August 18, 2014
At a time when content marketing is all the rage, it’s easy to forget that not all content is created equal.
There is some content that is superior to others when it comes to search engine optimization, and that’s the content that people want to share. Call it the “it factor” of SEO.
Content with shareability stands a greater chance of going viral, of course, but it goes beyond that. Highly shareable content is also looked upon fondly by Google, which is essentially sponsoring an online popularity contest. When Google sees that other people like your content and are sharing it widely, it bumps up the rankings for that content.
Of course, saying shareable content is good is one thing; actually producing it is another. Here are some tips on how to create shareable content and how it can help your SEO.
What is Shareable Content?
Content is just about anything that you can post on the web, from blogs to white papers to podcasts to videos. Shareable content is something that people share with their friends and followers on social media because they enjoyed it, found value in it, or want to hear what other people thought of it.
Controversial content is highly shareable, but that’s a risky proposition. You could find your content being shared in a negative light. While that’s still favorable for SEO, it’s not great for your company’s reputation.
Creating good content is only part of making shareable content. The other half of the equation involves figuring out how to gain the most shares. This can be achieved in a number of different ways, including:
- Tracking which social media sites garner the most shares for your company.
- Looking at the competition and seeing where they are receiving the bulk of their shares.
- Thinking beyond the obvious social networks and trying out other places where your content could get picked up.
- Figuring out which content on your site is already being shared the most and putting a little more muscle behind it.
Five Important Traits of Shareable Content
There are a huge number of topics and formats for shareable content, but the best shares have a handful of attributes. Here are five things that most highly shareable content has in common:
- Pictures to go with the content
- A very targeted audience
- A great headline that gets people’s attention
- Unique insights into an interesting topic
- Short, punchy writing that’s broken up by bullet points or numbers
How to Make Shareable Content
You’ve undoubtedly heard the phrase “content is king.” It seems like everyone is throwing that around, but it’s true. The No. 1 key to producing shareable content is making sure it’s content worth sharing. That means putting your best people on content creation and turning out truly original, extremely memorable copy.
Once you have your copy, keep in mind that you need a rollout strategy. Don’t just post it and assume people will find it on their own and share. You need to be aggressive about promoting it and making sure enough people are aware of it to gain the shares you’re hoping for. Set up an editorial calendar to track the process.
Share the content on social media. Share it in original and fun ways, such as including a great picture or video. Share it with crazy captions and panda bear emoticons. Share it frequently. In short, do whatever it is you have to do to give the content some momentum.
Consider the best time of day to share on social media, too, so that you’re not tossing your treasured content out there to an absent audience. And be diligent about searching for new platforms to promote your content on. Remember, social media is not limited to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
While it’s tempting to spend all your time promoting new, fresh content, don’t ignore your older stuff. Content is not like milk; it doesn’t spoil after a few days. You can push your older content just as hard as the newer stuff and get just as much upside from it.
Benefits of Shareable Content
Now that you know what shareable content is and how to craft it, here’s the kicker: Understanding what shareable content can do for you.
There are three main ways shareable content benefits your site.
1. More traffic to your site. This is the obvious one. The more places where your content is shared, the greater the chance people will click on it and be sent to your site. You can gain new customers without ever directly reaching out to them.
2. Greater social media engagement. When you are really pushing your content through social media, the side benefit is that you’ll also be building up a loyal, engaged audience with whom you interact frequently. Coming up with fun ways to promote your content will automatically strengthen your social media and in turn gain you more followers. And that also helps SEO.
3. Improved search rankings. Yes, you knew this one was coming. The greatest benefit to having shareable content is all the backlinks you accumulate when people share your content. Google loves this. The more people are linking to you, the higher you rate with the Google gods. Your page rank improves and thus your traffic rises.
Boost Your SEO
Shareability is a key attribute to any content you post. Whether it’s a podcast or a post on your blog, make sure you make your content worthy of sharing and your search engine rankings will improve.