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SEO Secret 5: Sharing your Content – Because Links are SEO Gold!

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[Part 6 of a 6 part series called SEO Basics: 5 SEO Secrets for Creating Content that Drives Traffic]

The final piece to the puzzle is to make sure that your content is being shared and distributed around the internet, each time generating additional links, which in turn increases its trust and authority in the eyes of Google and other search engines.  

Key Point: More Links = More Authority.  More Authority = Higher Ranks.  Higher Ranks = More Readers!

Although there are a host of options for sharing your content, I’ll cover some of the basics here, starting with Social Media.  

Social Media

One of the best indicators of content success in the eyes of Google and other search engines is how frequently that piece of content is shared via Social Media.  So, each time you create a piece of content, make sure that you promote it to your friends and followers through Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus and even LinkedIn.  And when you share your content, don’t be afraid to ask for the retweet.  It’s a proven fact that tweets that ask to be re-tweeted are actually re-tweeted more often.

And asking people to share your content doesn’t just apply when you are sharing yourself.  It also works when you are actually writing your content piece.  So, if your CMS allows it, remember to always put sharing icons near the beginning and/or end of your content, which reminds people to share with their social network and makes it easy for them to do so.  If your CMS doesn’t allow for this, you can still provide pre-canned sharing verbiage with a shortened URL included at the end of your content and ask them to copy/paste that verbiage on their social networking platform of choice.  

Key Point: Social Media mentions and shares are key indicators of content quality.

Content Syndication

Another great way to earn quick links is to syndicate your content to other sites that are similar to yours and are relevant to your audience.  By providing valuable content to these sites in exchange for them linking to your original piece of content, you not only build links to it, but you also build awareness of your content across multiple sites.  

And remember the copy/paste idea above? If you syndicate your full article, the pre-canned verbiage and link will be included as well, which will help people on other sites share your content the way you want them to!

Bonus: If you can, get the sites that are syndicating your content to use the rel=canonical tag and point it to the URL for the content on your site. Read this article to find out more about the rel=canonical tag.

Manual Requests for Links

If you are regularly creating valuable content, you should start to develop a following, or a group of people with whom you have influence.  Never be ashamed to ask these people to link to valuable content from their sites or blogs as well.  By asking them to blog about your content and then post a link to your content from their blog, you not only help drive additional eyeballs to your content, but you also earn additional links.  And the more links you have, the higher your content will rank.  

Key Point: Never, EVER be afraid to ask for someone to link to the valuable content you create.

And don’t be afraid to incentivize people to link to you.  Do you have anything that your audience would find extra cool that you can offer them in exchange for a link?  Inside information?  Swag?  Membership to something?  Any other ideas?  

Takeaway: Be creative!  By offering incentives, your link building efforts will have a much greater impact!

Joining the Conversation

Another great way to add links to your content is to join various conversations that are happening around the web about the same or similar topics.  If you can find such a conversation, add your ideas as a comment and then post to your article.  As long as your content is relevant and you are adding to the conversation, most people will be okay with allowing the link to your article in their thread.  But, be careful not to come across spammy.  If you don’t add value, you are likely to get deleted.

Bonus: Look for sites that do not add a ‘nofollow’ tag to their outbound links.  

Most often, conversations take place in the comments of other blogs or articles, but they can also take place on Q&A sites like Quora, Yahoo Answers and others.  If you can find someone asking a question about a piece of content you have created, try answering them with a summary of why your content is relevant and link to it for them to learn more.  Most Q&A sites are okay with people posting external references when answering questions, some even encourage references.  

Now don't forget... if you liked this series, share it with your friends!  :)

All Chapters

Introduction: SEO Basics: 5 SEO Secrets for Creating Content that Drives Traffic
Secret #1: Tools for Success – In-Depth Analysis Made Easy(er)
Secret #2: Keyword Placement – Positioning is Everything
Secret #3: Keyword Variation & Relation – Because ‘Other’ Keywords Matter, Too!
Secret #4: Making Your Content a Resource – Going Above and Beyond
Secret #5: Sharing your Content – Because Links are SEO Gold!
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