached a mature stage where its contributions to overall business goals can be measured. On the back of this, 52% of B2B and 51% of B2C marketers expect that blogging will be their most critical tactic for achieving success in the upcoming year.
Ready For Unique Content for your Business?
If you are looking to add rich content to your marketing strategy visit our Content Marketing Section at Digital Marketology so we can develop a personalized solution for you.
It can be very effective in increasing traffic, generating leads, enabling sales and contributing to SEO. Which brings us to the main question ‒ how can I use it to improve my search rankings? When done well, content marketing can contribute to boosting a site’s position in search rankings. Although this may not seem like the most obvious benefit to a successful content marketing strategy, it’s an effect that no business can ignore. Let’s take a look at how to make full use of your website’s content to rank higher in the SERPs.
Creating new content
Having a website is not enough; it constantly needs to be updated for it to rank well. And this is where new content comes in handy. A site can never have enough content. There is always an opportunity to create new pieces of content, and the newness of content is also one of Google’s ranking signals. Fresh content as a ranking factor is not just judged by the publication date of the page, but also based on new pages, an increasing number of links towards a page and ultimately the increased level of traffic reaching the page. These criteria show that older posts can still be valuable, especially if they offer an in-depth analysis on a topic or have been regularly updated to keep them relevant, which leads us on to the next tip.
Repurposing old content
There’s no reason to ignore the older content you’ve published in the past, especially if it still gains a significant amount of traffic. Repurposing content can help you analyze a topic in more detail, by allowing you to create multiple types of content without losing their value or becoming repetitive. This saves you time spent coming up with new content ideas and also gives you a regular supply of fresh, valuable content to boost your ranking. Going beyond blog posts, you can create videos, infographics, podcasts, lists and more from your older material. Your target audience might be more receptive for example to infographics rather than a blog post, or you may discover that you can achieve higher conversion rates through a list rather than a podcast.
Using visual content
Visual content has become very popular on the internet due to our own ability to process an image faster than any written text. This wins the first impression and it can be very powerful within the context of a page. Previously used mostly to accompany written content, visual content has reached the stage where it’s now considered a form of content in its own right, standing on its own to increase awareness, engagement, and leads. On top of this, it can be optimized for search, offering a new opportunity for a business to stand out from its competitors via images and videos. The optimization of your visual content can lead to surprisingly positive results, provided that you follow a series of small steps that ensure that they are SEO-friendly. Search crawlers cannot “read” images, only the text that accompanies them. This means that you must focus on:
• Image title (don’t upload an image with a filename 4fogowr.jpg, but rather rename it to something more relevant, e.g. contentforseoguide.jpg)
• Alt tags (the tags that describe the image for screen reader users, or if the image fails to load)
• Image size (large images affect a page’s load time, which can have a negative effect on your search ranking)
Choosing the right keywords
Keyword research can turn into a useful ally, especially if you bear in mind that you don’t always need to target the most obvious keywords. Targeting highly sought-after keywords can make it harder for you to rank higher in search, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t become an authority on a topic by using different phrases for the same concept. How about picking words and phrases that are less competitive but still high in rankings? Find the keywords that best suit your content, and think outside the box when deciding on the focus keywords you want to target.
Create link-worthy content
Link building helps your content reach a broader audience, increasing both your site’s visibility and its authority. It can help grow your search traffic, as the number of unique domains linking to your site helps search engines understand whether your content is informative enough to rank higher in the SERP. Not all links are equal, as high-authority sites contribute more heavily in this regard. This means you should aim for more reputable mentions – but without snubbing any lesser sites that might link to you, as it all adds up. It’s easier for a source to link to your content if it’s authentic, interesting and well-researched, so always aim for quality over quantity.